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REAP 2018 team return to Ryamugwizi Primary School

The REAP (Realise East African Potential) Project Team of ten, including celebrated NI author, Tony Macaulay, returned to Uganda for a week-long visit, on Good Friday – 29 March 2018.

After an overnight in Kampala, followed by a Pastor Deo-led tour of the Kosovo Slums, the team set off on the eight hour journey to Ibanda, south west Uganda.  After a much-needed night’s sleep, we made our much-anticipated return to Ryamugwizi Primary School and a hugely emotional and traditional welcome from the pupils, before celebrating a very special Easter Sunday with the Ishingororo community.

Building on their previous development work, which included a classroom block, pit-latrines and kitchen block, the guys returned to oversee some essential hygiene teaching, outdoor games, further classroom refurbishment and the handover of a new state-of-the-art REAP-funded staff house.  In addition, the team were able to observe the early construction work relating to the securing of a natural spring well in the local community.

The school now includes over 300 pupils and they could not have been more excited to welcome the team back.  It was so evident throughout the week-long visit, that our work in partnership with Fields of Life was resulting in a truly remarkable improvement in the educational standards of these children; something that was acknowledged in their recent and notable success during a regional debating competition.

After hugely successful hand washing and teeth brushing lessons which culminated with the presentation of a sanitary pack to every child and teacher, as well as many others in the local community, the team were delighted to observe the children putting their learning into action.

The completed staff house now includes solar lighting and each room has been furnished with a bed and light.  Furthermore, the natural spring well has now been secured and for the first time ever, the children of Ryamugwizi Primary School are enjoying access to clean drinking water.

The team were blessed with good health throughout their stay and were supported expertly by Keith Mutabazi (Ugandan Partnership’s Liaison Co-ordinator) whose guidance was simply flawless.  The team so enjoyed his company including his many Northern Irishisms!

On behalf of the children of Ryamugwizi Primary School, Uganda, the REAP Project Team wish to thank the numerous number of individuals and the many businesses, churches and schools for their remarkable generosity in supporting our work.  The smiling faces when the packs were handed out, say far more than any words could ever convey and we can assure our donors that their kindness has impacted significantly on the families throughout this poverty-stricken community.

There is still an enormous amount of work to be done at Ryamugwizi Primary School and they have many plans which include the construction of a new nursery block.  We hope and pray that with continued support the school will continue to thrive and eventually produce leaders who can drive this whole community forward for generations to come.

If you are ever in south west Uganda, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the school; you will be welcomed with open arms.

For further information on our visit, please read Tony’s ‘Stories from Uganda’ blog or visit the REAP Project Website.

Stephen Blevins

(Team Leader)