Three new volunteers have now settled in well at Suubi. In a few days time they will be joined by a group of 19 corporate volunteers, who will be in the village for four days to hold a variety of workshops.
Initial communication between interested staff from Kyabram Hospital and the Suubi medical team began during November. It is hoped that this relationship will develop to a point where staff from each medical facility will be able to learn from one another, while still on opposite sides of the world. Over time, we hope medical staff from Kyabram and district will make the life changing trip to Uganda to spend time volunteering at the Suubi Clinic.
The trainers carefully watched over the boys as they prepared soil,
which was then added it to the plastic grafting bags.
Grafts were added to each of the bags.
And then placed under cover to allow them time to establish roots.
By the end of the 6 week training period the boys were able to plant out their seedlings.
Then it was back to Suubi to establish a seedling nursery where they will pass on their new found skills to others.
At the end of the training period, the group was excited to return to Suubi and set up a coffee seedling nursery of their own. During December they have set about training other interested youth in the area in the art of coffee grafting. Once the newly established seedlings have reached the required size, all of the youth will be able to set up their own coffee gardens as a why of generating an income. What a wonderful initiative!
The 2nd annual Suubi music, dance and drama festival was held last Saturday at Kyasonko Primary school. Many of Suubi's partner schools had been waiting a full year, since last years event, to try improve on their performances. They certainly did not disappoint with all participants providing a day filled with rhythm, colour, movement and most importantly, fun for everyone.
Each of the schools were required to perform a poem, folk song, creative dance, traditional dance and short play all of which would educate the audience about the importance of 'Sanitation and health in schools.'
This theme had been chosen for the day after the recent opening of the Suubi Clinic. Staff from Suubi felt it was and ideal opportunity to pass on vital information about the importance of good sanitation and health in schools. Sanitation has a direct impact on the pupils’ academic performances. Poor pit latrine facilities and a lack of provisions for hand washing causes lots of disease including diarrhoea. This can easily then be spread throughout the school YET it is something that can be avoided if facilities are maintained well and proper hygiene is practiced at the school.
The students from the eight participating primary schools (OMDING, Sharon, Kyasonko, Busubi, Kyembazi, Kiswera, Namulanda and Bright Light) did a wonderful job of passing on this message to teachers, fellow students and parents who were thoroughly entertained at the same time!
Sharon Primary School students were an absolute hit with everyone when they preformed their traditional dance. The judges were so impressed they awarded them the winner of that category. They also took out top honours in the creative dance and original song.
Kyasonko Primary school proved to be a stand out with their poem and short play taking out first prize in both these categories.
Children from Omoding Primary school had a wonderful time on the drums as they backed up their fellow student throughout the course of the day.
With scores for each category tallied at the end of the day it was very exciting to see that last years runners up, Sharon Primary School, had been rewarded for all their practise throughout the year. They were awarded the overall winners of the 2nd annual Suubi Music, Dance and Drama Festival.
As was the case last year, a tour and full evaluation of all participating schools was held in the lead up to Saturday's event. A team from Suubi Centre, Jjuuko Richard, Niwamanya Elias and Najjuuko Zakia, were responsible for deciding which school would be awarded with the Best School Garden and Best Sanitation. The school gardens and sanitation facilities at our partner school are playing a vital role in demonstrating how families should do things at home. OMODING Primary school was thrilled to take out the honour in both these categories followed very closely by Kyembazzi. See full results of entire event below.
Students from OMDING Primary School were very proud to get their hands on the Suubi Centre trophy.
Overall Winner: Sharon PS
Traditional Dance: Winner - Sharon PS, Runner Up - Kyembazzi PS
Creative Dance: Winner - Sharon PS, Runner Up -Busubi PS
Original Song: Winner - Sharon PS, Runner Up - Kiswera PS
Poem: Winner - Kyasonko PS, Runner Up - OMDING PS
Short Play: Winner - Kyasonko PS, Runner Up - Kiswera PS
Best School Garden: Winner - OMODING PS, Runner Up - Kyembazzi PS
Best sanitation at a school: Winner - OMODING PS, Runner Up - Kyembazzi PS
With students, teachers and the wider community all having a wonderful time at last Saturdays event, it's terrific to know that the Ugandan's love of music, dance and drama is also helping to educate so many people at the same time.
We can't wait to see what the 2012 Suubi Music, Dance and Drama Festival brings!
Suubi Centre was a buzz with excitement yesterday when a heavily pregnant lady, Nakawooya Immaculate, and her family arrived at the Suubi Clinic.
With Suubi medical staff, Namwanje Florence (midwife) and Jjuuko Richard (doctor), carefully monitoring the mother throughout the day her labour steadily progressed. By mid evening she had produced a beautiful baby boy.
The Suubi medical team excitedly attend to the first baby.
But much to everyone's surprise Immaculate had not finished there. By 10pm a second bundle of joy, another boy, had arrived to join his brother. TWINS!
The very first delivery, at our newly established clinic in the village, was made even more exciting by the fact that TWINS had arrived.
It was indeed fitting that the very first arrival at Suubi Clinic produced twins. This is seen as an extremely special event in Uganda. Wasswa (1st born) and Kato (2nd born), the names traditionally given to twin boys in Uganda and their mum, Nakawooya Immaculate, will take absolute pride of place in our record books. (In case you are wondering, they would have been named Babirye and Nakato respectively if they had been girls.)
The fact that Immaculate had absolutely no prior knowledge that she was going to be having twins really highlights the difference between a mothers pregnancy journey in a third world country and the western world. Here in Australia, mothers would have had regular check ups with the doctor, multiple scans and been closely monitored right throughout her pregnancy. In Uganda, mothers rarely see a doctor during pregnancy, especially those living deep in a village like Lubanda. And to top that off, they often deliver their babies at home by themselves.
So to see Immaculate deliver two healthy (2.9kg) baby boys at a Suubi Clinic is a huge step in the right direction. Lets hope that many other expectant mothers around the area follow her lead.
Immaculate (left) and her husband were surrounded by extended family as they left the clinic with their beautiful, healthy, twin sons!
Check out more photos of the twins here.
Check out the progress so far:
Bags of cement, nails, iron sheets for roofing, bricks and loads of sand were distributed amongst those affected by the storm.
The following sets of photos are examples of homes which received building materials. The first image shows some of the damage caused by the storm, while the second shows what has been achieved since then.
Materials were soon put to use and rebuilding began in ernest.
The community lent a hand to provide labour, particularly helping the elderly who would otherwise struggle to rebuild for themselves.
Recovered materials from damaged structures and those donated were put together to reconstruct people's homes.
Home owners worked beside builders to re-establish a place for their families to sleep again.
After so much discussion took place as to how we would respond when we first heard about the storm, we are thrilled to see that the community in Lubanda has once again shown that they do not merely expect a 'hand out.' We simply provided a small 'leg up' and from there on the amazing community spirit, that often comes to the fore during times of disaster, has swung into action. Family, friends and the wider community have put their hands up help. This has not only helped the rebuilding of the physical structures but it has emotionally lifted the spirits of those affected as they realised they were not alone during such a difficult time.
The health centre structure began being built on December 24th 2010 and opened it doors for health education sessions during July 2011. Check out the Suubi Community Health Centre Photo Gallery to watch the building go up before your eyes or click here to see the clinic in action.
The building had the finishing touched put on during July.
We are very excited to let you know that at the beginning of August we began seeing patients! This means that people in the area no longer have to travel long distances to be treated at a quality health facility. With laboratory facilities available on site, patients can now get an accurate diagnosis without having to leave the village. And should they need treatment which requires being admitted, this is also possible at the Suubi Clinic.
Jjuuko Richard examines one of the first patients at the new Suubi Clinic.
Niwamanya Elias withdraws blood from a patient.
He is then able to use the brand new microscope to make an accurate diagnosis.
This elderly grandmother no longer has to carry her sick grandchild a long distance to be admitted.
Everyone is thrilled to now have the Suubi clinic fully operational. The availability of medical treatment and laboratory testing is a huge step forward for the local community. Having said that, our focus will always be on helping to prevent illness rather than having to provide a cure. Our aim will be on encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle. Ongoing educational workshops will address many health issues including, sanitation, reproductive health, mother and childhood development, nutrition, family planning, malaria and HIV.
Suubi Community Health Clinic is sure to improve the lives of many Ugandans long into the future. Well done and a huge thank you to everyone that has worked tirelessly to make it a reality.
From May 9th through to July 17th, the 2011 volunteers immersed themselves in the Ugandan way of life. Helping out with the final stages of getting the new Suubi Community Health Clinic up and running was a big part of the experience. There were certainly many other exciting activities going on at Suubi during this time as well though. To read all about it you can check it out here.