We are happy to announce that two girls stood out as the best candidates in this year’s selection of students for the Fontes Foundation Scholarship Programme. Justine and Zarika are both orphans and live with their guardians in Katunguru. They both showed good academic performance and good attitudes. The donor of Zarika is the same as the donor of Luke Byamukama, whereas the donor of Justine is an individual from Norway. They will join Kichwamba High School in February 2010.
Luke has been supported through the Fontes Foundation scholarship programme since 2008. He is from the Katunguru village, and lost both parents. His guardian did not have money to send him to secondary school, so he kept changing schools until he dropped out and stayed for two years in the village. It was therefore a challenge to get back to studying when he went back to school in 2008. Luke has shown impressive determination and discipline with his studies, and he has now successfully graduated from A-level, which means the last two years of high school in Uganda. We would like to congratulate Luke on his graduation, and we would like to thank his donor from Switzerland for sponsoring him. Luke is now looking for a scholarship to study at Makerere University.
After a generous donation from the Lions Club Nesøya and Balder Foundation (Norway), a water treatment system will be installed in Kashaka, Western Uganda by Fontes Foundation in early 2010. An assessment visit was carried out by Fontes Foundation on the 25th of November 2009. During this visit, the community was informed about the new system, about the installation plans, and about how the system will be run and managed in future. In addition they were able to ask questions and put forward their concerns. In addition, technical data were collected, and water samples taken and tested. It was decided to draw water from the bay on the back of the peninsula, since the water quality is better and there is less risk for contamination. This will decrease operation and maintenance costs in future. Two sites for tap stands were located in the village as well. The whole process was carried out in close collaboration with Sub-County leaders, local leaders and a team from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
In November 2009 the second implementation phase started in Quissanga, where Fontes Foundation installed a water supply scheme funded by the Norwegian oil company Statoil in early 2009. The second implementation phase will first include the construction of four permanent public tap stands, and later the rehabilitation of the colonial water tower that will make it possible to distribute water to the administrative buildings and the population located around them. The construction of all structures is done by a group of artisans from Quissanga district, who registered in a group called “Association of the United Brothers of Quissanga” (Associação Irmãos Unidos de Quissanga), supervised by Fontes Foundation local staff and local government officials.
The new nursery school that entered the CBO in April 2009 is the least advanced in terms of infrastructure and material. Their main request is a classroom building with latrines, and the parents are already working on arranging the necessary land. However, the nursery school project is already engaged with construction works in the two other nursery schools Mama Barbara’s Nursery and Aunt Lucy Nursery School where classrooms and latrines are being constructed. It was still possible to sponsor all students from the new nursery school with uniforms, an important incentive for parents to send students to school.
As a result of a collaboration between Uganda Wildlife Authority, Scan Water AS, NAPS, Rotary Eiksmarka, and Fontes Foundation, an array of solar panels were installed in Kisenyi, south western Uganda, in August 2009. The solar panels provide electricity to the pumps which were earlier powered by a diesel generator. This leads to lower cost in form of reduced fuel expenditures and reduces the wear of the generator. Although protecting the panels against hippos, elephants and thieves is a challenge, we believe this will substantially improve the sustainability of the project.
In the constitution governing the community based organisation (CBO) that is currently managing the support to three nursery schools in Kanungu, it is stipulated that the members of the executive committee sit for two years. Since the two years have already passed, and it was necessary to integrate members from the newly accepted nursery school (Valentine’s Nursery School Kikondeka), elections took place in August 2009. The chairman remains the same, whereas the secretary, treasurer and vice chairman were changed. All new members received training in basic accounting, budget making, recording and reporting.
On the 6th and 7th of August 2009 a water committee training seminar was organised in Kazinga village, funded by Lions Club Slemdal, Oslo, Norway. The aim of the seminar was to train the water committee members from three water supply projects (Katunguru, Kazinga and Kisenyi) in operation and maintenance, basic accounting, community mobilisation and hygiene and sanitation promotion. In addition, the seminar is a unique possibility for the members to share experiences and to discuss with other stakeholders such as local leaders and government in order to find solutions to problems. Fontes Foundation hired a specialist in public health and community mobilisation currently working for Uganda Red Cross Society, Mr. Barigye, to facilitate the seminar, which was a great success.
Through a number of donors, Fontes Foundation sponsored uniforms for all children at Mama Barbara and Auntie Lucy’s Nursery schools in Kanungu. The uniforms were ready for use in June 2009. The two schools currently have more than 200 children. Uniforms are important to motivate parents to send their children to nursery school, and they make the nursery schools more attractive. Children from 2 to 6 years go to nursery school every day during school terms from 8am to 12am, and during these four hours they have some education classes in basic English, reading and writing, mathematics and other basic knowledge such as hygiene. In addition, there is time for playing and a snack break. Most pre-school children in rural Uganda are left with siblings or alone while the parents work in the fields. Students that go to nursery are therefore privileged, because they get attention and new knowledge. In addition, they do much better once they enter primary school.
On April 6th, the water project in Kisenyi, western Uganda, was officially commissioned with a big function. The project has been running for about 1 year and 4 months, but recent improvements to the settlement tank and a tap stand gave the opportunity to an official party. The project in Kisenyi was mainly funded by Eiksmarka Rotary Club in Norway, and representatives from the Rotary Club in Bushenyi were present. District and local leaders were there, and also the water committees from the neighboring villages Katunguru and Kazinga. The guest of honour was the local Member of Parliament, Hon. Tindamanyire. Four members of the Koestler family were also present. The party for the local community lasted until morning hours, and the event even made it into the largest national newspaper in Uganda. Another improvement of the project is underway, with solar panels to power the water pump supported again by Rotary Eiksmarka in Norway. The installation of solar panels will drastically reduce the operation cost of the water project for the community, and will increase the sustainability.