Uganda Link Project
Dean Close has been partnered with Nyakatukura since 2004, fund-raising for various projects (most recently an electricity generator and two-storey science laboratory block). A group of 20-25 Sixth Formers and Staff visit biennally. Currently the education of 70 orphan children is fully supported by members of the Dean Close school community.
The aim of this project is to enable the development and long-term self-sustainability of this secondary school as well as to provide primary and secondary education to many orphan children who could not otherwise receive an education. The next stage in the development strategy is to complete the building work and to support the recruitment and retention of good teachers. The continuation of our support has been critical to Nyakatukura's success over nearly 15 years and the Ibanda Town community has been supported as a result. Many former pupils remain in Ibanda to work, having received financial support towards their vocational training. Carers of orphan schoolchildren are also supported in local community projects.
A former school parent approached the Dean Close Headmaster in 2004 to ask if he would consider partnering with the Church of Uganda in building and developing a new secondary school to provide accessible education in that part of Ibanda. A volunteer Community Action group of 12 Sixth Formers joined 4 Staff to visit the school in its infancy. Biennial visits have now taken place ever since.
Financial resources, gained through fund-raising, are gathered for building and other projects. Educational equipment (academic text books, sports gear, musical instruments, computers etc.) are taken out on the trips and given to the school.
The benefits of this partnership are assessed through the recognition given by Nyakatukura's Governors and Headmaster, by members of the Church of Uganda, by members of the local community and by the parents/carers of the pupils supported. Letters are received from the supported orphans, which outline how they have benefitted from their schooling. These are received termly. Longer-term success will be achieved when Nyakatukura can become financially self-sustaining.
6-8 Sixth Form pupils meet for an hour each week to plan fund-raising events, in which many (sometimes all) pupils participate. 15-20 Sixth Form pupils go on the biennial summer trips. Some individual pupils become sponsors with the Reachiong Orphans for Care Programme. All Nyakatukura pupils welcome the Dean Close visits and some are at school only because of Dean Close's involvement.
The summer visits happen biennally during July, with the next trip planned for 2019. The school Uganda Group meets for an hour every week during term-time.