Kampala, Uganda Day 2: Katoogo Slum Colony, ‘She Has Hope’

My second day in Uganda brought me back to the beautiful people of the Katoogo Slum Colony where Peace Gospel International operates a school and nutrition outreach in conjunction with local leadership. Today I was able to be around to observe breakfast and lunch being served to our nearly 200 students, which is quite a feat for our school’s team to accomplish each day!

The Children’s Hope Center of Kampala is a new project of Peace Gospel, and although we lack the funds to adequately maintain the outreach, we’re doing the best we can with the limited funding available. That’s why you will see quite rudimentary facilities in my photos. As well, as mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, the school has been prone to flooding and that’s why the floors look roughshod. We are in the process of raising the level of the school to prevent further flooding. Funding is being sought from donations to provide more classroom space, more desks to replace ones damaged in the recent floods, and relief funding for stockpiling of food staples, which have doubled in price due to recent food shortages in Uganda. If you might be able to chip in toward our goal of $5,000 to shore up immediate needs, we would be grateful.

After lunch was served, I took some more photos of the classes in session, and then wandered around the colony meeting more of our amazingly resilient neighbors you’ll see in the photos after the school shots. They deal with so many challenges, yet most are able to maintain their smiles. Life is definitely hard in the colony with so many hazards present, not to mention unemployment, crime, and disease. Sewage waste accumulating in stagnant pools scattered throughout the colony and trash strewn about everywhere has created several health problems for the residents.

In brighter news, our new Kampala ‘She Has Hope‘ rehabilitation home has recently launched, being modeled after our Kathmandu, Nepal rehabilitation home. You’ll see some of the girls we’ve recently brought into our new home, and them enjoying their craft-making classes. The goal is to equip them with all the skills they need to enter the workforce as empowered citizens, fully realizing their potential, restoring them to a life full of hope.

Click/tap on any photo to start a slideshow. 

Uganda: Kampala Slum Outreach, ‘The Children’s Hope Center’

Peace Gospel International operates a school in the slums of Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. Here are some shots I took at the school and around the slum colony today. The start of the Ugandan school year is this week, however due to the disruption of somewhat tumultuous elections, our enrollment at the school is a little lower than usual; it will be back to normal next week. However, there were plenty of students to interact with today, and you can just tell they’re sharp kids. As you can see in one of the photos, part of our school here has some challenges with flooding but we have some plans to remedy that.

Uganda: Kampala “Children’s Hope Center”

In the midst of the Kampala slum colony known as “Katoogo” (see my previous post for context) lies the Children’s Hope Center, an education outreach of Peace Gospel International. The program is operated by locally empowered leadership in Uganda. In its humble facility the center offers a Kindergarten through 7th primary education for about 100 children who would otherwise have no access to education. Several of the children are orphans and stay with our program leader and his family in a make-shift orphan home located in the colony. The program provides the students with school supplies, second-hand shoes and uniforms, and nutritional support including daily breakfast, lunch and clean water. Thanks to a recently successful fundraiser, the past three weeks the facility has been undergoing renovations and improvements to prevent flooding and provide adequate shelter for the students during the rainy season. The improvements include upgrading from dirt to concrete floors, a new roof, permanent chalkboards and other repairs and upgrades to the perimeter of the facility that will prevent flooding and keep the children safe. I was so happy to get to see some of the upgrades already complete or underway. The children, teachers and administrators are so thankful for your support, as they had been awaiting the critically needed improvements for quite some time.

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Uganda: Kampala Slums

Before I show you the Children’s Hope Center, I want to take you on a little walk through the slum colony where it’s located. I’d like to give you an idea of the conditions they live in, and to allow you to virtually meet some of the amazingly warm and wonderful souls who dwell here. The colony is situated at the bottom of a hill near the shores of Lake Victoria. Thus, sadly, much of the sewage and rainwater drainage of neighborhoods in higher elevations collects in stagnant pools here and flooding problems are pervasive in the rainy season. My visit was on Ash Wednesday; you will see some of the children of Christian families with the ashen crosses marked on their foreheads. 

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