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The Preschool is Finally Happening!

 

We are so excited to announce that construction on the Preschool extension to Solid Rock School has officially begun!

It’s hard to overstate the need for this expansion. Our teachers were putting in hours of volunteer time on the weekends to bring incoming first graders, who had no foundation, up to speed. Some of the first graders speak some English, but most don’t. Trying to teach a classroom in multiple languages is taxing! Also, many incoming first graders are malnourished, already hindering their cognitive and physical growth.

Solid Rock Christian Preschool will provide meals, community, and instruction to 40 new preschool students this year, with the vision that we will one day serve over 100 3-5 year olds at this facility! We are so excited for not just the kids, but the families that will be reached and blessed through this expansion.

Thank you to all of the supporters of this project for making it possible. You’re making a difference!

Surveying the future location of the preschool back in April, 2017.

 

Overview of the building and latrines nearby that will go in on that plot of land.

 

Artist’s rendering of the front of the preschool building, ready to be filled with kids!

 

Plans for the classrooms, layout and construction, produced in collaboration between Shana Reiss with Reiss Design Studios and a local Ugandan architect and contractor.

Layout of the land

Now that construction has begun, it’s time to get this preschool ready for the kids. That means filling it with desks, notebooks, games, and everything else needed to successfully welcome 40 new students and their families. Read more about how you can help here, or sign up for the email newsletter to get more pictures and updates in the future!

We can’t wait to keep updating you as the project comes to fruition.

Elaine, Mick, and Elsie.

 

 

 

Our Giving Tuesday Campaign is going to provide shoes for all of the incoming preschool students. It’s really simple, a pair of shoes is $25, and it all goes straight to the kids. Learn more here.

 


Term 3 Update from Solid Rock

Written by Richard Aguta, social worker at Solid Rock Christian Academy

“Classes just commenced two weeks ago and teachers are now teaching the children; imparting knowledge and good behaviors to them as said “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” So, Solid Rock Christian School embraces Christian morals and disperses them into the lives of our kids via counseling, teaching the Word of God and societal morals, hence the children’s lives are enriched. Our children have been in their school vacation and many of them have been helping their families with domestic work, since in African culture children are encouraged to be involved in domestic work.

Students back in their classroom after the break.

However, Grade five and six students also attended a school vacation program. The school vacation program was organized for the upper class students to do correction for precious exams, so that in the beginning of third term new topics are taught to them.

During the school vacation, Zozu project staff visited some homes of the sponsored children, and their family members were happy for the sponsorship from the United States, especially those who received family gifts last month. Parents and Guardians heartfully appreciate the service offered by Sponsors and Zozu Project to their children. Your support has restored hope to the hopeless families that were un able to support their children with education, for education is the key to success. 

Thanks to all our sponsors for educating a child in Uganda, Africa. God bless you.”

 


The Image Challenge – We Face it Too

It’s no shocker–image is everything. In the days of Instagram, YouTube, and ever-improving camera tech we are inundated with images of people, brands, organizations, companies, you name it. I know that I can’t be alone in feeling the pressure to only put the good photos up on Facebook–the ones with beautiful lighting that show my family and friends looking happy and gorgeous. Working for an organization, especially a non-profit, is no different. On behalf of Zozu Project, there is a desire to post just the well-lit shots of children and their families that are artfully composed. In America, where the environment is relatively safe and clean, it’s easy to produce pictures like this. Most companies, and a lot of charities, have whole teams of people just dedicated to taking good pictures.

I’ve been thinking about this recently, because a lot of photos we receive from the field look like this:

It’s a little wonky. And slightly blurry. But you know what, I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s ok. While beautiful images can shed important light on the realities of Uganda, the reality these children live in is not that well-composed. It’s messy. It’s dark. It’s dirty and rough. These small, sometimes blurry images show that reality in a different way. While we absolutely love and celebrate the most professional looking photos, and want to share those with you, sometimes all we have is shots like these. It’s easy to forget in an age of high-quality DSLRs and high megapixel phone cameras just how precious a simple image like this can be. The very fact that we have them at all is amazing! We want to honor your commitment as a sponsor by sharing pictures with you no matter the quality, and as Director of Com., I felt compelled to write about it.

We are committed to transparency and honesty with you in all that we do as an organization. In our minds, that is more important than our own picture-perfect branding. When we have images of the kids you support, we want to share them with you no matter what! And as much as I would love to say that all of the photos we send will be pretty, you can expect more gritty, real images from Africa coming your way! Thank you for supporting what God is doing in Uganda through all of us, and may he continue to bless the loaves and fishes we offer.

Elsie

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