Stephen Jota School
In the Summer of 2008, Miss King, Mrs Park and Berni our family worker – visited the Stephen Jota Children’s Centre in Uganda at the beginning of the summer holidays. The purpose of the trip was to become more familiar with the work that is going on out there and to decide if and how we as a school could support this work into the future.
The school has about 400 children, all of whom live in the very poor neighbouring villages or are from the “slum” areas. About half of these children have no parents and live in the school’s hostel. The children are incredibly well behaved with about 66 children in each class! The children are focused and work very hard, the school provides them with not only an excellent education but also aims to increase their self confidence and their Christian spiritual well being. The secondary schools that the children move on to always comment how different the Stephen Jota children are – much like our local secondary schools also make this comment about St John’s children!
There are a number of ways I feel we could support the children of Stephen Jota’s school:
- Sponsorships: The school does not receive any money from the government – as is the case for most Ugandan schools – and therefore relies on sponsorship. Each child at Stephen Jota’s school needs a sponsor. So far about half of the children have sponsorship. We brought back the names and details of 25 children needing sponsorship – if you feel you could commit to sponsoring a child, please come and see me. This involves a direct debit each month of £20 and remembering to send them a birthday card each year and perhaps writing to your child.
- Shoes: The children all have to walk a few miles to get to school each day over fields and mud tracks. The shoes that they have are mostly very old, holey and falling apart, as well as often not being the correct size. We have set up a shoe box by the front entrance of the school, please put any black shoes in this box that you would normally throw out. Larger sizes, e.g. size 6, 7, 8s etc are just as useful as the children have large feet.
- Water Bottles: We are going to try to send over a water bottle for every child in the school for Christmas. Water bottles are hard to come by and are expensive and because it is a hot country the children need to be able to carry water around with them. We are arranging for our water bottle supplier to design new bottles for the children and are hoping we can encourage every child at St John’s to buy one water bottle each for us to send over.
- Football Shirts: The boy and girls at the school love wearing football shirts. If you buy your child the new strip for their team – please consider donating their old shirt to the school so we can send these over to them.
We were able to see first hand whilst we were there how they had used the money we raised during Lent last year. Beds and mattresses at the hostel have been purchased and they were hugely grateful for the donation we made. We are the only school partnered with the Stephen Jota Children’s centre and the children there were so proud that St John’s in England are supporting them, even to the point that they wanted St John’s printed on their bottles rather than Stephen Jota’s children centre!! We will keep you all updated on a regular basis about how we will continue to support this work, if you have any further ideas please email or find Miss King to chat to about this.
Thank you for your on going support.
Please also see the official web site of the project www.nsumbi.org
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