May 01, 2022

We’re Back!!

After almost two and a half years, a small team was finally able to return to Uganda to spend time with our staff and students. It filled our hearts and souls to be together again. We were able to witness first-hand that HEED did more than survive the pandemic-our team thrived! During the lockdown, they stayed in touch with our students, opened a community clinic, and launched a vocational school. It was pure joy to see these initiatives in person, but the best part was fellowshipping, praying, planning, and just being together. We found programs running effectively, the campuses neat, and buildings well-maintained. At the end of the trip, we took the entire leadership team on a well-deserved retreat at a nice resort on the Nile River to thank them for their commitment and hard work during our long absence.

Our big, happy HEED family

Haley orchestrated a Days for Girls reproductive health training

We were spoiled with generosity from our friends

Julius with Barb and Jill at the rabbit house

At the high school

On the Nile river. The first time for some to be in a boat!

Spared from Forced Marriage

Sylvia is 16 years old and lives with her uncle in the village. When schools were closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, her uncle connived with relatives to arrange a marriage for her in return for a dowry of six cows. She averted the marriage by escaping to live with a relative in Kampala during the almost two-year lock-down. When schools resumed, she returned to the village for school, but her uncle refused to pay any school fees to force her into the marriage.

She shared her dilemma with our team, and we were able to enroll her onto our Scholarship Program. Sylvia now boards safely at high school and continues her education. Our staff reports that Sylvia is a committed Christian and a minister in our church in the village. She is an outstanding leader within the school and on the leadership team for the Scripture Union Club.

Sylvia wants to finish high school, and even dreams to go as far as university. She wants to be a teacher when she completes her studies and make her own choice as far as marriage is concerned.

Thanks for the JOY Provided Through the Amazon Wishlist

Prior to traveling to Uganda in March, we shared an Amazon Wishlist on social media and were heartened by the generosity of so many. Our PE teacher shared that the only equipment he had before our trip was two soccer balls for all 750 students. Not anymore!

Boggling with Uncle Julius

One potato, two potato, three potato, four!

Soccer balls, volley balls, rugby balls = happiness!

More chess sets for the high school chess club

We had 10 soccer balls from Run To Win Outreach and many more from the Wishlist including balls for rugby which our director Julius looks forward to teaching himself. We were loaded with educational games, treats for visitors, preschool mats, and musical sets-all things that are not available in Uganda and enrich the kids’ lives. Thank you for equipping us so well!

News From Our Five Pathways to Transformation

~ Education ~Income Generation ~Spiritual Growth ~ Health ~Water & Sanitation ~

The problems of a community tend to impact children the most. In order to bring fulness of life to our children, we have embraced a holistic approach to community development which includes all the elements a community needs to thrive. 

Read on for updates on programs and activities in each pathway.

Education
We believe in equipping students with practical skills to live healthy, productive lives, and earn a living. The pandemic lock downs increased school drop-out rates, so we introduced vocational training. Eighty-five students from the community aged 16 to 35 years old jumped at the opportunity to learn practical skills when our Vocational Institute opened in November 2021.

Classes are offered in construction, tailoring, hairdressing, computer, agriculture-veterinary, welding, and auto & motorcycle mechanics. All high school students also learn a vocational skill so they have a trade that will allow them to join the workforce or earn money for further studies.

In addition to the 85 students in vocational programs, the primary is equipping 490 students and the high school 260 students. All together, we are privileged to impact 835 lives this year!

Mama Julie and Mama Jill got royal treatment in the hairdressing class

Tailoring is one of the most popular courses offered

The auto mechanic teacher with students

The agriculture-veterinary course teaches climate-wise permaculture farming

Income Generation

At HEED we have this philosophy:

Instead of pity…partnership

Instead of dependency…empowerment

Instead of aid…equipping


Despite the long delay from the pandemic lockdown, our saving circles successfully launched in March with specialized curriculum from Care International. A group of 30 teachers, 30 community members, and 30 students are our pioneer groups. These first 90 leaders will then become trainers to establish new groups.


Business and entrepreneurial training are taught to all saving circle participants to help them successfully start small businesses

High school saving circle kids showing off their savings booklets

Community Managed Microfinance Circles or “Saving Circles” have proven to be one of the most effective avenues to improve livelihoods. For the community group, we have targeted the neediest families who will be given work to do on our demonstration farm to earn funds to save and invest in future business activities with skills learned on the farm.

Thank you for your support of HEED which equips us to bring life-changing programs and trainings like these to our neighbors in Uganda.

Spiritual Growth
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

One of the most encouraging things we experienced on our recent visit to Kyakitanga is the shift from a spirit of despair to one of hope and thankfulness. The heaviness has lifted!

Scripture Union discipleship materials are utilized at both schools and the student-led clubs at both schools are well-attended. The church is full and runs out of seats every Sunday. On the Sunday we were there, the dance-filled worship brought joy all the way to our toes as we tried to follow along. 

Our Pastor Annet is a committed shepherd who cares for six vulnerable children in the single room teacher quarters she occupies. Thanks to a generous donor, a small house with some land for farming near the church was purchased, and once renovations are done, she will have a four-room home.


Primary School Chapel
The new church parsonage is almost completed














Health
Good health is a priceless gift. Thank you to those who have equipped us to open our community clinic. We were connected to the national power grid in March 2022 which allows us to operate our ultrasound machine and improve lab services with a powered microscope and centrifuge machine. Health services that once required expensive travel are now available locally.

Nurse Pamela and Julius cut the ribbon for the clinic dedication

Our clinic serves over 800 students, the staff, and at least 6000 people in our 5-village service area

Nurse Innocent operates the lab

Power allows us to utilize our ultrasound machine which is now the 2nd machine in our district of 400,000 people



Water
Water supply continues to be a challenge for us, but thanks to supporters of the water project in our 2022 Project Catalog, the capture and reserve capacity of both schools was increased and should more closely meet the need. Thank you!

We are hopeful drilling and test pumping for a new well will bring clean water to the community

A new water tap at the primary school

A tank base is being constructed at the high point of our land and will bring water to the clinic, teacher’s quarters, and additional points in the primary campus

An additional 50,000 liters of capacity was added to our rainwater capture & reservoir system

 It is still our hope to help the community have access to potable water, and we have utilized a new technology called Fracture Trace Analysis that identifies fractures in the earth’s crust for potential sources of water. We hope to be able drill a test well at a promising location identified on our land in the next few months. We are praying a large yielding well can be established that will put an end to the community gathering water from ponds shared with animals.

May Prayer Requests and Praises

Ebenezer Medical Center
  • Praise: We bless the Lord for the new centrifuge machine and light box which was purchased by Cross International for this is going to improve our laboratory results. You have blessed us beyond limits.
  • Prayer request: Let’s pray for a lab technician who loves Christ and will serve the community wholeheartedly. Let’s also pray for the good health of Ebenezer children who are reporting on 1st and 2nd of May that the almighty hand of the lord protects them from all infirmities.
 
Primary School
  • Praise: We thank the Lord for the upgraded kitchen at the primary school with its stainless steel servatory and efficient stoves that vent the smoke and save so much wood.
  • Prayer request: We pray that God will provide for our parents so that they're able to pay their school fees for this term.
 
High School & Vocational
  • Praise: We thank God that we are beginning to receive some rain. This comes at a time when we are preparing to receive our students on 2nd May 2022. With enough rains, we will be able to have enough water for our campus and also our parents will be able to have a good harvest. We thank God for the welding equipment and motorcycle so that we can launch welding and motorcycle mechanics in the Vocational Institute.
  • Prayer request: Kindly stand with us in prayer for a new term that begins on 2nd May 2022. We pray for good health for all our students and staff. We also pray that the Lord gives us the wisdom and grace to have an impactful term on the spiritual, academic and social lives of our students.


Kyakitanga Joins the 21st Century!

I NEVER imagined that one day there would be power from the national grid in Kyakitanga or a wireless internet network at our own high school. BOTH of these things happened while our team was in Uganda in March!

Computers donated by Puget Sound Energy are life changing for our high school students

A wireless network was established allowing students to do r esearch and connect to the world outside of Kyakitanga

Because of the development in the area, the government extended power to our schools


Our own Paul Lumala, one of the first HEED kids, managed the installation for us!

Porch lights and a radio came to life at the teacher’s quarters. We had a dance party!

January 24, 2022

The Vocational Learning Institute is Open!

We are excited that on November 1st our Vocational Learning Institute was able to officially open, welcoming 85 new students with more forthcoming. We believe in equipping students with practical skills to live healthy, productive lives, and earn a living. We are offering tailoring, hairdressing computer, agriculture-veterinary, and auto mechanic training. In the future, we would like to add welding and carpentry. Because of the COVID lockdowns, students have largely been out of school since April of 2020. We anticipate that many will feel they have aged-out of high school and feel pressured to begin earning a living. The Vocational offerings will provide an avenue for them to gain skills needed to thrive.