What a year 2020 was! I'm sure most of us are ready to leave that behind! We are grateful for the safety of our orphans - apart from our orphans being locked up in a large bubble, for our friends in Uganda, Covid-19 was just another disease to be weary of and life at the orphanage continued. Of more concern is the implications of increased unemployment and rising costs of supplies and services - living outside of the city has kept our children safe.
So with hope for the future, we look forward to 2021 and all we can achieve to better the lives of these beautiful children. Our focus will be on the building of HOPE Education Centre which will ensure a bright future for our children.
Currently, many of the children are schooled at the orphanage with their bedroom dormitories also acting as their classroom. This is not ideal - it is both distruptive to daily set up a place of learning, and it disturbs a child's personal space (their bed, often shared, and a few personal belongings).
Our goal for 2021 is to build a school on the site of Orphanage of Hope called HOPE Education Centre. This will incorporate seven classrooms as well as a skills training block with 4 areas for skills such as mechanics, building and sewing. It will also include a multi-purpose hall, kitchen and administration block.
Plans have been drawn and a total costing of NZ$360,000 using existing land. The orphanage has use of a manual brick maker, and throughout 2021 we plan to make the bricks to start building at the end of the year. The plan is:
January 2021: Build a kiln and fire the 29,300 mud bricks.
February 2021: Commence making concrete bricks, as many as possible (1300 +). We have been given the use of manual brick maker to use free of charge for one month.
March 2021: Possible purchase of a portable brick maker to allow the making of more bricks during the dry season.
June 2021: start of the wet season ... we will build a small temporary building or adapt the current shelter over the mud bricks to allow the making of more bricks through to late September.
October 2021: Clearing of the building site and pegging of the building footprint. Continue making concrete bricks until number is completed.
March 2022: Commence building the foundations and core infrastructure.
During the year as bricks are made, we will continue to fundraise. Our target is to sell 80,000 bricks at $5 per brick. Can you buy a brick? Can you fundraise to make a real difference in the lives of so many children? Every little helps!
We will keep you up-to-date with the progress of our sale of bricks. Already, a couple of weeks into January, we have sold 154 bricks thanks to the generosity of a cheese roll sale at House of Breakthrough and three private donations. Thank you!
Tomorrow, Jeremy Ferguson will run an ultra-marathon - 60km - to raise money for Hope Education Centre. What a champion! Jeremy has been training for a long time to make a difference in the lives of so many Ugandan orphans. Dalaine and I will be there supporting his every step! You can read more about the 'Run for Hope' here: https://www.facebook.com/run4hopeOamaru/
We want to emphasise that every dollar helps to build this school, and together at $5/brick we can make a difference. Some may be challenged to do something extra like Jeremy has (please contact us so we can assist you in any way). Whatever you can do or afford - we appreciate you!
If you would like to purchase a brick, you can do so by transferring $5 directly into our Make My Name Count bank account with the reference BRICK. Kiwi Bank: 38-9006-0298793-01
We have an early start tomorrow driving the safety car, starting at 4.30am! We love what we do, encouraging people to Make Their Name Count!
Blessings and peace to you in 2021,