Education, children and project teddy
We were put in touch with a number of schools in Teso Uganda including a school on a small swamp island. The schools varied from having classrooms and resources to only having sand and trees! We wish to support these schools and their children in a number of ways:
- We want to help provide homes for the head teacher and teachers at the school
- We want every child in every school to be fed
- We want to work with key educators to introduce more creative ways of teaching in Uganda
- We want every child to be able to drink clean water
- We want to help many teachers and children's journey to schools. For example, we have now bought a bicycle for a teacher who previously had to walk 20km everyday to school whilst carrying her baby.
- We want young children to be able to play and explore in a safe and secure environment
We took our school mascot from our Ruddington based school (Ruddy Bear) to visit the country and report back to our UK children about what he had seen. The children in Uganda had never seen a bear before and were scared of him (indeed there is no word for bear in the their Ateso language). When we showed the children that they could cuddle him they did not want to let him go. We promised them we would bring them a bear back next time we visited. Well, we have managed to do better than that!
The children at our school each donated a bear to the cause. The local WI, members of the church and sewing groups managed to sew little bears which were then sponsored and sent out – each with a message of love tied around it’s neck. Sally’s Mum sewed over 200 of the bears! These bears have helped to raise over £2000 (in addition to the £5 000 we’d raised previously through bake sales and bingo nights) to provide bricks for a classroom and morning porridge (posha) for the school children on the island. It has been lovely for our village children to give something that means so much to them to a third world child. So many lessons have been learnt through this small but important act. Our children are realising how lucky they are not only to have toys but to have clean water and an education.
The bears (nearly 1000 of them) were delivered for free by DHL. ‘Project Teddy Bear’ has been on the BBC local news and radio! We have just received beautiful photographs back of the children cuddling their new bears. Certainly a few ‘happy’ tears were shed when the first photos were emailed to us from Reverend Charles! For most, this will be the first time that these Ugandan children have received a gift of any kind. Bears, although not as important as food and water, are so important to these children. Many of them are orphans and need an emotional attachment. They will teach the children how to interact, play imaginatively and the little children can grasp, chew and manipulate these toys. We are hoping to launch Project Teddy Bear again next Christmas. We are already stock piling bears for sponsorship. If you would like to make some bears for us please use this pattern.
If you would like to sponsor or adopt your own bear please get in touch via email.