Jumpstart! Uganda: Programme Update

Posted on by Elaine Miller

A huge thank you to all our generous donors who have made jumpstart! possible, here’s an update of what we’ve achieved so far.

Education: We are working with 10 nursery schools and over 7,000 children in the rural Nwoya District of Northern Uganda to improve the quality of education available.

Jumpstart! focuses on Early Childhood Development (ECD), cost- benefit rations of ECD investments reveal average returns of around 4-5 times the investment amount.  The programme has various aspects detailed below:


Teacher Training: We have trained 26 nursery teachers and an amazing 433 primary teachers in ECD.  We have also trained 10 nursery teachers to become qualified caregivers.

Playgrounds: We have built nursery playgrounds at 4 schools, and have secured funding from The Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation for additional playgrounds.  These bright and colourful playgrounds are unique in the area – so as well as allowing children to play in a safe, stimulating environment they have attracted lots of interest from the local community!

Speed Schools: In March we launched our accelerated learning programme for children that had missed out on a lot of school.  In just 10 months, we aim to take 750 children through the curriculum they have missed during the first three years of primary school.  We have already trained 30 facilitators who are underway teaching 724 out of 750 pupils.

Thanks for reading, if you want to discuss any of our projects, or projects we are currently looking to fund please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Team AR.

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Do Something Amazing for you, and for African Revival

Posted on by Elaine Miller

You can still enter through the public ballot and be part of Team AR, but don’t worry if you are unsuccessful as we have 8 guaranteed places.

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Celebrating the legacy for cycling created by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 starts at 06:00 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and then follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside. With leg-testing climbs and a route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics, it’s a truly spectacular event for all involved. The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 finishes on The Mall in central London, shortly before 150 professional cyclists race in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on a similar route.

More information about the race can be found on the Prudential website here.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to complete this incredible 100 mile race (and do some fundraising for African revival in the process) get in touch:

catherine.inch@africanrevival.org

020 8939 3190

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We are fundraising for Textbooks in Uganda

Posted on by Elaine Miller

We are currently fundraising for textbooks, please take a look at our proposal below and get in touch if you think you can help, or donate here!

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In Uganda, we work in the Acholi sub-region in the north, the centre of a brutal, two-decade insurgency by the rebel group; Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  When peace was restored in 2006, the people of northern Uganda started to rebuild their lives, but the effect on the schooling system has been long-standing, with many children displaced, abused and traumatised.

 

 

 

Why Textbooks?

In the absence of widely available sources of information, the textbook becomes the most important, and often the only source of content and educational information for the teacher.   Without vital textbook provision the central skills, concepts and content of the curriculum cannot be taught.

_MG_1766Your Grant:

African Revival is seeking £2,000 (8,800,000 Ugandan Shillings) to publish a total of 1,400 books in both Acholi and English.  These books will be used by K.1-P.2 in 5 Early Childhood Development Centres.  The quality of these learning materials will be reviewed and controlled by African Revival, to ensure relevance, appropriate content, and an adhesion to the Early Childhood Development (ECD) learning Framework.

 

Book Title Year Groups Number of books
Things Found in a house 3-4 185
Activities in my area 4-5 185
Animals and birds 4-5/6-7 210
Houses/places in my area 3-4/6-7 210
Things we wear 3-4/5-6 210
Things in the kitchen 4-5 200
People in our home 5-6 200
Total 1,400

Project Outputs: Our proposed project will be implemented in seven schools/ECD centers and will directly impact the education of 2,865 currently enrolled students. These schools are detailed below:

 

School/ECD Centres Enrolment
Purongo Hills ECD 487
Nwoya P.7 School 406
Agung ECD 424
Wilacic ECD 389
Lacek Community School 263
Purongo P.7 School 502
Patira P.7 School 394
Total Students: 2,865

Ensuring that books align with ECD framework is central to this project. It has been proven that early interventions for disadvantaged children lead to improvements in children’s survival, health, growth, and cognitive and social development. Cost-benefit ratios of ECD investments reveal average returns of around 4-5 times the initial investment amount.

Project Outcomes: The educational outcomes of this project will be an improved academic environment, where teachers are suitably equipped with textbooks to teach children for several years after the project implementation date.  The continuing use of these textbooks means they will directly impact the education of students both immediately and in the future.  The production of different books suitable for different year groups will ensure that children have the correct material for their learning areas and development, ensuring they receive a more comprehensive education that will impact their lives for years to come.

14572129_1431669063528367_7911885492490343132_nProject Impacts: This project will directly improve child literacy, which research has shown vital for high levels of academic attainment in all subjects.  Improved education achieved through this project will have wide reaching impacts, not just on students but on the whole community.

Improved education has been shwn to have a causal and direct impact on numerous social markers such as: sanitation, health and mortality, nutrition, civic participation, and rural poverty.   Over time improved education in the Acholi region will create notable returns both financially and with regard to health, these returns will contribute towards rural development, eventually lifting many children and families out of poverty.

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Golf Day

Posted on by Elaine Miller

Jonathan for WebsiteThis year our annual Golf Day took place at the Warren Estate in Essex. 16 teams worked their way around the beautiful course, followed by a three-course dinner, prize-giving, and a silent auction. Congratulations to Academy Insurance for their second win a row!

And thank you to everyone who donated prizes – including a week in a luxury South African Golf Resort, signed memorabilia, and tickets to see England play at Wembley. We are delighted to say that we raised over £17,500 for education in Zambia and Uganda – our most successful Golf Day ever!

To all our friends and supporters who planned, organized, and donated prizes – we couldn’t have done it without you, thank you.

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Growing season in Northern Uganda

Posted on by Elaine Miller

_MG_0286Dark green fields indicate the rainy season has started in Northern Uganda. And with it, the new growing season. We support 15 school demonstration gardens in Amuru District. Parents with children at the school farm these gardens while African Revival staff give training, support, and advice.

Each group selects the crops they would like to plant. Staple crops include maize, rice, millet, and cassava. And parents also choose fruits and vegetable like onions, eggplants, peppers, avocados, tomatoes, oranges, _MG_1104mangoes, bananas, and pineapples. This season we have been busy helping farmers sow
seeds in nursery beds and transplant into main gardens.

School demonstration gardens bring parents closer to their children’s school so they become more engaged in their children’s learning.

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New classrooms

Posted on by Elaine Miller

_MG_2126Thanks to our wonderful supporters in the UK, we have also raised enough money for new classroom blocks at Koch Lila primary school and Lacek community school.

Whenever we help schools with a new construction, we always ask the school community to make some contribution – according to what they can afford.

We visited both schools and found parents at Lacek community school have already bought sand to make mortar. And at Koch Lila, parents have made 15,000 bricks – almost enough for the whole construction!

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New latrines

Posted on by Elaine Miller

_MG_0806Back in May, we handed over a new latrine block to Teddi Community School in Northern Uganda. As a community school Teddi was set up and run by parents and receives no support from the Government. But last year, pupils at Teddi performed better than those from the local Government school!

 

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Children speed through P1

Posted on by Elaine Miller

_MG_0595Our 30 Speed School classes in Northern Uganda are taking over 700 children through the first three years of primary school in just one year! So far this year, 733 children have sped through the curriculum for the first year of primary school.  And in June, they started the curriculum for Primary 2. By the start of the next academic year in 2017, they will be able to join Year 4 of mainstream primary school.

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Learning to read

Posted on by Elaine Miller

_MG_1766There is a strong story telling culture in Northern Uganda and to encourage reading in our nursery education work, we have developed a colourful book of traditional Acholi folk stories for teachers to read with their pupils. We also created 7 reading books for children, each covering a different topic like what we wear, transport, and places in our community. Each book is printed in English and in Acholi so children learn to read in both languages. We have printed 250 reading books and 60 traditional folk storybooks, which we will distribute to our 10 partner nursery schools. But more are available to order for other schools and organisations to use!

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5 benefits of play for Early Childhood Development

Posted on by Sophie Hicks

 

_MG_1851Jan 2016 7

Much of a child’s early years are spent playing, exploring and testing their environment and own personal boundaries. All of this play has significant and proven benefits for a child’s early development. Research has shown that children who regularly engage in play-based learning have better cognitive flexibility, working memory and self-regulation ability.

Here at African Revival, we recognise the immense benefits of play-based learning and have incorporated it as one of the major elements of our jumpstart! nursery education programme. In our 10 jumpstart! schools, we are building playgrounds, training teachers in how to guide play-based learning and make their own play materials using natural materials, and even teaching parents how to encourage productive play at home. We know that play is incredibly important for early childhood development – but what exactly are the top benefits?

  1. Better behaviour

Children behave better in the classroom when they have had the chance to blow off steam and release energy on the playground during the day. Playing is a known method of stress release that can help with a child’s emotional welfare, as nursery teacher Gino, from Purongo Hill Primary School in Nwoya district says: “the playground is where the children release their stress and refresh their minds between learning”

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  1. Good social skills

Play can help young children become more aware of other people’s feelings and develop empathy. During play, whether it is inside or outside of the environment, children must interact and cooperate with each other, as well as share play equipment which requires good communication skills. Children can build relationships, learn to resolve conflicts, negotiate and regulate their emotions and behaviors. According to nursery teacher Gino, increased play-based learning at Purongo Hill has “eliminated that spirit of being selfish, and also helping the children with sharing because of that thing of collaboration”

  1. Improves academic performance

In 2009, research from the American Journal of School Health found that the more physical activity tests children can pass, the more likely they are to do well on academic tests. According to psychologist Kathryn Hirsch Pasek, “Children learn to count when they’re doing hopscotch […] They are telling stories on the playground, and they’re getting active.”

Furthermore, play can nurture qualities like self-discipline and attentional control, which can be just as vital for school readiness as content knowledge. Children with longer attention spans and self-control can focus more on tasks in the classroom. This is because when children engage in make-believe play that involves role playing, there are generally rules that they must follow which involves regulating their natural self and behavior. By practicing this in a safe, fun environment, their self-control is enhanced, which can then be transferred to a classroom setting.

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  1. Language development

Moreover, make-believe play that involves role playing can also help children to develop their language skills, as was shown in a British study (Lewis, 2000). Infant pupils were asked to engage in symbolic play, whereby they use objects, actions or ideas to represent other objects, actions or ideas. For example, a child may put a wooden block to her ear as a pretend mobile phone. Children who scored higher on a test of symbolic play had better language skills, both in terms of what they understood and spoke. This suggests that play helps to develop and solidify language skills.

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  1. Increases enthusiasm for learning

In northern Uganda, where drop out rates amongst primary school students are very high, play-based learning can encourage pupils to stay in school and attend more frequently. Indeed, at Purongo Hill Primary School in Nwoya district, nursery teacher Gino says that enrolment has skyrocketed since African Revival constructed a playground at the school (from 30 pupils in the nursery section to 120): “the playground has been an advantage to us because it has drawn in children, increased enrolment and reduced drop outs”.

 

 

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