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Child of Hope Uganda
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offers safety, hope, love, education, protection and inner healing to children in Eastern Uganda
offers safety, hope, love, education, protection and inner healing to children in Eastern Uganda

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Fostering moves to next stage: We have closed our former children’s respite accommodation! Instead we have a much better arrangement – several caring foster homes for all our orphans and vulnerable children.

Despite some initial apprehension by the children, they all now absolutely love being in their new families and all say they much prefer it to staying in the old ‘children’s home’. We are very grateful to these families – especially as they come from a culture where it is not the norm to look after children who aren’t in their wider family, clan or tribe.

All the foster parents are well known to us, either staff members, local church members or parents of children who are already with us. They have all been trained in understanding how to look after a foster child, and our social workers conduct regular visits and counselling with both the families and the children. In addition we give a very small payment to these families.

How has this come about? Occasionally, family problems occur and a child can no longer stay with the family either permanently or temporarily. That might through the death of the last surviving relative, a highly contagious/infectious disease endangering the life of the child or an abusive situation where the child is, again, in danger. These problems are why we set up a ‘children’s home’ in the first place, so these vulnerable kids could be kept safe.

However, we became increasingly uncomfortable with that arrangement as it is not ideal for a child to be living in an ‘institution’. That’s actually in agreement with the government of Uganda which lays out its policy in a document called The Alternative Care Framework that, whenever a biological or its wider family cannot look after the child, fostering is the next best route.

This is still in the early stages but are very hopeful that this new programme will continue to improve the lives – not just of our kids – but of the foster families too.

https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/fostering-next-stage
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A Cholera outbreak is currently hitting Mbale and our team in Uganda has taken steps to prevent it affecting as many of our pupils and families as possible.

So, we have given prevention awareness sessions (they call them ‘sensitisation sessions’) with all the children, we have banned handshakes, and are now putting dettol in water used for hand washing.

Handshakes are pretty common here, but for a while children should just give a small bow at a distance – if they forget, they are told to rush to one of our hand-wash stations and clean their hands!

That’s because cholera is highly infectious and particularly common in slum communities in developing countries. It causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

The Mbale authorities are using the government-run Namatala Health Centre as a sort of quarantine zone for all local cholera patients. When the rumours of cholera in Namatala were heard, members of our Family Support Unit went to find out the truth of the situation. The Health Centre knows of our impact in the community and were keen to give us as much information as possible, so that we can help them combat the disease.

https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/fighting-cholera
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The big clean-up

Whenever it rains here, many of our kids and staff end up walking along extremely muddy roads to get to school. This is especially true of the road to Namatala from nearby Namabasa where homes are cheaper to rent.

It’s been a problem for many years and the road becomes impassible for car, bicycles and motorcycles. This May and June it has been raining day and night, producing holes full of water and extremely mud. Vehicle have got stuck, while motorbike riders and cyclists have slid into the river.

So, Child of Hope children often arrive school late – and very dirty with mud everywhere on their clothes and shoes. Some wear wellies, others go barefoot… but they all end up at our wash stations to get the mud off!

https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/big-clean
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Our new Impact Report for 2017 is now available for download… it summaries our achievements during the year, plans for the future and brief financial details.

We’re very proud to help large numbers of people, whose lives are now on an upward climb from the worst extremes of poverty.

If you’d like a printed version, please email us. The report has been produced at very low cost thanks to free help from volunteer photographers, writers and a graphic designer.

To read online or to download a copy, click here: https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/download_file/view/311/389
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Proud in their new uniforms: these are some of this year’s Primary 1 children at our slum school... obviously chuffed to be dressed in their new uniforms (made by Sarah the school tailor).
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29/03/2018
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Nice… de-worming! The health team has been busy at the school, a vital healthcare intervention that takes place here twice a year. 

Benefits to the children are clear in weight gain, pain relief, less sickness and diarrhoea… which not only improves their health, but also all leads to better learning and improved school attendance.

Deworming treats a group of neglected tropical diseases caused by parasitic worms.  They are generally not lethal, but they live for the most part in the human gut, and absorb key nutrients (including iron) that would otherwise be nourishing their human hosts.
https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/nice-de-worming
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High nursery standards: Staff in the nursery section at our slum school have been developing highly-effective approaches to teaching literacy and numeracy – and this is enabling the children to achieve measurable greater success.

For example, by the end of their three years in our nursery section, our pupils enter primary phase with reading ages comparable with English learners in the UK. And in Maths they are working with numbers up to 100, and understanding shapes, patterns, measures and money.

Staff are applying phonics to improve the children’s reading and writing, with culturally-relevant stories that engage their interest.

Meanwhile, in a break with traditional Ugandan practice, corporal punishment is not used in our school. Instead, our staff are learning to implement a positive behaviour management policy based on fairness and consistency.

Currently there are 124 pupils in our nursery section, served by four teachers and six teaching assistants.

https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/high-standards
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Our slum school retention figures are amazing - we mention this because the problem of children dropping out of school is extremely common in Uganda. Our school drop-out rate is less than 1%, while the official national primary school dropout rate is 47%.

Child of Hope Primary School is recognised as a model school in Mbale, often hosting teachers from other schools in the district who want to develop their professional practice. The staff pupil ratio of about 1:20 is unusually high, as it can be as low as 1:100 in other local schools. This is achieved by employing teaching assistants to work alongside the fully qualified teachers.

The quality of teaching and learning in the school are regularly assessed. A holistic approach to children’s development is ensured by also employing health and welfare professionals. Parents are encouraged to discuss their children’s progress with the class teacher or Head, which has led to increased parental participation in their children’s learning.

All of which contributes to the high success rates achieved by our children in the Primary Leaving Exam, a national exam where our highest level (Division 1) rate is 44%, compared to the national figure of just 9%.

We provide education for 546 children currently, including 75 who have moved up to local secondary schools. This is all handled by our 70 paid staff in Uganda.

https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/recognised-model-school
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We have harvested a good crop of sweet potatoes that we grew locally as one of the ways we are creating a degree of sustainable income in Uganda itself. 14 large sacks of potatoes were harvested and sold, with profit of around 40%.

It also provided a demonstration of farming for the parents involved in our income-generating activities, hopefully that some of them will start their own subsistence agriculture ventures.
https://www.childofhopeuganda.org/news/potato-farming-great
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Play and learn: These are children from our baby class in nursery; we use activity-based learning rather than rote learning, which means that the children are actively engaged in a mixture of hands-on and written activities that are appropriate for their learning level.

We differentiate the learning activities as far as possible. The children are organised into ability groups and activities are structured to meet the current learning ability of each child. We try and support slower learners with more teacher attention.

Our ‘learning through play’ approach is popular – alongside some more formal teaching methods such as discussing a book, a sound or a number as part of a whole class lesson. We use play activities that relate to the story or theme of the week, and try to use locally sourced, affordable materials.

http://www.childofhopeuganda.org/latest-news/play-and-learn/
Child of Hope :: Play and learn
Child of Hope :: Play and learn
childofhopeuganda.org
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