More from Marks Journal

May 17 – Uganda –

Eventful days in this beautiful place.

The third orphanage ‘KARASUNDARA’ greeted us with music and dancing, lots of it.

We enjoyed welcome performances from all 7 primary levels, which were generous and heartfelt from these more rural and shy kids. They live in a real form of paradise in the bush, with the farm which supports them and good clean air. There are still many gaps in the system, with 400+ children in the school, it has grown by 30% in the last year.

The teachers are feeling the strain, though for the last three years it has been officially voted the best school in the district. They have needs, around accommodation and resources in the school. I’m trying to work out best who to ask for help to raise the funds to do this… Orphfund are working with the local director Christopher. 
It is real trouble balancing the needs of the many projects: KARASUNDARA has good food cheaply, and needs to share with the more urban projects, while they have less of other resources abundantly available 40 mins away in another world in town.

There is more… I have found 4 trumpet teachers, who can play in a wild, shabby and exciting way, and I have trialled them with the kids. They were GREAT. After an initial awkward moment, where they expected the kids to come to them. In the end they were gentle, accurate and entertaining teachers, as well as their main attributes that they are older guys absolutely endorsed by the local manager Alfonze.

The four teachers are Baptist foot soldiers alongside the angel Alfonze, and I have explained that this is not an opportunity to preach, but to teach trumpet. I think one of the very important things is to make sure these kids are safe, and any musical teaching ability is secondary, though these guys are great. Feels great to hand the trumpet project to good older will remain appropriate with the young trumpeters.

In the meantime, I have been managing health checks for the orphans through MSF (doctors without borders) who supply free health care for children between 10 and 19. More angels… I bitch with a supervisor and a Doctor who have met with Orphfund aristocracy and are seeking a collaboration. Good stuff. Let’s work out how to make this project in KARASUNDARA an international model for successfully extracting the most vulnerable children from extreme poverty and helping them excel, which is a natural progression for them. It seems that they place more value on their education and opportunities than we lucky ones…

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