“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
Here’s a quick overview of the latest happenings in Uganda!
Our New Playground
I shared with you last month that we were able to purchase some quality playground equipment to give that area of the school a much needed makeover. The kids were so excited when the equipment was delivered! The work has been ongoing and our team is putting the finishing touches on the project. Here’s a short video tour from our friend Joshua, who is one of our V127 administrators!
Shortly after that video was recorded we received word that the final touches are complete! The children are now able to play in a safe space that is bringing so much joy to their hearts and smiles to their faces. Praise God for answered prayer!
There are so many great pictures and videos of the kids on the new playground, it’s tough to choose! There’s one more video of them playing at the end of this update, filled with wonderful laughter and so much fun!
Higher Ed Students
At this time of year our Primary and Secondary students are finishing up their second term of school, but many of our Higher Ed students are just starting a new semester or term of college/vocational school. We currently have 16 students in vocational school or college, studying a wide array of subjects, including engineering, agribusiness, accounting, welding, journalism, education, etc. These kids are able to continue their education through our Scholarship Fund, which supplements the child sponsorship donations to meet the costs of higher education.
As an example, Judith is studying civil engineering at Ndejje University. The cost to pursue that degree is $3700 per year. Her sponsorship contributes $420 of that cost per year, so the remaining $3280 is provided through our Scholarship Fund thanks to the generosity of all of you!
Our Melvin Ssempa is studying petroleum engineering at Mbarara University at a cost of $2600 per year, so we must raise $2180/year for him to be able to continue to go to school. Watch this short video to get to know Melvin and hear his heart for helping his community!
For our students in vocational school most programs cost around $1000 per year, so our scholarship fund provides $580 to add to the sponsorship total of $420. The amazing thing is that every time a Higher Education bill has come due, there has been enough in our Scholarship Fund to cover it! To God be the glory for his faithful provision! He knows your need too, my friends…just keep trusting Him! “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” Phil 4:19
What is the General Fund, anyway?
I thought it might be interesting for you to see a snapshot of how our General Fund was used just this month. We use this fund to provide for needs that aren’t specifically covered by our other funds, and to take advantages of opportunities that God provides that we weren’t expecting! Just last week we sent $800 for 80 of our primary kids to go on an educational field trip (they call it a study site tour) where they visited a mattress factory, a bread factory, an ice cream company, a recreation center, and the source of the Nile river!
What an awesome experience for many of these children who had never been outside of the slums of Kampala! We also sent $330 to cover the medical expenses for a few of our kids who have been sick, and $300 to support our two V127 administrators, Noeline & Joshua.
I mentioned in a prior update that the Uganda Education system is now requiring all teachers to have bachelor degrees in education within the next five years in order to continue teaching. Most teachers, and all of ours, have either certificates or diplomas in education from vocational school instead of a degree from a university. On a salary of $150 a month it is almost impossible for our teachers to afford to continue their education. Pastor Herbert believes that many schools will close in the next few years because of the lack of teachers that meet the new qualifications. We are determined that this will not be the case for Victory Covenant Primary School! Just this month we were able to send $2400 for five of our teachers to go back to school this semester. What a blessing! Thank you so much to those of you who are supporting not only our children, but also our teachers. If you would like to help provide a scholarship for a teacher through our Teacher Education Fund, you can do so here!
I hope to have a video for you soon of the completed third and fourth floors of our primary school! Our team is working day and night to get it ready for the third term of school which will begin in just a couple of weeks. So exciting!
We are also praising God for providing the funds to build a retaining wall at Victory House. Another answered prayer! That was a very dangerous situation with the road literally washing away right above our property. Our team at Jericho construction has been hard at work building the wall. As you can see, it looks great and will make a major difference in protecting the property during the rainy season ahead.
Most of our students are finishing up their second term of school, and school reports will be coming in soon. If you haven’t written to your child recently, please do so! They are beyond excited when they hear from you, and your words of encouragement in their very challenging environment can feel like water for their thirsty souls. Some have been sick and others deal with unimaginable circumstances on a daily basis, all while trying to make the most of this opportunity for education that you have provided. Pray that God will give you the words they need, and then take 10 minutes of your day to write them down and send them on! The web form makes it so easy to to write a brief note, send some encouragement, and let them know that you’re praying for them.
Your words matter.
Your prayers matter.
You matter in the lives of these children. <3
V127 only exists because of the love, generosity, and prayers of all of you.
Praying God’s richest blessings on you today!
P.S. Who knew this many kids could fit on a seesaw?!