BSUF News & Events

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Sep 2012 - CNU (South) Annual Conference

Trustee Jon Exton and Dawn Perry attended the annual get together of the Christian Network Uganda group. The event was chaired by Rhona Marshall (Christian Relief Uganda), who set up the networking group, and hosted by Ted Bellingham (WellFare organisation) at the United Reformed Church in Dorking. This was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and to welcome new charities that work in Uganda. As ever, a very rewarding day - where experiences were shared and ideas swapped for going forward with our various projects in Uganda.

Aug 2012 - Panos Karan performs for our children in Kamuli

Classical pianist Panos Karan and his charity "Keys of Change" www.keysofchange.org visited Uganda - and Annette took Panos to Kamuli to meet and perform for some of our sponsored children. Although innately musical, the children where overwhelmed to experience this type of music and to be able to interact with Panos and hopefully get inspiration for the future. Panos is planning to shortly set up a Children's Orchestra in Kampala.

Panos is performing on Thursday 27th September at the Hellenic Centre London - a piano recital, plus stories and images from his earlier travels across the Amazon River, Sierra Leone and NE Japan. We are planning to hold another joint fundraising event, between "Keys of Change" and "Children of Uganda (UK) – BSUF", which will focus on his experience of taking his music to Uganda.

Dec 2011 - Big Give Christmas Challenge

The Big Give Christmas Challenge resulted in us raising over £6,000 for our new medical clinic project. A big thank you to all our friends, sponsors and supporters who supported us in this challenge

Nov 2011 - Very Successful Trustees Visit to Butansi in November 2011

Chairman John Faith and Trustee John Exton visited Uganda in November 2011, where they met with co-founders Annette Mbedha and her brother Ambrose Katuntu to view all the ongoing projects in Butansi and the Kamuli area. This included:

  • Visits to the schools where our 80 sponsored children attend to meet with the headmasters and teachers as well as our sponsored children.
  • One of our sponsored children was not at school and, upon investigation it was found out that he was housebound because he couldn't walk! The Chairman immediately arranged for him to go to the local hospital to receive attention. In fact, the young boy required an operation and the charity paid for him to be transported to Kampala for this and all his associated medical costs. The operation went well and we are delighted. He is now recovering and will soon be back at school.
  • As you will see from our picture gallery, our schools do vary in standards! Children of Uganda (UK) – BSUF has now agreed to commit some funds to building new class rooms at two of our schools, as well as assist our neighbouring school, Butansi Primary, with one of its projects.
  • Our Trustees were delighted during their visit to Future Victory School, in Butansi, to conduct the official opening of an Art Room funded by donations from Rushden Community College in Northampton. Please view our video.
  • One of the highlights of the visit was to make a presentation of a leather bound St James Bible, kindly donated by Richmond Hill St Andrews URC in Bournemouth to the local St Mary's Church in Butansi. The Bournemouth church had already donated monies to build much needed pews in the church. 300 people turned out, in their finery, for the special service and ceremony. Please view our video.
  • Our Trustees had meetings with Kamuli Mission Hospital about the medical project now being planned for the Butansi area. We will shortly announce more details of Annette's dream to provide basic healthcare in the community.
  • We are about to survey and obtain land title for the land that has been donated by the Church in Butansi for the building of our Community Centre. Then we will get started on a major fundraising exercise to build the Community Centre to benefit the whole community.

Jan 2010 - COU/BSUF in Local Bournemouth Magazine

An article about the BSUF ‘African Charity Night’ has appeared in the Bournmouth News.

Nov 2009 - African passion and Fashion comes to Penn Central Bournemouth

Bournemouth models

On Thursday 19th November the bongo drums were beating at Penn Café Bar Restaurant in Bournemouth as Children of Uganda (UK) BSUF held an ‘African Charity Night’ to help to raise funds for the building of the Community Centre in Butansi. Founder Annette Mbedha hosted the event along with Chairman John Faith and Trustee Jon Exton.

It was a lively evening with an African theme, including African style food, live bongo music and a stall with African crafts for sale. Annette and two locals modelled some multi-coloured traditional dresses from Uganda, to the beat of Cas’s bongos. The other highlight of the evening was an impressive charity auction and a generous raffle, which helped to make this evening a successful fundraiser for the charity.

Photos can be viewed here.

Children of Uganda (UK) – BSUF would like to thank Penn Central for providing their venue for the evening, Templar Wines for supplying a free glass of bubbly on entry and all the individuals and companies that made generous donations to the auction and the raffle. And last, but not least, to Dawn Perry who helped to organise the whole event.

October 9th 2009- Uganda Independence Day fundraiser night, Brighton

The Ocean Rooms, Brighton hosted a fun night of African fusion music, food, craft stalls and a fashion show. The night was a great success and an opportunity for us to raise our profile in Brighton and Hove and promote Ugandan culture. The proceeds from the night went towards new community projects like the new piggery women's groups in Butansi sub-county.

Photos can be viewed here.

July 2009 - Uganda revealed at Rushden Community College

The year 9 students had a day full of fun and new experiences from Uganda which included the following activities:

  • Music and Dance: The students danced to music from Uganda and other parts of Africa.
  • Building of shelters: Shelters were made from local materials. With the students seated inside, water was poured over the leaky shelters to demonstrate the living conditions of some.
  • Food tasting: Different foods from Uganda like pineapple, sweet potatoes, mangoes and plantain were brought in for the students to taste.
  • Getting creative: This involved bringing in magazines and supermarket shopping bags. The students got creative by making footballs, dolls, ropes and jewellery from local materials. At the end of the day, the students took whatever they had made to their parents and had fun learning about Uganda . We had a game of football using some of the balls made from Tesco shopping bags.

Photos can be viewed here.

July 2009 - Kacper and my visit to Butansi Village by Rafaella Ziegart

It is a difficult task to sum up my experience in Uganda on one sheet of paper. Kacper and I are part of the Suubira Uganda Society (SUS) at the University of Sussex , which helps Children of Uganda (UK) - BSUF, and both of us sponsor a child through their schooling in Butansi village. Seeing the whole project at first hand has been a great experience, because you gain hope and an understanding of how something we take for granted can be so handy and useful for someone in another place and they are so grateful. The two weeks we stayed there not only made us gain more knowledge about the Foundation, but by being so engaged with the community, we learned so much more about the Ugandan culture and people. We were so impressed with the natural beauty of the area as we walked around the lively towns with the huge green trees in which - at some point - we even saw monkeys.

We visited three schools (Future Victory, Vienna Primary School and TopCare) the first two being where many of the BSUF kids are being sponsored. Of course sometimes there were cultural barriers given the different languages spoken, but the contact we had with the children was amazing and so rewarding. We did various academic and fun activities with the kids (such as ball games, 'hangman', drawing, telling, writing stories with them, and an exercise to increase vocabulary and writing skills) and talked to them about what they think of their future, what they think about us coming to see them, what do they know about the countries in the world and how they portray their school and village. All the conversations, whether with a 10 or a 16 year old, were enriching. An interesting thing was to see how many girls were interested in being nurses and some boys wanted to be soldiers whilst others doctors or teachers. It was great to hear the optimism in their voices when talking about their future.

One day we were surprised when we were sitting on our own having lunch on a really sunny day and three girls came up to us. They kneeled down and asked us to tell their sponsors in England thank you. It is wonderful to see how these sponsored children appreciate that their education is being sponsored by the charity.

As well as getting to know the schools and the sponsored children we were able to view other BSUF projects and to get to know the people in the village.

Butansi village team

We had the pleasure of meeting the Butansi Village football team and not only gave them a uniform, but talked and watched some of their matches . One of the kids in the team was a BSUF sponsored child with Future Victory, but the Foundation is committed to community projects that involve the whole village to help them feel involved. Despite being frequently referred to as 'mzungus', we did feel that some part of us had become part of the village too.

We also made a visit to the BSUF piggery project, which was set up with two pigs being placed with a group of women from the village and then when they have piglets, they are placed with another group of women and so the project expands. The idea of the project is to give the women financial independence and ultimately each of them having their own pig to take care of and using it as a source of income and so that they feel more autonomous. The visit was very special to us, because it demonstrated the true values of the community and how they can grow together and become self sustainable in their endeavours.

The Foundation now has a plan to build a Community Centre, which will serve as a focal point for the whole area, providing educational, health and cultural facilities for the benefit of the whole community.

One of the highlights of our trip was when Kacper and I met the actual children that we sponsor. Kacper sponsors Paul who is 10 years old, studies at Vienna School and lives with his grandmother because both his parents have passed away. We realized that his grandmother has adopted many other orphaned children from the village. Paul walks miles to school everyday but appreciates how lucky he is to have his education sponsored.

Rafaella with sponsored child Nicholas

My sponsored child is Nicholas, who's 11 years old and lives with his mother. Nicholas's father died some time ago and he has 7 siblings. It was easy to see the difficulty for the mother in managing so many children and she was extremely grateful to be able to have one of her children in school. The eight children sleep together in a small room with only one mattress in the floor.

As we went into their houses and met these families, their cheek to cheek and endless smiles were so rewarding. We felt that the huge bag of peanuts Mugwano, Nicholas' mother, gave us as we left was unnecessary, but did show us their appreciation and their culture of treating visitors so warmly.

It was interesting that in all the schools we visited the kids had something to sing for us, and some even danced. It was the most remarkable gift to see their traditional dance and observing their happiness as they started their moves. We also had the opportunity to go to Kampala and see some of the capital which was great and walking around Lake Victoria was gorgeous. We also went by 'boda bodas' to this Reptile Village in which we saw different snakes, lizards and other quite scary animals.

As I said at the beginning, I could tell so much more, but I guess some things can only be understood and fully appreciated when you have actually experienced them. So last but not least, Kacper and I would like to thank everyone that made this all happen. Annette - especially but also her brother Ambrose, Cyrus, Richard, Auntie Jane, Florence, Aunt Marie and many others; their whole family, friends and the BSUF committee.

Kacper and I were hosted extremely well and the trip would not have been the same without all of them. The whole trip was so interesting and an incredible experience. Photos can be viewed here.

June 2009 - Latest BSUF Newsletter is now available

The June 2009 BSUF newsletter is now available to download here.

June 2008 - University Students Visit Butansi Village

Philippa and Becky from the Suubira Uganda Society, a student society at the University of Sussex, have visited Butansi village. A report on their visit can be read here and photos of the visit can be viewed here.