Back at school
After several prolonged closures during Covid, Kirima Primary is finally open again with over 200 children already at school.
Because they have missed so much school, the children who should be starting in year 2 are back in year 1 catching up on the basics.
This means we have a double sized year group and have to find additional classroom facilities and furniture.
The photo shows older primary children in a biology lesson. We are always impressed at how engaged the children are with their lessons
and the advanced subject matter they master.
Everybody is working hard to help the children get back to where they should be as the education they get at Kirima is so important
to them in the years to come.
Archive photo: Kirima pupils graduating
Despite all the difficulties of Covid the Primary Year 7 leavers' exams were completed and the results are great.
The results are:
- Grade one 14 (last year was 8)
- Grade Two 35
These are outstanding results in the District and the best results for the last four years.
It opens up great opportunities for these children.
Thanks to everybody involved for their dedication and teamwork.
New safety fence
New fence and gates for Kirima
The new Kirima gates and fence have now been completed. A hedge will soon be planted to make the site more attractive.
This development is very important because the new tarmac road will soon be open and the spot where the photo was taken will be a busy thoroughfare.
The fencing will protect the children from intruders and from traffic accidents - we were concerned about the possibility of a heavy truck coming off the road
and rolling down the steep bank into the school.
The photo shows some of the building which has taken place in recent years, with the two-story classroom block in the front, the new hall and IT suite with the
blue roof behind and the old dormitory block to the left.
It is great to see this important school being updated step by step to meet local needs.
Teaching during lockdown
Teaching with Covid precautions
For many months all schools in Uganda have been closed. This lasted longer than in the UK as healthcare facilities are limited so
it is doubly important to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
Limited opening has now been permitted for year 7 so that the children can at least benefit from the final year at primary school - for
many children this is their last year of education as those who do not go to Great Lakes High School have few options.
An IT class during Covid
New Girls' Dormitory
Girls' dormitory at Kirima
About half the children at Kirima are boarders so their dormitories are a big part of their lives.
We are working to progressively improve facilities at the school and the new girls' dormitory is the next step.
There are now a lot of happy girls in the evenings and at night.
During lockdown we have been working to complete some of the projects which were badly needed.
The site at Kirima is very muddy, particularly during the rainy seasons and it is difficult for children and teachers to walk between
classrooms at the end of lessons.
The new drainage system will help keep the school site in good condition and make it easier to get around. Flowers have been planted in the
new drainage channels to make the school more attractive and teach the children about the importance of a well-tended environment.
Food support during lockdown
Although many people in Kanungu struggle to provide enough food for their families, we do not normally donate food (although for
many children, their school lunch is a vital part of their diet).
But these are not normal times. Uganda has very limited healthcare so their lockdown has been particularly strict. Families have
not even been allowed out of their homes to tend their smallholdings. So, for the first time since we were involved in the region,
many families are go hungry.
We have therefore organised a distribution of basic food ingredients to families with children at the schools we support.
Our aim is to help solve some of the long-term issues in the area, but sometimes we just have to help out in an emergency.
Advanced primary education
Primary book (with cricket)
Children at Kirima Primary are taught to a high standard as the typical biology exercise books show.
The picture above shows an excellent understanding of the human blood circulation system and the one below our reproductive system.
One photo was taken in cricket season; vast numbers appear in November and the children catch them to cook and eat - a favourite delicacy.
New girls' toilets
Girls' toilets at Kirima
The new girls' toilets at Kirima are now finished and in use.
Toilets are never our most exciting projects but, of course, they are vitally important and we are very grateful to the generous donor
who made them possible.
The new building has improved drainage; it replaces outdated facilities which were too small.