LETS GET THE TEENAGERS TALKING: Impact Through Peers
‘More than 85% of adolescents in Mbarara municipality (Uganda) get their health related information from peers’. (MUST pediatrician, D. Nansera (BMJ 2007 )
A community based organization, HEADA Uganda, has been voluntarily giving health talks to adolescents in four secondary schools in Mbarara Municipality. The enthusiastic response from students and teachers to these talks, coupled with recent events in Mbarara resulting from bullying, lead to design of the Impact Through Peers project.
This project will work with 6 secondary schools and train 6 Peer Group Trainers to work with the students. The students will be supported as they work with their peers and discuss different topics every month. Topics will include: Life Skills I & II, Reproductive health I,II & III, Sexuality, Career Planning I & II, Gender, Leadership skills, Environmental Issues and Stigma/Bullying
At the end of the twelve sessions, an exhibition will be organized with presentations from students to spread information on peer groups and engage the whole school population.
The Hillman Medical Education Fund of Rose Charities has provided the funding funding for “IMPACT THROUGH PEERS ” Project in Uganda
The Hillman Fund of Rose Charities will fund the participation of a Ugandan student in an International Colloquium ‘Many Voices One Song” on Health Promoting Schools at Stellenbosch University in November 2011 .
Alex is in his final year of training at Makerere University (MUK) Medical School and a graduate of the Brighter Smiles Africa program, which is our Ugandan school-based Health Promotion initiative that has been delivered successfully for the last 6 years through a partnership between the Faculties of Medicine at Makerere and the University of British Columbia, with the following three principal objectives:
To improve the health knowledge and determinants of health of rural Ugandan children through a school-based health promotion program delivered collaboratively by MUK College of Health Sciences undergraduates with teachers engaged and supported in community schools.
To provide previously unavailable opportunities for Ugandan Medical School trainees to experience valid community-based learning opportunities, through attachment in rural communities, and involvement in developing and delivering preventive health education, and
To foster international collaboration and mutual learning, in the context of improving child health globally, and to build capacity at MUK in educational program evaluation and research.
The international colloquium has been planned in recognition of the success of the Ugandan health promoting school (HPS) initiative, and will bring together international exerts and workers in the field to synthesize their key experience and evaluation of HPS models, and develop a manual for others to use to set up comparable programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
After attending the colloquium Alex will work with us in the week afterwards on preparing the “How to” manual for starting programs in other schools in Sub-Saharan Africa. His reprise of his workshop presentation, and being there to join the discussion groups, will contribute a great deal to the understanding of other participants about the unique educational opportunities for medical students afforded by participation in community-based child health promotion programs in schools.
Stand Tall Education – Uganda. Teaching more than just education !!
“Stand Tall Education Network is a non-profit organization composed of a group of educators and social entrepreneurs from Uganda and Canada that have come together through common goals and shared beliefs regarding education. We believe that the most effective education is one that trains young minds to think ‘out of the box’, make choices, and ask questions – necessary qualities for successful leadership and innovation. Our approach follows a style of teaching that is referred to as ‘child centered learning’ which has been widely embraced in the West. It involves interaction between student and teacher rather than the traditional lecture and listen approach”.
Dr Andrew McNab’s wonderful project. Andrew also runs health projects in Kampala. http://africanhears.ca
This was a month of accomplishments. Below are only some of the value additions to our very special school. Stand Tall is much more than just a free school with nice buildings. As we grow, we continue to add educational programs that are designed to enhance and individualize the learning experience. Our children continue to grow in confidence, creativity and academic ability. Guided by our well-trained staff of teachers, these children are blossoming into their own. As one student wrote, “I love Stand Tall because it has made me what I am”. How exciting.
In less than a year of operation, Stand Tall Training Centre has attracted diverse groups of people from within and outside of the country. The relevancy of an education that enhances Teacher/Student interaction and creative learning practices is being continuously appreciated. We acknowledge with thanks the many resource persons with various skills, teachers and volunteers who have come in to work with us.
At Stand Tall, we cherish practical skills alongside academic education. We call upon you to join hands and support the disadvantaged children as we cannot do better without you. Any contribution counts, however humble it may be.
Gerald is our newest member of the Stand Tall team and our financial consultant. He is an accounting wizard and organizational expert and we are all grateful to have him here once a week monitoring our expenses and keeping us on budget.
Our one -day-old chicks are adjusting to their new surroundings.
They will ‘brood’ for two weeks in a heated box before being let loose in the coop.
We bought the local variety of chicken for its superior resistance to disease. The children will be learning the process from vaccinating to feeding from our neighbor and our experienced Principal.
HEALTH CARE DAY
Many thanks to Festus, Nurse Maria and Josephus for presenting our children with an afternoon worth remembering. The children were completely focused on the short film about Sexually Transmitted Disease and Festus, the presenter, had just the right mixture of humor and facts to keep the kids engaged and listening. We are grateful to him for presenting a difficult subject in a most accessible manner.
Josephus continued with the theme of HIV prevention and warned the children of the dangers of STDs.
Nurse Maria ended the afternoon with a demonstration on tooth brushing and dental health care. She also did a stellar job of keeping the children attentive and smiling.
The afternoon ended with the distribution of dental kits to each child. Dr. Angelina Loo of Vancouver generously donated the kits. There was so much excitement as the children lined up and waited their turn to receive a kit.
FRUIT TREE SEEDLINGS
Thanks to a generous donation from Claudie and Gary Snarch on behalf of their newborn nephew, we have purchased 41 fruit bearing trees.
They include papaya, orange, mango, avocado, macadamia, and guava. With a two-year maturity date, we can expect our grounds to look like a garden very soon, not to mention the benefit to our bellies
WELCOME TO THE BOARD, JOSEPHINE
We are very happy to announce that our Uganda Board has a new member, Josephine Buruchara from Kampala, Uganda. She is highly skilled and is sure to be a valuable asset to our Board. For more information on Josephine, visit www.standtalleducation.org.
WE’VE GOT A REAL COMPUTER LAB
Hello generous donors! You have made our computer lab a reality.
Our next purchase will be a projector as soon as we get the funds and then we are really on our way! There are so many educational DVDs we want to show them.
- We’re really getting there and the children are totally fixated on learning computer language. We still need more equipment but we are much closer to our goal. Now, how to keep them from discovering the app store.
SKYPE CALL TO MOLDOVA
Wow, Wow, Wow – the kids got to talk to children in Moldova thanks to PEDN, a Ugandan organization that focuses on improving education and administers the world wide Aflatoun program here in Uganda. Among many other things, Aflatoun promotes chlld saving , child empowerment and global interaction among fellow Aflatouners. So where is Moldova, anyway? Moldova is a small country bordering Romania and once a part of Russia but now independent.
The children were enthralled and so were we.
ART AND MORE ART
Art always speaks for itself…….
Nootka Elementary in Vancouver sent 36 pen pal letters to Stand Tall learners and now Stand Tall has answered. Among the questions asked “Do you have snow in Uganda?” and “Do you have computers at your school?”. The dialogue continues…
IT’S A PARTY
Sweet hugs from the children of Stand Tall to my wonderful mother, Cely Schouela, who donated a big, creamy and very chocolaty cake for our school party celebrating my birthday. I was truly spoiled by the songs, dance, speeches and the wonderful presents. I received fruits, eggs, vegetables, bead necklaces, bags, a gorgeous penholder, money, a wallet and a live rabbit! Thank you!
And finally Zanzibar….. What does Zanzibar have to do with Stand Tall? Absolutely nothing but I couldn’t pass up posting some photos of this incredibly beautiful and exotic place.
P E A C E
March is bringing a lot of changes to Stand Tall Training Centre. Ssimbwa, our Principal, and I have been putting our heads together to decide what we need, when to get it and how far our budget will take us.
Our grounds are getting greener even with the lack of rain. With a couple of good rainfalls we should see the grass filling in. We are waiting for the rainy season to plant some young trees, and some vegetables. Our chant, “Rain, Rain, come and stay, keep coming backing every day”
The barbed wire finally went on the perimeter wall adding to the security. We bought and installed 4 fire extinguishers.
We now have a full school with 90 children. The 9 newcomers were admitted this term after interviews and testing were conducted. We have ordered more dining tables, class tables, and chairs to accommodate.
The computer lab is being outfitted with more computers (we still need more). We added more security by welding additional bars on the windows and we are researching how best to deal with the frequent electrical brown outs. We bought cloth covers to protect our computers from the very invasive red dust. Our most pressing need right now is to open a well-stocked and working computer lab, and soon the children will be more tech savvy than us, we hope
At Stand Tall, we are enthusiastic and committed to offering a program that emphasizes critical thinking, child participation, vocational training, art and health education.
Dixon Ampumuza, from the Razor Newspaper, is now coming in once per week as part of our Newspapers in Education Program to work with the children and teachers on interesting and fun ways to incorporate the newspaper as a learning tool. The children elected their own officials from President to Sports Editor and are setting up reading corners in the classroom.
Philip Mujubi. a professional craftsperson and artist in Kampala, has been volunteering at the school once per week teaching weaving and tie and dye to the younger groups. Our goal is to have several students work alongside him in his workshop for more in-depth training. This is a great opportunity to hone a skill and earn some money from products sold.
Festus Bazira, an experienced educator, has volunteered, accompanied by a nurse, to show an AIDS/HIV film and conduct a sex education talk with our older children, followed by a demonstration and talk for the whole school on general hygiene, and dental health. We are very grateful for his participation and look forward to Friday, March 11.
Expect to see many little chicks running around because we are about to start building our chicken coop. the children will learn immunization and caring techniques and will collect the eggs. Lunch is going to get even better!
A Great Big Thanks
Our rapid progress is due to our generous and concerned donors. Without them, none of this would be possible.
Liliane Aberman for donating the money for the chicken coop. The coop is in memory of her late husband, Samuel Aberman, who was an exemplary man and a passionate hobby farmer.
Dr. Angelina Loo for donating funds for 90 dental kits to be distributed next week after our health education day.
The children of Nootka Elementary School and their teachers Erin and Claude for raising the funds for our first 100 chickens and for writing wonderful penpal letters to 36 of our learners. Our children are working hard on responding.
The children of Trudeau Elementary and their teacher Meredyth for raising money towards one computer. What a wonderful gift!
Claudie Snarch for a donation in honor of her new nephew to buy much needed seeds and trees. We’re just waiting for the weather to cooperate.
Arts and Crafts
The children love making things; only ending the class is hard.
Kerry Spearing, our upcoming volunteer
Stand Tall welcomes visitors and we seem to be blessed with many interested guests.
February and March has brought us:
Pat Montani, and Thian Hundert from Bicycles for Humanity organization
Fred Oola from The Child is Innocent organization
Festus Bazira from Volset Foundation
Montana and Ainsley from WMI’s Women’s Microfinance Organizaton
Abdul from African Hearts Organization
Our local reverend from Kira Parish