AOC Annual Report 2014

AOC Annual Report 2014

August 19,2014

All Our Children (Reg. Charity No: 1100231)

10 Green Avenue

London W13 9RW 

 

Trustees’ Annual Report 2014 (covering the period 1.6.13. to 31.5.14)

 

List of trustees during the period covered by the report

Liz Walton (Chair of Trustees), Tony Ward (Treasurer), Rajtinder Bains, Lesley Fletcher*, Matthew Jenkins, Thomas Kelly, Helen Mooney, Grigorios Papazafiriou, Steven Puttick and Richard Vokes.

*Lesley Fletcher, who represented the Warriner School in Banbury, tendered her resignation in February 2014 as she is moving to Indonesia.  This was accepted with regret by the other trustees.  We are hoping that the school will appoint a new coordinator for their partnership with Kigezi High School and that this person may eventually wish to become a trustee.

Public Benefit Statement

We confirm that as trustees we have had regard to the Charity Commission’s general guidance on public benefit and that we ensure the activities undertaken by All Our Children are in line with our charitable objects and aims.

Objectives and Activities

All Our Children fulfills its three objects each year in two main ways, and this was also the case in the period covered by this report:

  1. by sending money at the start of each term from our UK donors to Gertrude Atukunda, our Uganda based coordinator, to pay in full or in part the school and university fees of our sponsored students (see the financial review section of this report for details)
  2. by organising an annual visit to Kabale in South-West Uganda in the Easter holidays for a group of UK teachers and students.  During the visit we work with teachers in the schools with whom we have a partnership, visit all the sponsored students, meet with Gertrude Atukunda, and evaluate the impact of the charity.  We see for ourselves the progress being made on the key purposes of All Our Children in advancing education and student support and in relieving poverty through the support of individuals and community welfare projects.  We meet our third object of advancing the education of UK students by providing them with the opportunity to join the visit and participate in our projects in Kabale.

In April 2014, our group of 21 consisted of 6 current and retired secondary teachers from William Morris Sixth Form, London and Coombeshead Academy, Newton Abbot, 11 students from William Morris Sixth Form (four with financial support from All Our Children to enable them to participate), 3 ex-students from WMSF and 1 other adult.  Amongst the group were three trustees of All Our Children.

We were joined for three days by Gertrude Atukunda whose input over recent years has improved our understanding of the Ugandan context for education and thus strengthened our relationships in Kabale.  This year she focused her efforts on working with Grigorios Papazafiriou and Liz Walton to complete a formal evaluation of our work with the 11 street children we are sponsoring.

Achievements and Performance of All Our Children in 2013-14

School partnerships

We were delighted that Abigail Wright and Amy Stephens, teachers from Coombeshead Academy in Newton Abbot, Devon joined our trip to Kabale this year with a view to setting up a partnership with Pentagon Secondary School.  Abigail had visited Kabale twice before, but it was Amy’s first visit.  They worked with teachers in Pentagon School and Kigezi High School on their subject specialisms, geography and dance/drama, and Amy choreographed a contemporary dance piece which Pentagon students performed as part of an afternoon of music and dance.  They established strong relationships with teachers from both schools.

Although individual teachers from several London schools have joined our visits on previous years and some have expressed an interest in forming a partnership with a Ugandan school, this has not yet happened.  However, we feel certain that Coombeshead Academy will pursue the partnership with Pentagon School and that Abigail, Amy and other teachers will visit Kabale next year with sixth form students.

We are always hoping that our website will generate interest from UK schools in forming partnerships which we could then support.  However, as a very small charity, we do not have the capacity to generate interest in other ways or to take on the organisation of visits to Uganda for other schools.  We therefore concentrate on continuing and sustaining our own very strong partnerships whilst welcoming teachers from other schools to join our visits.

During our visit in April 2014, we worked with the headteachers and teachers in Kigezi High School and Pentagon Secondary School to help them improve the quality of teaching, learning and school leadership.  This included joint lesson planning and teaching, observing lessons, and running workshops for senior staff and the female teachers in Kigezi High School where the new headteacher is very keen to support the education of girls.  We also donated a large number of textbooks, especially for science subjects, and 7 laptops to Pentagon School.  As ever, we were impressed with the enthusiasm of the teachers to develop their skills despite the very challenging circumstances in which they work.

Thomas Kelly, who led the team of staff and students from William Morris Sixth Form, ensured that the WMSF students had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities in schools ranging from nursery to secondary, including joining the Ugandan students in sporting activities.

Although we did not have any primary and nursery teachers with us this year, our teachers and students visited Blessed Academy Primary School and Wise Parents’ Day Care Centre and Nursery, donated books, games, toys and children’s clothes to them, and took part in school activities.  Our students and ex-students also spent a lot of time at the street children centre organizing games and sports for the many children who attend during the day because they are unable to find school fees.  Finally, at Grace Villa, a beautiful home and refuge for girls who have been abused, run by a truly inspirational woman, Ruth Ndya Bahika, our students played football with the girls and we made a good contact for future visits.

At the end of our visit, we ran a conference for delegates from all the schools we partner with on the theme of working together to share the good practice that exists in many schools and other educational institutions in Kabale.  Aggrey Yesigomwe, a former deputy headteacher at Kigezi High School and now working at Kabale University, agreed to coordinate action decided on by the delegates and run a further conference in the autumn.

Sponsorships

During 2013-2014 we have sponsored a total of 26 students, 11 of whom are also financially supported in the school holidays because they were street children whose families have no means of even feeding them adequately.  17 of the 26 students are in Kabale, so we were able to meet them.  The remaining 8 are in schools in or near Kampala where they are monitored by Gertrude and 1 is at university doing a degree in medicine.

For the evaluation of the street children project, we interviewed the students and their parents/guardians and visited their schools to talk to the headteachers and teachers before writing a report covering the findings and action points for improvement.  We judged the project to be overwhelmingly successful, with all the students enjoying school, working hard and making progress.  To support their progress further, we engaged a teacher to work with them for two days a week during the school holidays at the street children centre.

Of the 6 sponsored students at Kigezi High School, 2 completed S6 in December 2013 and left school. Both of them attained high grades at A level and are expected to be awarded government scholarships to start university in the autumn.  Liz Walton met the 4 remaining students, all of whom are doing well and have high aspirations.  The school asked us to replace the 2 students with 3 girls, spreading the sponsorship money for two across three.

As every year, we met students whom we sponsored in the past and who have kept in touch whilst at university and beyond.  They (and we) are justifiably proud of their achievements.  Phionah Tukamushaba is on her final nursing placement in Kampala and will complete her training in July when she will apply for a post in a hospital.  Moses Ndyagumizamu, who was sponsored in S5 and S6 when his family became unable to pay his fees, is in his second year of teaching biology and chemistry at Kigezi High School.  Jack Barigira received financial support from us both at school and university and is now teaching computing at Kigezi High School and also running a small technology business.  Phillious Karibwige, who was sponsored by us at school for a year when his parents died of Aids and then supported at university, is doing his Clerkship (internship) in a law firm before taking his final law exams in August.  We could not meet Saidi Mbaraka, who was the very first student we sponsored, as he is continuing to study for a master’s degree in plant breeding and genetics in Kyushu University in Japan, after being awarded a scholarship.

UK students 

It is difficult to overestimate the learning and personal development opportunities which participation in such a visit offers to UK students.  This year’s students were an excellent group who impressed with their insight and compassion.  One student, when asked for her overriding impression of the visit, answered “education, education, education”.  Several commented on how Ugandan families do everything they can to keep their children in education, never giving up hope.  They contrasted this with attitudes they had encountered in other developing countries.  The students’ experiences are related in more detail in our current newsletter.

Financial Statement

Our total income amounted to £17,396 and expenditure was £14,629.  The income included a very generous donation of £2000 from one individual and £2710 in gift aid.  We sent approx. £12,600 to Uganda for school fees and student support.  In the UK, we spent £1500 on grants to needy students to enable them to participate in the trip to Uganda (£900 of this was owed for the 2013 trip), £262 on Christmas cards used for publicity, and £246 on bank charges for money transfers.  This means that approx. 96% of the money we received went directly to the young people we are aiming to help.

The way forward

Because of the detailed evaluation we did of the street children project, we became more aware than ever of the desperate struggle families have to raise school fees and to keep their children in school.  Our main aim therefore for 2014-15 is to attract more sponsorship money.  Even a very small annual amount (£30) will pay for children to attend a government primary school (UPE school).

We will help Coombeshead Academy to develop their partnership with Pentagon School.

We will also encourage Havelock Primary School to send teachers to Kabale in 2015 as they made such an impact on Wise Parents’ Nursery and Blessed Academy Primary School in 2012 and 2013.

We will keep in touch with and support Aggrey Yesigomwe in his efforts to bring teachers together from different schools and organizations in Kabale to share good practice.

 

Liz Walton (Chair of Trustees)