We are thrilled to announced that, thanks to some amazingly generous Aussies, Suubi Centre has this year been able to offer scholarships for two young Ugandans to follow their dream to study education and nursing. Recently two very excited youth in Kamoga Najib and Nakalanda Sarah were selected to receive this honour. They will shortly begin studying teaching and nursing respectively over the next three years.
The education scholarship was the first to be awarded. Kamoga Najib was thrilled to hear the news from Suubi Centre Director, Ssemwogerere David.
Nakalanda Sarah was then selected to receive the nursing scholarship. Her mother, Nakabuubi Safina watched on proudly as David congratulated Sarah on being chosen.
Najib has grown up in Lubanda Village and his family has been very involved with everything that goes on at Suubi since its inception. Sarah on the other hand is from the neighbouring village of Buziranduulu and is still learning about the various opportunities that Suubi has to offer. Both are very keen to return to the village when their study is complete so they can share their skills and help to support Suubi Centre and the community which has given them this wonderful opportunity.
Many of you will also have been watching over the last few months as we have been renovating a local home in the village to convert into staff quarters for our medical staff. We are thrilled to let you know that it is now complete and some of the staff have recently moved in.
Elias, (L) out laboratory technician and Eunice, (R) our nurse/midwife were thrilled to move into the new Suubi staff quarters.
A house warming party was enjoyed by all as they celebrated moving in.
As the house is situated close to the clinic it will make life for the staff considerably easier, particularly when patients require them during the night. Also with Lubanda Village being in such a remote location, this quality accommodation will enable us to continually attract high quality staff to work at our clinic.
On January 19th Lois Pollock, an inspirational Australian lady who has been visiting and working in Uganda for the past 18 years, came to Suubi to conduct a training session for the wonderful Memory Book Project. The project, which begun many years ago, had been set up by one of her friends, Carol Lindsay Smith, a now retired social worker from Barnardo's. It originated for use in the UK with families who were confronting the death of a parent from HIV/AIDS to help them to talk with their children about their history. It then morphed into a project for Africa and started in Uganda about 12 years ago. Although it has been used in all kinds of remote areas across Uganda in the past, Carol and Lois have recently been striving to spread it to new areas.
After a chance meeting with Lois we were thrilled when she offered to come and run a training day at Suubi Centre. She was joined by her Ugandan counterpart, Maureen Mugisha and they set about training a small cross section of the local community who will now go on to train others in the surrounding area.
A small cross section of the local community was chosen to participate in the Memory Book training which was held at Suubi.
Lois and Maureen guided the Suubi participants and explained how to show others how to write down important information for their children. This including family history, traditions, personal information and important contacts. In fact parents are encouraged to add whatever they want their child to know once they have gone, including photos and/or drawings. In a culture that has so few records, each Memory Book is sure to become an important and treasured item for many local families in the future.
The group that participated in the Memory Book Training at Suubi will now go to train others in the area.
Lois's son, Lindsay, who is a documentary maker also filmed some of the training which was held at Suubi. They are hoping to put together and up-to-date promotional piece which Suubi may feature in at some point in the future but until then you may like to take a look at a short film that explains beautifully how well the whole Memory Book concept works.
Having visited Suubi Centre in January 2012, Loretta Grecko was inspired to return this year with a group of seven university development students from Australia. Izzy, Jay, Satoko, Ash, Aaron and Daniel joined Loretta to spend five days at Suubi as part of their three week tour of Kenya and Uganda.
There was much excitement in the village as the Aussie team held a variety of workshops which had been organised for a wide cross section of the community. Young children, youth and adults in the community all were able to find a workshop to suit them. These included baking, art, tie dying, drama, keyboard, and chess. It was lots of fun for everyone, while at the same time passing on many new skills to all who participated.
Prior to arriving at Suubi the Aussie group donated money which helped to purchase an oven for the Centre. A bakery project, for the youth in the village, had been on the drawing board from some months but the cost of the oven had been holding it back. Imagine the excitement when it actually arrive at Suubi.
The Suubi youth were thrilled to see the bakery oven arrive at the Centre.
The new oven really got put to great use as Aaron and Izzy held bakery workshops for both pizza and cake making. With these skills added to those the Suubi youth had already gained, via a locally run entrepreneurship training last year, it is hoped that some of them will now be able to make an income by selling delicious bakery goods to people in the village and at Suubi Centre.
Aaron with some of the Suubi youth as he explained how to prepare pizzas.
Then it was into the oven for cooking.
Trying out the finished product was popular with everyone!
The tie dying classes which Jay held were popular with both the ladies and youth. Some of the ladies had previously tried tie dying so it was terrific to have these skills refreshed. Now that there are more people familiar with this versatile art form, perhaps some of them may like to work together to make things that can help to create an income for themselves too.
Jay's tie dying workshop in the training hall was filled to capacity.
The ladies were pleased with the brightly coloured designs they were able to make.
Many of the teenage youth were also keen to participate in art classes that were conducted by a Ugandan artist, Hellen, who is currently studying art at university in Kampala. With so many people at Suubi for the other workshops this was an ideal time for Hellen to pass on her skill to those in the village too.
Hellen watched over the participants in the art workshop. Perhaps some of them will be inspired to follow in her footsteps to make art their career.
Those with musical or drama interests were also catered for as Satoko held keyboard lessons and Ash a drama workshop. Although the keyboard is not associated with traditional African music, many of the youth in the village dream of becoming hip hop artist, while others of becoming actors or entertainers. You never know, we may just see one of these guys name up in lights one day!
Budding hip hop stars were thrilled to have Satako teach them keyboard skills.
Ash held drama sessions that combined both modern and traditional elements.
The final two workshops that were conducted may not directly lead to an income or career but Daniel's chess workshop will certainly help expand the minds of those who took part, while Izzy's scrap booking class, for the children, was lots of fun. These books will also be a wonderful keepsake for kids who otherwise have very little record of what has happen during their childhood.
Small groups of youth took the opportunity to learn how to play chess from Daniel.
The kids had lots of fun with Izzy as the put together their scrapbooks.
The volunteers time at Suubi was concluded with an exhibition and showcase which many people from the village attended. This gave workshop participants the chance to show every one what they had being doing and talk about the new skills they had learnt from various workshops.
The chess boys had to concentrated hard as they played in front of the big group of interested onlookers.
Some of Issy's group proudly showed off the scrapbooks they had made.
The drama group were happy to perform in front the big crowd.
Artwork and tie dye was also displayed and pizza and cake, which had been cooked by the bakery group, was shared amongst the crowd. To top it all off, DJ Mike pumped out some tunes which saw both volunteers and villagers dancing the night away.
So, as you can see, the five days that Loretta and her group spent at Suubi were a huge success. An enormous thank you goes to all of them and also to Ssemwogere David and the Suubi staff for organising everything before and during their time at the Centre. The volunteers will long be remembered and the bakery oven and the skills they left behind will continue to have a positive impact on the community well in to the future.
World AIDS Day is held on 1st December each year in countries right across the globe. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.
Suubi Centre recently participated in this event, at a district level, at a function which was held at Kyazanga Town council in Lwengo District, Uganda. The day started with a march past around the area. Proceedings then moved to a number of educational performances about HIV/AIDS that were staged by various school choirs and other entertainment groups.
A march past around Kyzanga Town Council started off the day's event.
Suubi Centre partner school, OMODING Primary School, was one of those to perform educational items about HIV/AIDs awareness.
The chief guest for the day was the Honourable Minister for Health and Education, Lwengo District, Mr. Matovu Willy. He and many other officials gave speeches throughout the day. Suubi Centre Director, Ssemwogerere David was chosen to speak on behalf of all organisations working in Lwengo District, under the District NGO/CBO forum, about HIV services currently being offered in the area.
Many of these organisations such as Suubi Centre, Uganda Cares, World Vision and Nakesero Blood Bank exhibited their AIDs services and carried out free HIV/AIDS testing and counselling services on site on the day.
Suubi Centre Director, Ssemwogerere David, spoke on behalf of all NGO's in the area about the services available.
Suubi Clinic was proud to recently participate in CHILD DAYS PLUS which is an international exercise promoted by WHO, UNICEF and line ministries in respective countries.
Up to date Child Days Plus has been mainly implemented by the Governments Health facilities. However, after undertaking accreditation by Kiwangala Health Centre 4, a Government facility in Lwengo District, Suubi Clinic qualified to administer this year's October Child Days Plus initiatives.
Suubi Clinic staff, Namwange Florence and Nalukenge Annet carried out this exercise in three of our partner schools, i.e Bright Light Primary School, Lubanda Primary School and Buyiki Muslem Primary School.
Administering tetanus shots to girl students from Bright Light Primary school.
Younger students were given dewormers and vitamin A supplements.
It is hoped that the Child Days Plus initiatives will be expanded into include all Suubi partner schools in April of 2013.