Kirima Parents’ Primary School

Kirima Primary is a happy, successful school which provides a high-quality education to children in this deprived area of rural Uganda thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.

The headmaster Steven and his team manage just the right balance between caring for the children, giving them a stimulating & fun time and teaching what they need for excellent exam results.

Many children who cannot get a place in Kirima attend a Government school. They can be depressing places to visit because they lack both sufficient funding and good staff. Salaries are low so teachers often take a second job, meaning children can sit for hours in a classroom with no teacher – this experience just teaches patience and passivity.

Other children do not attend school at all. Government schools are theoretically free but, in practice, families must make a financial contribution. If the benefit of the school is not good enough, families keep children to work at home. Driving round, you see primary aged children looking after goats, carrying loads or helping in roadside brick-making factories.

So, it is a pleasure to visit Kirima and be delighted by the sight of happy, smiling children.

Kirima Primary children

The wonderful children from Kirima Primary

About 80% of pupils have dropped out of UPE [government primary schools] in Kanungu district over the last 10 years. Auditor General John Muwanga
Only 2,372 from a cohort of 10,414 pupils completed primary education

News from Kirima

Trustees visit Kirima Primary School every year to ensure children are being well cared for, check that funds have been properly spend and plan how to meet future needs. All visits are self funded to ensure that all your sponsorships and donations are spent on improving the children's lives. Here is the latest news:

Exam Results

Kirima pupils graduating

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.

 

July 2021

New safety fence

New fence and gates for Kirima

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.

 

January 2021

Teaching during lockdown

Teaching with Covid precautions

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

An IT class during Covid

 

November 2020

New Girls' Dormitory

Girls' dormitory at Kirima

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.

 

October 2020

Drainage project

Kirima drainage

Kirima drainage

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.

 

September 2020

Food support during lockdown

Food distribution

Food distribution

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.

 

August 2020

Advanced primary education

Primary book (with cricket)

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.

Biology lesson

Biology lesson

 

November 2019

New girls' toilets

Girls' toilets at Kirima

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.

 

January 2020

Laptops for resource centre

Exploring the new laptops

Exploring the new laptops

The resource centre now has 15 laptops, meaning that the new IT teacher can run lessons for full classes by sharing four pupils to a computer.

Most of the children have never used a computer before… so they have to learn how to use a keyboard and mouse. There is a lovely drawing program which provides a fun way to get them started.

IT lessons will consist of word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. This means that children graduating from Kirima Primary will be well on their way to an IT 'O' level when they reach secondary school.

The laptops are also loaded with hundreds of books, audio books, videos and photographs for the children to explore in break time and for boarders to use at weekends.

Many thanks to the pupils and staff from Willerby Carr Lane Primary School in Yorkshire who generously raised funds for the laptops.

 

November 2019

New books for resource centre

Girls enjoying the new books

Girls enjoying the new books

The new school hall has a resource centre on the second floor to be used as a resource centre with laptops and a library.

Visitors brought out the first batch of books which the children enthusiastically started to read immediately. Clearly this initiative will be a big success.

Our next project is to identify which books are most needed. Some will be sourced locally and others brought out from the UK.

A love of reading is not common in Uganda and primary school is the time to start.

Selecting books from the new library

Choosing books from the new library

 

November 2019

Tarmac Road Construction

The road being built

The road being built

Kanungu is in a very remote rural location and it takes hours to drive on mud tracks to the nearest tarmac road… until now.

For ten years, the Government has promised a tarmac road to join Kanungu to the capital Kampala and it is finally being built.

The wider road encroaches onto school land, meaning they had to demolish the older classrooms and school hall but we have been preparing for several years and the school continues to operate with improved facilities.

We hope that the road builders will transfer some of their spare soil onto the Kirima site to make it less steep and increase the usable area.

 

November 2019

Nature Walk in the Hills

Girls with grasshopper

Girls with grasshopper

When we visit Kirima we always take a group of children for a walk in the beautiful hills above the school. The scenery is wonderful and would be more popular than the Lake District if it were more accessible. But most of the children have never walked in their local hills - walking is a chore rather than a leisure activity for the locals.

We explored the local plants, insects and agriculture (including examining a bee hive). November is grasshopper season - when fried they are like whitebait and the children love them.

Children waving from a bridge
 

November 2019

Kirima Wins Football Cup

Kirima children with football trophy

Kirima children with football trophy

The Kirima Parents Primary School football team won this impressive trophy in June 2019.

The school team will represent the entire region in Western Uganda in Mbarara in the forthcoming competition.

 

June 2019

New Hall Open

New School Hall at Kirima Primary

New School Hall at Kirima Primary

We are delighted to see the new hall at Kirima is open and in use. The children can now:

  • Have assemblies even when it is raining
  • Eat meals indoors
  • Gather in the evening for activities, debates and to watch videos
  • Sit national exams

The hall had to be re-built as the site of the original hall was taken for construction of the new tarmac road. We have taken the opportunity to create a better quality and larger space which will be the centre of school activities for many years to come.

The second floor will be used as an IT resource. Trustees will visit later this year to install computers in the new space and further develop IT teaching in the school. Computing is a new topic in Uganda and young children will be the key to educating the entire community in this increasingly important skill.

Many thanks to all the donors whose generosity has made this great resource possible.

 

June 2019

Hall Construction Underway

Constructing the new School Hall

Constructing the new School Hall

Thank you for the first donations which have enabled us to start work on constructing the new School Hall.

We have send out a Christmas Appeal to raise the remaining £30,000 which is needed to complete construction in the December to February holidays.

May 2019 update: progress has been excellent and the shell of the new hall and IT room is complete. The final work to windows and fitting out is being completed. The new term has started so children must eat lunch in their classrooms for a few weeks.

Thank you again for your support.

 

May 2019

Older News To Remind Supporters What We Have Achieved Already

Urgent School Hall Appeal

Foundations of the new School Hall

Foundations of the new School Hall

First promised ten years ago, the new tarmac road from Rukungiri to Kanungu is finally being built. It is fantastic news for the community which is very isolated, being a two-hour drive from the nearest tarmac road. Improved transport will bring new jobs, skilled people, better crop prices and less expensive goods.

It is not so good news for Kirima Primary as the road passes by the school, part of which will be compulsorily purchased. Compensation will cover a small part of the rebuilding costs.

After waiting ten years, we had only a few weeks’ notice of construction starting. In preparation, more land has been purchased and new classrooms have been built to replace those in the path of the road.

The remaining task is to build a new school hall to replace the current one which must be demolished. We have 8 weeks to raise £85,000 so the hall can be built over the Christmas holidays, enabling the school to continue with improved facilities next term. See fundraising details home page.

 

November 2018

Welcome new headteacher

Steven with his two children

Steven with his two children

A big welcome to Steven Natuyamba the new headteacher who started at Kirima Primary this term.

The photo shows him with his two children Anyijukire Blessed in the foreground and Jakin Kwikiriza in the background

Steven has been working on associated projects for the last two years and we have a lot of confidence in him taking on this role. He is excellent on delivering quality education, resilient in managing tough organisational challenges and skilled at keeping a diverse team motivated.

Denis has done fantastic work at Kirima Primary over the last 30 years and we look forward to equal success from Steven.

 

September 2018

News for the September term

The water supply at Kirima

The water supply at Kirima

Kirima Primary continues to thrive, providing a life-changing education for 400 children up to the age of 13. Here is the latest news:

  • We are sad to say goodbye to Denis the Headteacher who has retired after 30 years at the school. He has been a very effective and popular leader who will be much missed. He is applying to study business and we hope he will return to server CHIFCOD in a few years.
  • Thank you to Emmanuel Church for the most welcome donation which has funded new books for the children.
  • The Computer Club which was started last year continues to be a great success and is now supported with teaching from a former pupil of Great Lakes High School.
 

September 2018

New Dormitory Opened

Second Girls' Dormitory

Second girls' dormitory

The second girls' dormitory has now opened, much to the relief of the girls who have been living in very overcrowded conditions.

It was funded by a most generous donor and from funds raised at the St Michael's Music Marathon.

The extra space makes for much safer sleeping conditions and means that there is now room to install vital mosquito nets round all beds.

 

August 2018

St Michael's Music Marathon

The organ at St Michael's

The organ at St Michael's

Thank you to St Michael's Church, Highgate who raised funds for projects. This includes a new girls' dormitory to stop the overcrowding they are currently suffering.

  • £800 from a fantastic 12 hours non-stop music marathon
  • £800 from the Easter collection
  • £8,500 from a very generous individual donation
 

April 2018

End of Term Report

It has been the busiest term in our very successful academic year. The school has 11 teachers (5 female and 6 male) teaching 569 children from Nursery to Primary 7.

The health of the pupils has greatly improved and we haven’t had many problems of sickness. The few cases that are detected are usually handled by the school Nurse.

Kirima children achieve well in their national exams at the end of P7:

GradeKirimaNational
Level 164%10%
Level 236%40%
3 & belownil50%

Our school buildings are still in a good state. We are happy with a newly constructed three-room boys’ dormitory which has helped us solve the congestion we had been facing. When the new tarmac road comes, an old dormitory must be demolished so we shall need to replace it.

I wish to extend my gratitude to the sponsors for the spirit of togetherness that has helped us to complete the year successfully. I wish you all a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year 2018.

 

Denis Kamugisha, Headteacher, Dec 2017

Play Equipment

New play equipment at Kirima

New play equipment at Kirima

The play equipment, television and DVD player which were donated recently are all in place and much loved by the children.

The TV is great for entertaining and informing boarding children at weekends and is also used to display educational videos from laptops.

Computer Library

Kirima computer library

Kirima computer library

The new computer library, comprising 8 laptops with hundreds of books and hours of educational video, is now installed.

A group of year 5 and 6 children spent a week learning how to use the equipment - most of them had never used a keyboard or mouse before but by the end of the week they were confident and competent; they completed 50% of the “O” level word processing syllabus. Many of the teachers were also new to computing and they have engaged enthusiastically.

The Hills

Walking in the hills near Kirima Primary

Walking in the hills near Kirima Primary

During our recent visit, we took a group of children for a walk in the hills above Kirima Primary. Although it is only a mile from the school (and many of their homes) none of the children had ever been there before.

The hills around Kanungu are beautiful. Think of a cross between the Lake District and Switzerland with coffee, tea and bananas growing instead of our familiar crops. No wonder Uganda is called “The Pearl of Africa”.

I take my shoes off to play football because my parents cannot afford to replace them if they wear out. Kirima children when asked why they play football barefooted.

Sponsors and Donors

A big thank you!

All this has been made possible by the generosity of the many sponsors, who pay for the monthly running costs, and donors, who pay for the individual small and large projects which bit by bit create a great school.

Thank you to everybody who has contributed, including:

  • St Michael’s School, Highgate
  • St Michael’s Church, Highgate
  • Holy Cross Church, Bearsted
  • Emmanuel Church, Guildford
  • Carr Lane Primary School, Hull
  • St Thomas’s Church, Oakwood
  • And many individual sponsors & donors

Current needs

The school is in a good state; its needs include:

  • New school hall (see news above)
  • New kitchen
  • IT classroom
 
Donate now

How can I help?

Our main funding comes from sponsors who pay £15 each month per pupil.

The families also make a contribution. There is a “hardship fund” for some children, mostly orphans, who pay no fees.

For just £15 per month, you can ensure a child gains an education.

We will send you regular newsletters and, once a year, a letter from your sponsored child with their photo…so you can see what a difference you are making.

100% of your sponsorship & donations go to the schools, none of it is spent on UK marketing or admin.

Click here to download your sponsorship form:

 
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