Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to go to our website and support our work here. So far 11 of our children have been sponsored and we have received numerous donations to support our livestock projects and general operational expenses. We appreciate your support so much!
It’s now the beginning of June, so our children have started back into their second term of school. We noticed a marked improvement of the scores of many of the children. We were very fortunate this month to have a number of volunteers from abroad come visit us here and spend time with the children. A special thank you to Sayako Kato from Japan, Lisa Hitch and Erin Garrison from the USA, and Maurice Lamot from the UK for all the time and effort they put into making the school holidays special for the kids. We welcome all volunteers to the project!
Children welcome visitors Lisa Hitch and Erin Garrison from the USA
We are still moving forward with our registration at the national level as an NGO. The whole bureaucratic process has proved to be much more complicated than anticipated. We are pleased to share that we have met all the requirements to become registered including the employment of a security guard, clinical officer, and warden. We welcomed Julius Kubiragume and Mattias Weka onto our staff this past month. Julius is serving as our security guard at night and keeps the place safe with his bow and arrows. Mattias is doing supervision of our more complicated cases with our nursing assistant, Kellen. Unfortunately we had an outbreak of the chicken pox in May. Fortunately we were able to quarantine the affected children and now everyone is back in school.
We had our first board meeting with the approved board members from the Ft. Portal Diocese in May. We were able to generate a lot of new ideas for the project and hope to meet again soon to finalize our constitution as well as create a local fundraising plan for this year. Currently the management staff is working on a 3 year and 5 year strategic plan for the project.
Currently we are housing 78 children and employing 8 caretakers. We managed to get 10 acres of maize and beans planted and some of the early beans planted are already ready for harvesting. We also have a vegetable garden up and running and will be planting another garden in the next week. Prices of food remain high, but we hope that we will be able to reduce the cost of feeding as we start to harvest some of our own food.
Construction on the vocational school is continuing. We have reached the roofing level on two workshop buildings and have started to clear land to start the substructure of a classroom block. We are very excited to announce that thanks to donor support we were able to purchase an interlocking brick machine. This is a new technology that has been introduced to Uganda. It allows organizations to manufacture their own bricks using subsoil that is in abundance all over the country combined with a small amount of cement which serves as a binding agent. Our construction workers were trained on the operation of the machine and now we have the capacity to produce as many as 350 bricks a day. This number will increase as we improve on our technique. This machine is expected to reduce the price of building the vocational school as well as serve as a potential source of income for the project once we have marketed its use within the community.
In April we celebrated International Youth Day with a game day at school for our kids and Easter with a big meal and football match. In May, our international volunteers were able to do several activities with the kids including a field day competition. The kids loved all the activities!
Pius and Kamuli run neck-in-neck in a relay competition.
Volunteer Lauren Myers gives a lift to one of the junior sack race competitors, Joseph.
Sam practices balancing for the bean bag race
The cows and chickens at the project are doing well. One of our cows gave birth in April, so now the kids are getting milk in their porridge again. We are pleased to announce that construction on the goat project has finished up to the fencing level. Posts have been cut from trees and dug for an area of five acres and the construction workers are finishing up fencing in the swamp area so the goats have a permanent water source before putting up the final touches of barbed wire. We’re almost there!
Once again, thank you to everyone who took the time to visit our website. We hope to have more of the children sponsored as we move forward, so please share our website (www.miryanteorphanage.org) with your family and friends.
Together in Christ,