Monitoring Visit to Nakwanya Project

Nakwanya Project

In 2021, two USA organisations Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) and LeSEA Global Feed the Hungry (FTH) partnered with Irene Gleeson Foundation (IGF) to embark on a Project Based Food Assistance (PBFA) program in Nakwanya Village, 98kms from Kitgum Town.

Nakwanya region has a population of 4,300 people, more than half of them vulnerable children without access to education or medical care with 12kms, and experiencing severe hunger, food insecurity and other critical socioeconomic challenges.

The project has been ongoing since 2021, and in late February we again welcomed teams from both USA partners. The teams visited Kitgum to monitor the school feeding program in IGF Schools, and also to conduct midterm review of the Project Based Food Assistance (PBFA) program in Nakwanya. 

The PBFA in Nakwanya is supporting beneficiaries by implementing initiatives intended to create short- and long-term livelihood gains. Currently, 400 children receive food daily from the project site, while child-headed households and other vulnerable households receive food on a weekly basis.

In response to the critical need for a school, the local community constructed 4 temporary classroom structures using mud, sticks and grass, and volunteered as teachers and cooks to serve the 400+ children coming daily to the compound. IGF has employed a qualified Headteacher and 4 teachers to support the 400 children in the community school. We also supported 80 older pupils with Bicycles, donated by World Bicycle Relief to enable them to access the nearest primary school that is 12kms away.

As part of the project, a Community Church was previously constructed and currently serves the community. To increase household income, improve food security and self-sufficiency, a Bee-keeping project was formed with 50 beehives serving two groups. An agriculture project was also introduced with oxen-plough, and the groups planted maize and beans on 10 acres.

During the visit in February, it was noted that the children of Nakwanya who 2 years ago were severely malnourished, looked very dirty and would never smile, now received the visitors with big smiles, dancing and singing and even recited poems in English. It was a huge blessing seeing hope for this vulnerable community being restored.

The donor partners committed to increase the beekeeping groups from 2 to 8 groups with 200 beehives and committed agriculture support to selected households to grow maize, beans, sorghum, simsim, soya and cassava for both subsistence and commercial farming. 

The greatest need for the community remains a fully functional pre-primary and primary school with feeding program and medicine, and vocational training for child mothers and unemployed youth who have missed out on primary education.
We continue to pray for support to enable us to provide a community owned school so that the hundreds of vulnerable children can have a better opportunity for their future.

The success of this project will only be achieved through implementation of a sustainable and holistic projects that seeks to transform people by building a resilient, productive and God-fearing community.

School Clinics in need of equipment and supplies

Our school clinics serve the 3,800+ pupils and staff across 4 of our nursery and primary schools, and there is need to establish a clinic at our newest school in Nakwanya. In the month of February over 215 pupils and 49 staff attended one of the school clinics seeking treatment. The most common conditions were malaria, fever, cough and cold, ulcers, and first-aid for cuts and wounds.

Unfortunately, in February we didn’t have enough medicine to treat everybody, particularly the 125 confirmed cases of malaria. With high demand for our services, we are in need of support to restock medicines each month. We need your help.

The 11 health personnel are also in need of new uniforms and personal protective wear to keep them protected during their work. This includes nurses’ uniforms, lab coats, boots, gloves, face masks etc. Each clinic also requires new bedsheets. These together have been costed at AUD$1,300.

To aid in the diagnoses of conditions, each of the clinics are in need of some new equipment, including microscopes (3 x $720) and sterilizers (4 x $1,700). There is further need for laptops as the previous ones are now many years old and no longer working, a solar light and battery, and a motorbike for the health in-charge to visit each of the school clinics for monitoring and reporting, and for taking sick children to hospital if their condition cannot be treated at the clinics.

For the majority of our pupils, access to basic health care and medical treatment remains out of reach – they rely solely on our school clinics which provide free medical care to pupils and staff. Common diseases and viruses such as malaria, diarrhoea, ulcers and respiratory infects can become serious and potentially life-threatening when left untreated. Providing access to basic medical care is a key element of improving the health of our school children and wider community.

Please support as able by making a tax deductible donation to ‘Health Program’ here.

20 Years of service to education at IGF

For Beatrice, this year marks 20 years of educating children at IGF!
Beatrice started at IGF’s main school in 2004 as a Primary 2 teacher. After 3 years she was posted to IGF’s Padibe primary school where she was teaching Primary 3 and 4 classes, and was appointed as the Senior Woman Teacher. 
For the past 16 years Beatrice has been at our Amida primary school, where she has taught at all class levels, and is currently the Deputy Head Teacher. She also serves as the Vice Chairperson on the Technical Institute Board. 

When asked why she first decided to work at IGF, Beatrice responded: 
“I used to admire the way mama Irene would teach the children, how she would care for them especially the needy children. This is because our home is close to IGF and l wanted to work near our home and stay closer to my parents and help them since l was a young girl who was not yet married. Being a Christian organization, it was easy for me to make that choice knowing that l would growth my faith in Christ Jesus.”

Reflecting on 20 years at IGF, Beatrice highlighted how grateful she has been for opportunities to further her education, and opportunities for promotion within the organisation to develop her career as a teacher. 
As part of her role as Head Woman Teacher and Deputy Head Teacher, Beatrice has been proactive in teaching the girl-pupils how to use menstrual items and about their personal hygiene, and introduced counselling in her school which focused on supporting the girls in particular. 

“The things that i see as really important about IGF is the school feeding program for both the children and staff on duty. This promotes commitment, more time at school and makes pupils retention so encouraging. The special care and treatment given to needy children and staff as well – the supported rendered to me by IGF when i lost my parents was exceptional. And finally the Christian nature of the IGF and, the Irene Gleeson Memorial Charity Events activities are so remarkable.”

“I have a total of 10 dependents who are directly under my care. Five of them are my biological children, three are from my late brother and two from my aunt who is a single unemployed mother and uneducated too. Using the salary that l get, l support them to pay for their school fees, scholastic materials, feeding and other basic needs.”

We are so grateful for Beatrice and her remarkable commitment and contribution to educating the children at IGF over the last 20 years!