Amasiko Update - May 2019
The Amasiko Nursery School
Since the Amasiko Nursery was established in May 2018, numbers have grown from 35 students to over 120 students who are regularly attending daily classes.
We are the only school in our region that provides fee-free education and also regular meals for our students.
The school has outgrown the tiny rooms two rooms that were overcrowded with 35 students.
Currently our teachers can provide only provide kindergarten, prep and grade 1 classes. The students ages range between 4-12 yrs old. Classes are currently taught in the community centre, which is exposed to weather extremes.
The children receive two cooked meals a day and also two precious eggs a week which such a treat. In April, the children and the teachers were so excited to receive a pair of gumboots that were purchased by donations from our wonderful supporters.
There is limited stationary available and scarce resources, however teachers and students
maintain their enthusiasm. Our challenges into the future include providing adequate resources, space, and teachers wages.
It is great that many of the parents in the village are now supportive and encouraging their children to attend school and start their education.
Amasiko Adult Education
Our Ugandan Founder, Wilson Nzigye was approached by local Government officials to use our community space to teach literacy basics to interested adults in the district.
Three of our Amasiko members were selected to receive special training, (they were very excited to receive their certificates) and the first classes were held this April. More than 60 adults attended the first session, which was designed to teach each person how to write their name.
This seeming simple task was very difficult for those who had never held a pencil before or knew the alphabet.
Recently the adult classes received some resources for the classes. Wilson said there was great excitement as the books had “illustrations”.
Amasiko Boys and Bricks
In a recent Amasiko meeting (80% women and 20% supportive men), the community identified a major issue was that some adolescent boys were causing trouble.
These boys no longer attend (or can attend) school. Aged between 11-17. They were stealing food, chickens and any money if they could find.
As our project needs to purchase bricks for future building projects, and the boys needed structure and to be occupied, “Amasiko Boys and Bricks” was created.
The boys are not only learning life skills but also earning small amounts of money. Two men are paid to teach and supervise the boys making the bricks.
The bricks will be stored until there are funds available to start building walls for the community centre. The boys will then be the labourers for the brick layers.
This is new initiative for the village and we will receive more updates as it progresses.
Amasiko House Update
There has been great progress at Amasiko House over the last 6 months. The outside is nearly finished and currently from funds raised recently from our clothing sale, work has commenced fitting out the inside of the refuge.
This includes levelling the floors, fitting the doors to the four rooms, and building a temporary outside toilet and shower facility.
When finished Amasiko House will be a beacon of hope and the issue of domestic violence can be addressed positively.
When I met Wilson in 2016, I was traveling with my friends Robert and Lynne. They also developed strong friendships with Wilson.
Robert has been raising funds to build something that the men of the village could be involved in.
On Robert’s recent visit to Uganda and to Wilson’s village (March ‘19), discussions were had, preparations were discussed for Robert’s return in August this year when most of the piggery will be built.
It is envisioned that income from the piggery will not only provide employment for villagers, but it would provide Wilson with much needed funds to continue to fund projects of importance for the village.
Instead of purchasing feed for the piggery from other providers, the Amasiko members, asked if they could grow the crops needed, so that they could also benefit in the process.
60 villagers, including some husbands, turned up to level some ground and prepare the soil for the first crops to be sewn.
We are very excited about this project, so stay turned for the next exciting update.
There is so much more to tell about what is happening in the village.
Local lodges supporting Amasiko by selling their baskets that have improved so dramatically in the last 6 months and are very popular
A dance troop of both women and men, are rehearsing as some lodges want to hire them for performances for their clients.
More visitors are coming to the village to learn more about The Amasiko Partnership. These visitors include local government officials, tourists from local lodges, and curious community leaders from other areas.
Wilson and I are extremely grateful for all of the support that we receive from all of our Amasiko Partnership supporters.
Wilson is overwhelmed with the support and that his life’s dream to assist the people in his home village is actually starting to happen.
The Amasiko Bags Project has been very popular, and since October ’18, the volunteers who have made these bags, have contributed more than $2000 to Amasiko House.
It is exciting that people want to volunteer to make the bags, that people want to buy them and slowly, these bags are lessening the use of plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, and many other uses.