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Update!

This is, I’m afraid, a rather delayed report on progress with our two projects. However, there is much to celebrate.

In February this year I again visited both Fort Portal and Rwbaale.

The Good Shepherd School continues to go from strength to strength. On this occasion we helped the staff to set up a small sensory room for the most severely disabled children. As a result of your generosity we were able to fund solar panels for the school which supply the power to run lights, a bubble tube, and a projector for the sensory room, where the children can explore different tactile, visual and auditory experiences. We were all, visitors, staff and pupils, excited setting up the room, and delighted when we saw how much the children enjoyed and gained from it.

It was encouraging to see the children generally making progress, and three children have been able to “graduate” from the “Outreach” group, two into the main body of the school, and one into the nursery at his local school. We have also watched the progress of one little autistic boy from sad little waif to happily integrated young man over the last few years, and been heartened by the way the school has coped with another little boy with severe epilepsy and very challenging behaviour.

Some of the older children are also learning simple productive activities, like Margaret who now enjoys threading and is learning to make decorations.

The school now has a nurse, funded by Improving Chances, to support the parents, help with links to local health services, ensure the children are fully immunised, and provide health education, and this is proving very valuable. The visiting physiotherapist also continues to provide invaluable support. There is little staff turnover, the teachers remaining enthusiastic and dedicated, and, as always, the school is full of smiling, happy children.

Moving on to the Maternity Unit at Rwbaale, I am delighted to report that the ward we have funded is finally up and running. When I visited in February the building was complete and since then the furniture has been moved in and the ward opened for business.

Our commitment to the Health Unit in Rwbaale was to complete this building, and we have done this. We will now concentrate on keeping the “Outreach Project” for the most severely disabled children running at the Good Shepherd School. This will cost us £12,000 per annum. We need all your generous donations to ensure we can do this. If we raise any more than this we will bank some against eventualities such as having to replace the vehicle the school uses to transport the children, and if possible spend some on equipment etc needed by either the school or the Health Unit.

Once again thankyou for your support and I can reassure you that your money is well spent.