QUARTERLY NEWS
SUMMER 2020
COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 disrupted operations, b ut HEED is still on a mission!  As COVID-19 spread across the globe your world undoubtedly changed, and so did things for HEED. We found ourselves grappling with cancelled mission trips, school closures, and budget concerns. As we faced new challenges we found new ways to operate, be effective, and be relevant. We are thankful to you, our faithful champions, for equipping us for "such a time as this."  N ew opportunities emerged because of the shutdown. Read on!

 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

 who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Current Situation in Uganda

 
Uganda responded early in the pandemic by quarantining incoming visitors and has been in a near total lock-down to control the virus since mid-March.
 
Schools closed, public transportation stopped, and driving personal vehicles was prohibited. The airport is closed and only cargo trucks are allowed to cross the borders after the driver submits to testing. Trucks wait at the border for days before entering the country. Uganda has had only 145 total cases and no deaths, to date. While the measures have been effective in controlling the virus, the negative impact on families with little to no margin has been enormous.
 
Just this week, some reopening steps were announced. Starting June 4 there will be 
some transportation allowed, and Primary  7 and Senior 4 students will be allowed to return to school to prepare for their major culmination exam at the end of the year. We are thrilled to have some of our students back! 
 
And For HEED... 
We rely on school fees to pay most of the teacher salaries however, due to faithful donors and our administrative staff offering to cut their salaries, we have been able to continue paying our teachers half salary. Uganda has no unemployment support, so we are thankful to be able to take care of our staff during this hard time. We are proud of the solidarity of our Uganda team and thankful for you, our supporters, for meeting the gap.
Health & Hygiene Community Outreach: 400 Families Reached



All of the school staff stayed on site expecting schools to reopen, and sprang to action as they waited.

They carried a message of hope, proper sanitation, and virus prevention through outreaches to the community. Over 400 families were visited and trained in making hand-washing stations with local materials, and given soap to implement healthy hygiene practices.

The team was spearheaded by our school nurse who is a trained community health worker.
Hopefully the urgency will translate into long-term improved health through better hygiene.
Distance Learning

The teachers had to get creative to keep the learning bridge between our students and teachers alive and active. In a place where there is no electricity, few students who can access smartphones, and no television sets, God still made a way. 

The teachers are in touch with 60% of our learners via What's App chat groups, and delivering hard copies of resources with follow up phone calls.
 
The break has afforded a rare time for training, reflection, adjustments, and lesson planning so the team will be prepared any moment the government re-opens the schools. 

A new national high school curriculum was introduced in Uganda this year (the first update since the 1960's). Additionally, HEED had introduced an interactive, Christian curriculum for the preschool. The timing was perfect for additional training opportunities with these new resources.

Computer Literacy Training

  The October mission team brought 10 laptops from Puget Sound Energy for the high school, and 30 more are ready to deliver as soon we can travel to Uganda. A high school computer lab is ready and waiting!
The staff is using this COVID-19 break to equip all our full-time staff with basic computer skills which they were lacking.  All staff members are now able to harness the power of Microsoft Office packages to type their own exams, make departmental reports on computers, enter data in reports, and use technology as part of the ir daily instruction in their classrooms.
Professional Development & Team Building

With the gift of additional time, staff members attended a week-long professional development training - a new experience for most of the staff.
 
Day 1: HEED Vision & Mission
Day 2: Interactive teaching  
Day 3: Effective communication skills
Day 4: Organizational skills
Day 5: Team building
 
Teachers are now able to communicate more effectively, develop interactive lessons, and read and interpret their learners' emotions to help them with what they may be going through in life. They have learned the HEED principal of "stopping for the one."
Digging Toward Sustainability

We continue to develop our farmland to demonstrate effective, climate-wise farming techniques for the community and to generate income for school operations. 

Our recent maize harvest was more than 1200 pounds! Some of the harvest was reserved to feed students and some was sold generating our first-ever income in Uganda. A big step forward! 
 
During the shut down, our teachers have pitched-in developing raw HEED land into productive projects. We appreciate their hard work and team spirit!
  • Two acres were cleared on the high school campus and maize was planted.
  • Ten acres of maize and beans were planted on the HEED Farm.
  • Five acres were cleared and planted with coffee seedlings as the first step for a hoped-for coffee cooperative.
 
Capital Campaign Construction Update


Our 3rd Classroom Block is Completed  

Classroom before

Classroom after
 
Our growing high school campus is becoming difficult to capture in one photo! Thank you immeasurably to our Capital Campaign Donors who contributed so generously to make dreams become a reality. The six-room classroom block funded by the Capital Campaign provided three more classrooms and three classrooms to use for a temporary boys' dormitory. We now have a total of 8 classrooms, a vocational room, a science lab, a main hall, a computer lab, and temporary boys' and girls' dormitories. AMAZING! They are beautiful spaces for kids to reach for their potential. Thank you!
All for them, so that...

"They may wear a garment of praise instead of spirit of despair..."



"...they will restore the ancient ruins
and places long devastated."

Isaiah 61:3-4
Join Us in Prayer
 
"...As you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."  ( 2 Corinthians 1:11)
 
Praises from the admin staff,  team in Kyakitanga, and church: 
  • We would love to thank God for the provision and love that they are experiencing in the ministry of HEED.
  • We would like to thank God for the gift of life that God has granted to all our partners here in Uganda and in the US amidst this challenge ofCOVID-19.
  • We thank God for the rains we have gotten
  • Pastor Annet thanks the teaching staff who have always been committed to serving God and fellowshipping on a weekly basis
  • Above all, we thank God for the spirit of fellowship that is in the team.
Prayer requests:
  • Crops were recently planted and there was good rain at first, but more rain is needed.
  • For children to be able to return to school as quickly and safely as possible as COVID-19 concern lessens and restrictions are lifted.
  • Unity in the local church, and provision for renovation for the growing church. Pray specifically for machines/musical instruments.
  • Spiritual growth of the community, that church members will start new income generating projects, and that God will build up an entrepreneurship training center for people to learn.
  • For wisdom about letting our school nurse begin to serve the community who have no locally accessible medical care.
If you'd like to join our prayer team, please e-mail heeduganda@gmail.com with the subject line "Add me to the prayer group". We would be delighted to have you on our team!

Thank you for equipping us to reach out  in love to bring transformation
to children and their community.