30 March 2008

A commentary from Springs Alive Children's center on the visitors from roath Park


18th Feb. 2008 by Francis omia of springs alive children's centre, sebbi village, kakiri, wakiso district.

The week 17th to 23 February saw a lot of activity in the usually quiet sebbi village in wakiso district. All week long the pupils had been practicing "God save the queen" in preparation for visitors from roathpark primary school and the welcome song, "are welcome our loving visitors, we are happy to receive you, my heart, my happiness………" am sure by now the youngsters from roathpark could have learnt this song from Simon one of the teachers from roathpark he seemly liked it a lot to the extent of singing it along with the pupils of springs alive.

With all the gifts from roathpark, the visitors were not so disappointing however it was not until the pupils were shown scholastic materials such as sharpeners, pencils, rubbers and books that they were thrown into a frenzy shouting at the top of their voices "twafunye obusongola ekaalamu, twawonye gilita" literally meaning we have now got sharpeners, we are saved from razor blades. On translating this to Julian from roathpark, he got visibly moved by the plight of these pupils and went on to ask Francis who is a staff of the school about two youngsters aged around 9 and 10 standing at the school boundary watching all the excitement. When told that these donot not have the opportunity to be at springs alive children's center in their neighborhood is a free school, neighborhood here can mean 5 to 10 kms some pupils walk over 5kms to school every day and if chanced eat sugar cane for break. The visitors had a go at the sugar cane and could not peel the cover; you know Whiteman's teeth are so weak.

Back to where we were, on learning about the two unlucky youngsters at the boundary, Julian immediately picked two jumper shirts and went over to the school boundary, on receiving the jumpers the two youngsters dashed off like they had been sent away. For us in Africa it's unbelievable to be given anything in such manner even the used clothes and shoes sent to Africa find their way to shops where they are sold at exorbitant prices, almost anything goes in Africa because there is so much need.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts at roathpark, the pupils of springs alive are to be built a classroom block, the old classroom blocks have been repaired and painted. You can imagine how much more would do for these hopeless orphans who lost their parents to the civil war and HIV aids that have ravaged this part of the world. Since the vistors left we are overwhelmed by inquires of children wanting to join the school,

In our culture when you are given something the best form of appreciation is to give back so the staff (martin, Francis and Teddy) and pupils of springs alive have become restless since receiving all these gifts from roathpark, mind you this is supposed to be a partnership . The art and crafts class decided that they make banana fiber balls and teddies for the visitors to travel back with to roathpark primary school. Understand they liked the balls. This is just the beginning of the partnership, the pupils of Springs Alive children's center want to exchange letters and share experiences with the youngsters of roathpark. Unfortunately, springs alive children's center is still striving hard to get solar electricity or get connected to national power grid so that they can have classroom to classroom interaction. Can you imagine the children's center could not get the video conferencing equipment as promised by roathpark because of this electricity problem? Staff from springs alive children's center would like to visit roathpark primary shool and learn from their experiences since they are over century old as compared to the 3 year old African school as well as share with them experiences from this part of the world.

Thanks to roathpark primary school, to the pupils, to parents, Moira, Collin, Simon, Julian, Kathy and others for the great love you have shown to our children in seebi village.


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