In July 2016, 30 students and 6 members of staff traveled to Uganda to visit our partner schools and to distribute funds raised throughout the year. With in-excess of £15,000 raised, they had an opportunity to make a very real difference to hundreds of Ugandan children and their wider community, who live in poverty in rural Uganda. Not afraid to get their hands dirty, the RLS students extended and renovated a dormitory, painted all of the exterior walls of a local primary school, laid bricks to build a new toilet block, tackled termite mounds, taught lessons and brightened up classroom walls with murals. A school library and main hall were refurbished with the dangerous potholed floor being replaced and book shelves being crafted by Kamuzinda students, working alongside Richard Lander School students, under the watchful eye of local carpenter Vicent. Food parcels and bras were distributed, along with sports kits, baby clothes, and all the other donations which had been generously donated by the good folk back home. All the staff on the trip agreed that the Richard Lander School students were superb ambassadors for our school, they worked incredibly hard; approaching all tasks with positivity and humour; and were a joy to be around.
In the evening, following a hard day’s work, students played football and netball matches against their Ugandan counterparts, or enjoyed ‘dance-offs’ with the older children from the Kamuzinda Children’s Village. They chilled out in the garden of their accommodation, The Mission House, babysitting the resident toddlers and primary students who were always keen to find a lap to sit on or someone to play with. Lifelong friendships were made, with birthday parties and a leaving feast being enjoyed by all, and everyone sharing the things they enjoy most in their lives, be that dancing, gymnastics, Snapchat, games, sports, photography, hairdressing..
At the end of the trip, the team were rewarded with a trip to the 5 star Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This was a chance to see leopards, lions and crocodiles, to relax in the hotel pool, enjoy the outstanding ‘all you can eat’ buffets and to watch the sun set as elephants drank from the river below. By unanimous vote, everyone chose to travel back to the children’s village for their last night in Uganda and one final party.
The Lander for Uganda 2016 team would like to thank everyone who supported them throughout their year of fundraising. Without your help and generosity it wouldn’t be possible to make the huge difference we make to our friends in Kamuzinda Children’s Village, St Jude’s Primary School in Bukomansimbi and HOYS College. The trip depends on this fundraising, every penny of which is spent on Ugandans under the supervision of the Lander Uganda staff and students, advised by Annette, who is the inspirational Headteacher at the school in Kamuzinda.
Lander for Uganda 2016 kept an extensive blog. If you would like to know more about what happened or if you are considering going on the trip in the future, please visit lander4uganda2016.wordpress.com/ or ask anyone from last year’s team. There will also be an assembly just after half term and a video on the school website before Christmas. Thanks to Luke Thorpe - Year 11 - for these great photos.