Five years since we first visited Kasongoire Primary School, we were delighted to see the progress that has been made when we visited in February 2020.
The library building, which was no more than a brick shed with a tin roof and bare earth floor when we first saw it, is now the envy of the district. It includes 4 rooms: the library itself, the walls now lined with bookshelves; a staff room/meeting room; a secure store room and the Headteacher's office. The headteacher of a neighbouring school, declared it "surely the finest office in Masindi!" The latest enhancement, installed the week before we arrived, is the solar installation: three panels on the roof and 6 light bulbs, the first electricity ever installed at the school.
During the week we spent in school, we observed Science and Maths lessons, taught children the basic skills of rugby and trained the staff in the rules of tag rugby, led arts and crafts activities with the younger children and learnt about the importance of the Rivers Nile and Severn with the older ones. The culmination of our efforts, and the highlight of the week, was the football match on Thursday afternoon between Kasongoire Primary School and Bulyango Public Primary School. Not only did the teams look fantastic in their new kits, kindly donated by our friends in Bristol, but the match brought together the staff and children from two neighbouring communities out "in the canes". (Kasongoire is about an hour's drive from Masindi town, on the edge of one of the largest sugar cane plantations in Uganda. The villagers from miles around are dependent on sugar cane for their livelihood.) Mr Huckle refereed the match, watched by children from both schools and many of the local parents and villagers. The quality of the sport was superb, in spite of the challenges of the pitch, which they children had spent the morning clearing of termite mounds and tussocks of long grass.
We'll be posting more details of our trip on the Uganda page of the website in due course.