On the field

african children

Many activities to do, very overwhelming and difficult to realize where I might be more useful, so why not trying a bit of everything?

– The School Refurbishment Project.
There is a lot of need in painting and decorating schools.
Uganda introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997 and since then primary schools have been overwhelmed by huge numbers of children. Many buildings were in very poor conditions and SoftPower has been working to improve existing schools, renovating them and building new ones.
We left the center with a truck to get to the Budondo primary school, about 20 minutes from here.
It’s incredible to see all the people, mainly children greeting you and being so excited just because we (mzungu) where passing by. It’s a constant here, so cool!
My drawing skills are a bit less exciting instead and I hope children won’t be to confused about the section of an egg I painted on one of the classroom walls.
A lot of fun and a bit embarassing asking a child to guess what I’ve been drawing so far: no answer. But he could easily identify the fish Julienne painted on the other side of the classroom.
OK. Good try, let’s focus on something else as well 😛

– Computer classes (Part of the Community Projects).
Teacher assistant for the IT classes, I took part of several of them already. They are part of the Community Projects run at the Amagezi Education Center (AEC).
Classes so far are about the very basics of Microsoft Word. I might remember something :)
There are people from 15 to 30 years old. Very different levels, you realize straight away who needs more help and is slower than the others, lack of self-confidence is also a big issue for some of them. Having at least 1 person more in the class on top of the teacher can really make a difference.
Classes go a bit slow, mainly due to the lack of practice: students can use computers very little on top of the 2h class. And of course they don’t have one at home.
Internet is not yet available in the center in Bujagali.

Other classes are available about agriculture, science, drama, art and there is a library and a health clinic as well.
Very common subject focuses on important life skills: malaria awareness, family planning, nutrition, health and sanitation and sustainable organic farming.

– Special Needs Project.
We work with children aged 0-18 years old with a variety of disabilities offering education, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There is a partnership with other NGOs and organizations to offer a fully comprehensive health and education based service within the Jinja District.
It’s very touchy working with these children. There are several of them with serious mental and physical problems and at the beginning you might feel a bit shocked.
Adam for example has mental disabilities which affected also his physical growth. He’s 16 but he does not look more than 6-7 and he can barely walk. He has a great laugh and he’s able to spread so much energy and positive feeling just looking at his eyes.

– Photography material for website/marketing/fundraising.
I’m getting several cool shoots, I’ll work on this material as soon as I’m back. So be patient :)
There is need of replacing their online and offline content being outdated. A fresh look of the website will be beneficial.

It’s a great country for people photography, they are so open and friendly and children sometimes are asking you to take pictures.. what do you want more?
The equipment I got with me has been so far a great compromise of quality, versatility and space/weight. Nothing could have keep my DSLR at home, on the other side the “not so compact” G1X is great when you don’t want to be to intrusive and to get shots otherwise would be impossible to do with the DSLR.

What a better day to finish a weekday than a Nile boat tour with one of those small fishermen boat. Perfect timing for doing that: nice weather and wonderful sunset. A must to do again.


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