We will be spending the next five weeks helping out at a vocational school in a small village in the eastern part of Uganda near the Kenyan border. This school, started in 2003, is run by a Canadian woman Barbara Wybar who is now living there full time. Before arriving I had a vague idea about the work Barbara is doing. The school that she runs is called Bududa Vocational Acadamy (BVA). BVA was established to provide proper training in specific trades and make this training more accessible to the local population. Most of the students don't have any high school. They also have no other trade training. Lots of the girls have babies already, having had them starting at 15 years old. We don't hear about which boys have kids, as often they don't claim fatherhood. In a nutshell, if the students didn't have this school, they would probably endup on the streets with no job and no way to support themselves or their young families. That's why this school makes an important contribution. It lets people help themselves.Currently the school trains . . .
students in five trades or programs which include: brick laying, carpentry, tailoring, early childhood education and introduction to computers. This is one aspect of Barbara`s work.
Barbara also organizes a program for orphans in the village called the Children of Peace. These young children have a sponsor in either Canada or the United States and every Saturday, they attend English classes where they learn English through singing, repetition and reading. They are also given breakfast and lunch. These children are supported through home visits to ensure that their living conditions are acceptable and that they have the basics at home and for school.
As volunteers we contribute in any way we can with the functioning of the school and supporting the students. Types of jobs include helping to teach in a class, encouraging conversation with the students to help them with their English, basic labour around the school grounds, digging trenches, carrying water, keeping all the paper work up to date, going on home visits. . . and the list goes on.