Friday, November 21, 2014

Singing about Sanitation

Amuria Primary School was the next stop. I love the welcome song they do, it is so much fun, Bernie and I tried to get everyone to join in! We had our obligatory tour of the latrines and it was interesting to learn that some latrine blocks are built in a way that they can't be emptied, the ones WaterAid assist with can be pumped out though.

There is one latrine on average for every 70 school children in Uganda. Can you imagine the queue at break time? And the temptation to nip around the back?

I saw inside a classroom of primary two children. The teacher had 114 children in her class. That's a bit like my daughter's entire school all cramming into one classroom and being taught by one teacher with little more than a bit of chalk, a couple of marker pens and a bit of coloured card. No materials for the children, no visual resources, nothing.

We presented them with a bag of around 200 pencils when we left. You would have though they had won the World Cup. The unadulterated joy on the faces of the children, jumping up and down with excitement. A few pencils. It made me weep. 

Painting the school white
We did what we could in the time we had. I helped paint one of the classrooms. We worked quickly, but we could only get one half done. It was good to see we had made a small difference, but frustrating to be able to do so little.

I made friends with a boy called Oliver. He was about eight. He supported Arsenal. He had no uniform and was filthy, but he spoke incredible English. He was thrilled we were there and I was glad to meet him, but I feel we have so much more to give. These kids deserve a better chance, they are doing everything they can, but their ambitions are unreachable.

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