28 October 2008

A BUSINESS OR A VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE?

The way Springs Alive Children's Centre (SPACC) started was a result of the need that was in the surrounding community. Many children used and still remain in their homes; some children who are able bodied are taken to do field work. The incapacity of these children's going to school is mainly as a result of the guardians and parents of these children saying they cannot afford the school fees of the nearby schools, let alone the long distances these children travel, the hunger the children have to endure all the day while at school, to mention but a few. SPACC was started with the objective of meeting some of the needs of these children, including, Educating them and where possible avail vocational skills.I have been telling people who think that SPACC is among the several businesses that have come up to compete with other schools, this is, as usual business of all sort tends to be having competitors and economically this is termed as healthy, even in politics, a Nation to be termed democratic has to have Multi disciplines.


I have told people who think we are competitors with them, that even if SPACC was not in existence, that is, if Springs Alive stopped having children at SPACC, still there would be need for this kind of service in our community. We are here to work together, to reach out to those who are incapable and not to be viewed as a threat, who works toward having other schools bring their children to our school, wanting them to close their businesses etc. Within Springs Alive as an Organization, we have come up with several Divisions, these include; Education Division, Peace and Conflict studies Division, Health Division, Research Division, Environment Division and Collaboration Division.It's within the Education Division that Springs Alive has developed links with several Educational Institutions as a way of being supportive to each other. In this way Springs Alive Education Division makes links with willing Educational Institutions in order to enhance learning from each other even with the international linkages SPACC creates.SPACC with its humble setting has continued to thrive, “a day at a time” and this is mainly attributed to the support Wakiso District Administration has given Springs Alive, even as far as recommending Springs Alive management to make links with the Centre Coordinating Tutor (CCT) Office with which we at SPACC intend to set up an exchange learning centre as a way of promoting learning exchange. The roles of the CCT are in the linkThe CCT office is within operating catchment as SPACC and we have together purposed to work hand-in-hand so that Educational levels in our community are uplifted.It isn't surprising that such kind of initiative is often being welcomed in many different localities, given the kind of development Uganda as a Nation is in.


The chairman Springs Alive on many occasions has been approached in order to have such an idea in other localities and has sighted financial constraints, no logistical support yet for Springs Alive to support such initiatives, as some of the barriers. We always keep record of such interactions and given time Springs Alive will be able to reach them.Among the few we have reached out, which we are still developing and working on closely include; starting a business research centre with Multitech Business School(we created multitech blog check it on http://www.multitech-mbs.blogspot.com) we have had an interaction with Kigoogwa Brain Trust Senior Secondary School, we also have high hopes of having an integration with OTA(Outreach to Africa)-on supporting needy students and children.

WATCH THIS SPACE

Our Prayers Have Been Answered

Praise God, On October 27 a generous donation was received from Roath Park School. We are very grateful for the continued efforts of Roath Park to help us improve classroom conditions for our students. We hope they will visit soon and see first hand how carefully and intentionally we have managed their donations improving the quality of life for the children in our community.

Community Initiative



Efforts to sustain Springs Alive require the hard work and dedication of even the smallest members. Shown here, building with brick and a papyrus classroom.

THE LATEST FROM SPRINGS ALIVE CHILDREN’S CENTRE(SPACC)

In a struggle to construct a classroom at Springs Alive Children’s centre (SPACC), after Roath Park visitors gave some gifts to SPACC which included scholastic materials eg.pens, pencils, rulers, sharperners, colour pencils, text books, a laptop computer, balls for soccer and rugby, clothes, dolls and some money to embark on a few renovations, many people have been wondering how we are progressing with such breakthrough SPACC achieved.
  • SPACC has continued to support Education in this area given all hurdles we pass through.Parents, guardians and the children look at this school with good hope of thriving.
  • Some of the money has been used as follows:
  1. There was a garage which had been built long ago but wasn’t yet roofed. This is now roofed and inhere we now have nursery classes ie.baby, middle and top class all study from here.
  2. There was an old classroom block, which has been repaired. In this classroom block we now have P.5 and P.3 study in the same room, after demolishing the wall which was in the middle of this class that was preventing enough fresh air to come in and also create enough room for one class just in case, in future we built more classes. The other separate room on this same block, which used to be the black room, the nickname Julian and Simon gave it after seeing it(originally this room used to be a kitchen) in which P.5 used to study, after it was refurbished has once been used as a teacher’s residential house, in which 2 teachers used to sleep. We had to tell the teachers to rent a house, now the room is sometimes either used by Primary 4 or Primary 2.
  3. We also used some money to start on building the foundation for the new classrooms with the hope that if our friends from Roath Park added us more money, we would get somewhere with the building. We were asked by our friends from Roath Park to give them the total cost of what it would take to complete the whole new classroom building. Then the work was halted because this needed us to get someone who was technical in this field to write for us a “bill of Quantity”.
  4. We now have a reduced number of 3 classes still studying in papyrus made classes(they have no classroom yet) ie.P.1,P.2 and P.4(the picture is attached) and Nursery class still study together in the Garage ie.Baby class, Middle class and Top class.
PUPILS AND PARENTS ENGAGE SPACC:
In one of the recent parents and teacher’s meeting, it was agreed that parents, teachers and SPACC pupils who can, should once in a while come together and make local bricks made from soil, in order to make a contribution toward what Roath Park did. The parents and teachers saw it a challenge, Roath Park coming all the way from UK in Europe to give support to an insignificant school in Uganda (East Africa).In one of the pictures you can see children making a pile of the made bricks to prevent them from getting spoilt; mainly by rain.
The Parents, teachers and pupil’s involvement to make these bricks, which are affordable to them, has been a positive sign and as a way of being appreciative to what our Roath Park friends did for SPACC. At SPACC we have told the teachers, parents and pupils that much as the work is at a stand still, there is great hope of moving forward and we will try any means possible to see to it that the situation improves. We have thus kept these people’s morale high not to get discouraged, some have thought we are using such tactics in order to lure children to SPACC .We have appealed to the parents and guardians that we will need their support when the building resumes although once in awhile you can’t miss getting a funny comment. One such funny words that the people here in Uganda use to imply promising something and you don’t deliver, is KIWAANI” literally meaning that we promise air or we are corrupt liars. Recently one member of Springs Alive was making suggestions as regards the way we should be doing some things at SPACC and a teacher was heard retorting KIWAANI”.The teachers were being advised to work with morale. Indeed at SPACC we have encumbrances in regard to having teachers at this centre given the fact that these teachers are paid very little money, many children at SPACC fail to pay the little money asked them and they cannot be compelled if they fail to pay, this continues to be a big challenge since there are no means yet to sustainably cater for this. Also where we have dug the foundation, there used to be a banana plantation, people have been heard saying that by now we would have ate the matooke that were slashed while clearing the site to set up the new classrooms. Such comments have existed because local people think that we use such occasions to entice more children to join SPACC.
Putting that aside, there is need for room to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of children that is presented at SPACC. When Roath park asked us to tell them how much it would cost to complete the building, we wrote a bill of quantity and posted it to them and we are of the hope that we will soon receive good news from them.
We have also requested our Roath Park friends to do what they can in order that at least a classroom can be built. We still have a promise from them, which we are still waiting for in order to quell the unrest of inquisitive people who we had given a lot of assurances given that we had great hope from Roath Park.
Before the Roath Park visitors came to SPACC, Springs Alive had not yet developed capacity even to show that we could use a video conferencing kit which was one of the items Roath Park people where to give us if we had electricity at SPACC and since the Roath Park people had previously sent to us an advance party, we are sure they must have briefed Roath Park back in Wales how insignificant we were. This gave us much food for thought and as Springs Alive the CBO (Community Based Organization) we have had to sort ourselves out and we’re sure if Roath Park people were to come back now they would be mesmerized of the encounters we have established.
It’s our prayer that at SPACC, we keep a good name with all our links wherever they maybe. May the good LORD bless you.