Saturday, December 3, 2016

Our students break off to their families

Dear friends,
Today our school has closed the academic year 2016. After hard work, students needed a break that is the longest holiday in the year. They are expected back in the school the first week of February 2017. All students are excited for their holidays because their are each carrying good news back home to their parents and siblings. They have physically grown but also academically promoted to higher grades. There is no more happiness to students more than this. Its very exciting for them to go back to their families and start narrating about their life stories and successes. Their families in turn, are eagerly waiting to hear the great news of growth and academic excellence our school provides.  
The new academic year that has closed with a special graduation ceremony of the Kindergarten Top class students to primary education, has ushered them to higher grades in the new academic year 2017. They can't wait to see themselves back to school to join grades in new classrooms. Its greatly said that the ended academic year has been wonderful but economically challenging as well. There have been an extraordinary lengthy drought unseen in many years in the past with negative consequences of hiked prices and early closure of the school to expenditure. 

Thank you everyone for your most valued financial and moral support in this past year as well. I  wish you a Merry I Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Please here below, enjoy the photos of our children closing prayer and graduation ceremony 2016. And keep our 2016 candidates in your prayers as they anxiously wait for their national examination results due soon from the Ministry of education and sports. We are all eagerly waiting for the best results with confidence to excellent performance.
 Fr Dominic Tumusiime

Tr. Angela (stands behind) guiding Kindergarten candidates (standing)
as primary kids sit looking on for graduation ceremony
           Entertainment son
Tr. Joy, R calls names of candidates
Tr. and head of the Kg Joy (R) reads out the names
as Mr Kanyanjojo (PTA) c/man hands the certificates
 to graduands as parents pause for a pic
The school chaplain prays and talks to the students
 before they break off for their vacation

Below: Teachers, guest of honor  and individual parents pause for photos of the day.

               Quality education for all is our pride and hope for vulnerable children.
                                                    Stay blessed!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rubanda Solidarity Panorama

Enjoy the Rubanda Solidarity panorama from a distance. Rubanda Solidarity School can be dimly seen on the extreme front left with a red roof surrounded by tees.  

      Enjoy the Panorama of Rubanda Solidarity
school seen at a distance in front left
with a red roof surrounded by trees
The exhausted land of Rubanda,
another cause for hunger.
Progressive development of Kiga traditional housin

Our UPLE candidates 2016. Quality education is
the key to make a difference and life better in Rubanda today.

Lovely hills of Kigezi the Switzerland of Uganda.
The most rich volcanic ashes that greatly benefit Kigezi and Uganda

The Kabale-Kisoro High Way to DRC passes by
the original offices of Rubanda Solidarity.
This is a typical housing style in Rubanda as an improved modern
house from  the traditional mud and grass thatched houses were known.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Called for a Mission

In this post I intend to share with you the passion of my own heart for the mission as an ordained religious missionary priest. Born within a family of very humble and poor background, this has had a positive impact on this passion. At an early age, I felt called by God to serve in the mission of Christ away from home and indeed I am now all the way from my little village of Rubanda in the south western Uganda to Portland Maine in the United States of America .
Few years after my first assignment in the mission abroad in 1993, with acute and chronic poverty experience, coupled with my own family and community poverty experiences a new sense of mission at home was conceived. At my tender age in grade six ( at age 15), I strongly felt a passion to be a priest  and work far away from home. At that age I did not have any clue of what the difference between being a missionary abroad or a diocesan priest at home was. The only thing that was undoubtedly clear was, " If I go to the missionary seminary I will work far away from home and if I go to the diocesan one, I will work at home". This was definitively clear with no reference to anyone's advice. I believe it was not of any human origin, believe me or not. To date, I still  remember the drama I went through with the vocation's director, Fr. Levicatus Ndyabakwata from my home diocese who strongly wanted me to join the diocesan calling and I adamantly declined  the offer. By the an usual manner I found myself in the missionary seminary of the Apostles of Jesus, a place I put my heart and made my home ever since I set my foot never looked back. I am glad God called me to be a missionary religious priest far beyond my village even before I was born. Filled with the missionary passion, enough to sustain me from all the challenges I encountered along the way of my seminary formation and missionary work to date, I truly believe that its not my making but God's.

Its amazing to notice how ever, that since my first assignment, my mission has always had two dimensions: Abroad and Home mission. For the Abroad, God continues to nourish my adventurous spirit that enables me to keep my heart open and my joy full to serve beyond my interests and hobbies. And at home, God continues to provide for a few miracles to the sick and the needy in my village for a few miracles in the footsteps of Jesus in his own little village. I am glad God has given me this passion and the opportunities to serve him in this manner. He is always on my side and placed the right persons on my way to walk with me along this path. To you my friend, I am grateful and thankful for responding to your inner impulses of compassion and generosity even to the needy far away from home and have never seen with little hope to ever meet. And to those yet to join us, you are most welcome .

For your curiosity, my mission abroad began in 1993 right away from the classroom of my seminary formation and ordination to my first assignment to Ethiopia.  And with the experience of that beautiful but impoverished community in the southern parts of Ethiopia, the home mission was born. Officially launched in 2005 after an unpublished research on, "The causes of children dropping out of school and the impact of quality education on Food security and better livelihoods in Rubanda community", Rubanda Solidarity Development Association was born.   In the same year, this Association gave birth to its first fruit, the Rubanda Solidarity Nursery/Primary School. It was then first private school in the community to take up the task to look into the needs of vulnerable children.

The Provision of a regular  meal and a better place to sleep soon worn the hearts of children. I am proud to share with you today how important this mission has become to these children at home and the whole community. It's an extra mile I choose to walk passionately with the community that I am so compelled by the great need in their lives, their readiness to participate in making life better and their demand for support. I am grateful to God for choosing to make me a channel of his providence and to you, our friend and partner for your generous contribution. There is never anything little to a needy soul on earth.

My belief compels me to say, God provides for a reason beyond the self. I can't recount all his blessings upon me but a few: The opportunity to study through higher education  among the nine siblings. Why only me and not some one else? Why a missionary priest not a diocesan? Why in USA and not else where? Such questions keep me a live and going forward no matter how stony, rough and rainy the day may seem. They offer an opportunity to continue to grow in my adventurous  missionary spirit, trusting in each and everyday experience to be an opportunity from God through which he continues to speak and use me. They keep my heart warm and open to live up to something higher and appreciate others' cultures and values. And most importantly, they keep me open to the grace of God to love and be loved which is the inner strength we need in order to nurture real and good friendships that matter and benefit others whom God places on my way of life other than the self. For I strongly believe there's never a moment of chance in our life time other than God's lavish providence.  You're indeed God's blessing in disguise.
Thank you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

School Leavers 2012-2016

The Vision of Rubanda Solidarity School is "Better life". The mission to lead us there without any doubt is to passionately provide adequate opportunities for quality education to both girl and boy child, motivate children to love and stay in school. We fight and stop the syndrome of school dropout by making our school a safe home for each and every child. Some of  our objectives include: Provide three regular meals a day with enough food, safe drinking water, better sanitation even for enough sleep,  conducive and safe place for steady growth, study and excellent performance.
Since its inception in 2005 following the study year, our school has passionately continued to implement its strategic plan which has enabled us to have a stead development and have an effective on the children's life and the community. We have greatly reduced the gender gaps in our children for quality education and highly attracted both male and female children to school unlike the past when most recently school was a privilege for boys. It's amazing to note how significantly all the above objectives have successfully eradicated children's dropping out of  school by choice by  100% since 2005 to date. Early marriages' reports have also disappeared with only one case  reported in 2011. On health, with a wise and practical of Dr. Bruce Murray who visited the school in 2011 we were able to purchase and provide treated mosquito nets to all 309 students and staff included 2012. This has enabled us to reduce the impact of malaria from 28% in the first year mosquito nets were provided to 3% in 2015.

Providing quality education is a heavy task than meets the eye. At least the basic school standards must be met. Children must feel the school is their second home with some being their first stable home due to increasing social break down in their families. Most of the homes are struggling with increasing food deficits, economic pressure, demand for modern quality education,  long distant journies  from home to school, scarce search for safe drinking water, disease and after a loss of parents trauma of all kinds, extra. The silent killer stress is just unimaginable. Many children we speak to in the villages can't wait to find a school they can call their home and have a taste of a full and regular meal in a peaceful environment. They want a place where they can be guided, not ruled, . Loved and not governed.

Our School's passion is to continue to offer this difference our children have already noticed and admired and parents have passionately appreciated. Our strategy is to continue to improve our services to increase quality and performance invested in our students .  With good performances we equip our both girl and boy students to excellent grades to join high institutions with pride.

All this, is a result of many hands. It takes a village. Without the community and generous  donors and friends we would not be where we are right now. Thank you very much for sticking with us and being compassionate. For I greatly know that to feed a child is to feed a nation, " And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones...., truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward." Matthew 10:42.

    Everything you give with love is like "a drop of water" to a thirst child.
Thank you for your kindness which has enabled these
desperate thirst children to quench their thirst!

                                          Your generosity has made us what you see in
                         a nutshell of our school Leavers' group photos since 2012-2016. And our school performances have been incredibly excellent. Look at the table provided. It indicates the positive strides we have made in improving the gab of equal opportunities for quality education for both girl and boy child.  In our case, we have been very successful to have parents and girl children attracted to quality education. We have girls numbers outweighing boys'. This speaks volumes in a society where education was until recently regarded a privilege for boys. Please check the table and have a look at the group pictures through the five years of National examinations that determine a student able to join higher education in Uganda.

 In the table below are the numbers of enrolments for UPLE since 2012-2016. They tell it all. Gender sensitivity to quality education for both girl and boy child is our mission to changing life to better in the community . Together we can make a difference.
Rubanda Solidarity School has been in existence since 2005. It began as a nursery school
and grade one (class) and progressively added a class each year until 2012.
In 2012 the primary circle was complete to grade 7 and our top
year students began to sit for national exams (UPLE). We are proud to tell you
that we have not had any single student drop out of school for academic reasons
nor failed exams. Which is something unusual in most Ugandan schools.
All our students have always passed with excellent grades to cross
to higher institutions. Our mission to improve on
education to quality education for both boy and girl child is working quite well.

We thank you for your great support without
which we would have nothing or little to talk about. 
2016 Candidates to sit for UPLE Nov. 2n through 3rd with their
Headteacher, Asiimwe Innocent (back R) and grade 7 teachers (L) for a group pic.

                                         2016 Tr. Amos( Dean) with Candidates
                                for a group picture

2015 School Leavers

2014 School Leavers

2013 School Leavers

2o12: The UPLE Pioneers of Grade7 leavers pause  with their teachers for a group
 photo. They are also the pioneers of our school to sit for the Uganda Certificate
 of Education (UCE) this year Oct. 2016.
                       We wish you success dear school Leavers!

Monday, October 10, 2016

End of Year Planning!

 The school academic year that began with a plan ends with an evaluation and new plan. Our school has just concluded one of its regular PTA meeting to evaluate the activities of the year in plan and lay out a plan for 2017. This meeting, however had an unusual larger membership with extra representatives from the Yamba Abaana US and Yamba Abaana UG who had items for common good.   Some of the common items included identifying major priorities for a five year strategic plan, strengthening sponsorship collaboration, community water supply and preparations for the candidates and their final Uganda Primary Leaving Examinations (UPLE) that begins November 2nd through 3rd 2016. This is an examination that determines students to transit from primary education to higher institution in the system of education in Uganda. Students are always nervous for no one struggles to fail. Please remember them in your prayers. They do trust your prayers. Please, follow our galley of these students PTA members. We have also pasted the members at the PTA meeting.

Teacher Amos (back left), academic dean and the students of grade seven pause
 for a class photo before their national exams which mark their end of school life in our school.
We will miss you all. Thank you for your goodness and for making our school your home for the past ten years. 

The PTA, Yamba Abaana US & Yamba Abaana UG joint meeting
pause for a group picture at the school site.

The School Directress, Sr Annamary (c) pauses with Teachers and Support Staff for
 a group pic after their general meeting. Thank you our staff for the
good work you do for our children and our community. 

Three Months later

Its now three months since our new nursery school opened its doors to the long awaiting kids. Their excitement and anxiety to their new home have now been sorted out. The kids have smiling and jolly faces which tell it all. They are the happiest of kids in the community because they receive distinguished care, enough food and make friends. The School director, Fr Dominic recalls at one of his encounters with the kids during his home vacation one smart girl dare say,"we like this school because they give us enough food", we drink enough clean water, we also sleep well", she added. A big thank you to you the Yamba Abaana, Cruce del Sud, our friends in Modena and Rome and all friends who keep our children healthier, happy and in school. "We love you",in the words of one of the kids in Top Class who sang a song in class for all our friends near and far. Thank you for making such a difference and a great impact in these children of Rubanda.

These two friends enjoy a regular meal at school they can hardly get at home.

Look at their faces. Our school has become the second home
 for many but for others its just their home.
Thank you for making these faces smile.

Some of the kids with their teachers preparing to go to class after a meal. Every morning
and every evening these kids never stop  praying for everyone who generously
donated a brick/in kind. Those kids in front are leading their favorite prayers thanking
God and friends of the school who continue to create a bright future for them. You are rightly included.