Rihamu Primary School is still recovering after the recent floods.
The toilets have finally been drained and one of the classrooms is in the process of being rebuilt. We have also been able to offer some support to those who were displaced by the floods
The Project would like to thank everyone who have donated money, we will try to keep you updated on the progress at the school.
Our Ugandan Director, Ronnie, recently travelled to Queen Elizabeth National Park with the mission of checking on our Ranger and Teachers colleagues and see for himself the impact that Covid is having on the National Park, our partner schools, and the local community.
One of the biggest issues for Queen Elizabeth National Park is the lack of tourists. This greatly impacts upon our colleagues whose focus is servicing the needs of visitors, such as accommodation and catering staff.
Many of these have been sent home and receive no pay, and of course there are no alternative jobs available at this time.
Thankfully most the Rangers are still being paid but having to maintain the workforce without visitor income is a big drain of the financial resources of the Park.
Even with the lack of tourists, the task of protecting wildlife has to carry on, so anti-poaching patrols continue as does the monitoring of wildlife populations.
Obviously it’s not just Park staff who are affected by the lack of tourism. The local shops, lodges, safari companies, eating establishments all rely on a throughput of visitors, so many people are desperate for the end of Covid and the return of tourists.
Ronnie wants to point out that there are very few alternative income earning opportunities for the local people.
As you can imagine our partner schools are also feeling the consequences of Covid.
Although most state schoolteachers are still being paid their salaries, teachers at privately run schools like Rihamu are not.
Rihamu Primary school caters for some of the poorest children in the town of Kasese and Headteacher Huda Shalika is concerned that many of her teachers will not return when things get back to normal.
Ronnie spoke to some of the pupils at Rihamu and learnt that all of the children he spoke to were really keen to return to school, but of course some were concerned that their parents would not be able to afford school fees, and also that there might not be any teachers left at that school.
Ronnie also spoke with Headteacher Thembo Steven from Kafuro Primary School and Teacher Baryaruha Ramathan from Katunguru Primary School both shared the same concerns about the long-term effect on the pupil’s education and their life chances.
They were also worried about how many children would return to school, having got use to staying at home and in some cases working on family small holdings, fishing and other activities.
Both teachers talked to Ronnie about the need to improving the way children are educated and suggested that alongside their academic studies it was important to give young people in other life skills including developing ideas such as teaching cooking, basket making and carpentry.
The Queen Elizabeth Parks Project is keen to support these ideas and will be looking at ways to support this.
Ronnie did say that it was not all doom and gloom though, some of the Park staff based at Mweya had made great improvements to the ever-popular Tembo Canteen and Ronnie also was able to view the new classroom that has been built at Rihamu Primary School, the construction of which was supported by teachers, parents, and pupils from their partner school Hambledon Primary in the UK.
And if you would like to donate to the Project please click on the donate button.
The Thin Green Line Foundation and the Queen Elizabeth Parks Project will be working together to provide Ranger Care Boxes for over 100 Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers.
TGL are supplying most of the funds and the Project will support the procurement and delivery of the boxes.
Ranger Care Boxes provide some basic equipment such Mosquito Nets, Sleeping Bags, First Aid Kits & other items which will make field patrols a bit easier.
You can find out more about the Ranger Care Boxes by visiting Thin Green Line's website and you can support
this initiative by using the donate button now.
Three of our school twinning partnerships have once again been successful in attracting support fom the British Council 'Connecting Schools' programme. It is hoped that exchange visits will take place in the first half of 2021, CV19 permitting!