Preparing for School


There is one week until the school year commences again and plenty to do. Children are enrolling, uniforms need to be made, learning materials need to be bought, resources need to be made, school shoes and boarding requirements are needed for the sponsor kids.

 

And yet I feel like I’m on holiday.

 

These days I entrust the majority of the work into the hands of Glory Be’s more than capable head teacher, Immaculate and her bursar/mother, Mary. This is part of our move towards encouraging the community to take ownership of the projects and be the ones driving the development of their village.
Bursar and Buwenda Women in Action Director, Mary busy at work in her office
I must say, it does free up a lot of my time, which means I get to do a lot more of what I enjoy (namely creating and laminating interactive learning aids for the SEN class, assessing special needs children and attending community outreach).

 

 But with it comes a certain anxiety. I put this down to a mix of concern about the potential misuse of funds (which is rife in Uganda) and a personal issue with the loss of control! We still have in place rigorous checks. The budget is discussed and negotiated in advance. All the items are inventoried against the budget. Each and every item purchased comes with a receipt, each receipt is checked against the current going rate based on my own enquiries and the purchases of other organisations. And at least now we don’t have to worry about getting “muzungu price” in the market.

 

Uniforms, half sewn. The tailoring work is done by a local mum who’s son, Derick, we sponsor to attend special needs boarding school due to a developmental delay. 
I have come to learn through this process that Immaculate is a force to be reckoned with. She wants the best quality at the cheapest price – and she gets it. She wants posho fresh, even still warm, from the mill, identical collars on every uniform, the thickest paged exercise books. If you don’t meet her standards you’re likely to be axed. I even worry some days that if my colouring in isn’t up to scratch on the wall charts, my number might be up!
Headteacher Immaculate: A force to be reckoned with!

Whilst I will continue with the rigorous protocol regarding money handling, I have come to learn that the biggest issues with this process is simply my desire to be involved and in control of everything, all the time! Oh well, it could be a bigger fault.

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