Kibuye Project overview

AASU’s first community project is focusing on the village of Kibuye in North Eastern Kamuli, on the shores of the Victoria Nile. Kibuye has an estimated population of 60,000 people and is spread over 27 by 35km. The majority of the population is highly dependent on subsistence farming and barter trade within village in order to survive.

Before the project began, Kibuye was dependent upon one borehole for safe drinking water. Due to long lines when collecting water many have been choosing to fetch water from the river, which has caused illness through water born diseases. The village also only has one school, consisting of two classrooms accommodating roughly 600 children. The children that can’t walk the distance to the school simply don’t attend. The majority of children do not attend school, either due to distance or family circumstance, consequentially 80% of Ugandans over the age of 15 are illiterate.

So far within the Kibuye project AASU has been able to buy four acres of land at the East end of the village on which we have built a bore hole and are currently building classrooms for the Arise and Shine Nursery and Primary School which is due to open for the start of the school year in February 2011.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Teaching in the Arise and Shine Primary School!

My name is Katharina, I just turned 26 while I was here in Uganda and I am from Germany. It seems my time here is flying! Already 2 months have passed and so many things have happened.

The main task I do for AASU is teaching English in their Nursery & Primary School in Kibuye village, where I also live from Monday to Thursday every week, the rest of the time I am in Jinja (or travelling around this beautiful country). But of course, and luckily, I didn’t go straight to the village when I arrived, first I enjoyed a good few days in Jinja, where AASU’s offices and Babies’ Home is based. During this time I could acclimatise myself to the Ugandan weather and culture, get to know the people here and the way they live, get to know all the lovely children in the Babies’ Home and learn more about how AASU works in detail.

Michelle (right), me, and Cow Dina!
One very interesting adventure happened here at the very beginning. Another volunteer from the Netherlands, Michelle, who was here in the Baby’s Home for only 3 weeks, decided to buy a cow for the children there as AASU couldn’t afford to buy milk for all children every day and so only the very small ones got it until then. She had raised some money already before she came here and when her friends and family heard she wanted to buy a cow they even sent her more money! Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough to afford a pregnant cow that would give enough milk as it turned out that they are quite expensive here. So I promised to give the rest of the 
money from the donations I raised before I came here. It was even not easy to find cows here for sale and finally they found a good one for 2,200,000 UGX, which are more than 700€!

So we went there to buy the cow from the farmer (who must be a rich man now!) and brought it to the Baby’s Home, where all the children and the staff were so excited to welcome the new inhabitant of the Baby’s Home! The children were screaming “Ente, ente!” which means cow in Luganda and immediately had their cup ready to drink as soon as we started milking the cow. We decided to name the cow Dina, and I hope she will have a good and long life there and give a lot of milk so that all the children can have a healthy diet! Now and then you here a “mooooooo” around the house which scared the children first, but now they are used to it and they know at least where the milk comes from - better than some children in Europe who might think it comes just from the fridge in the supermarket!

Teaching at the Arise and Shine Primary School. One of the
classroom blocks is not yet finished so some classes
study from under trees.
In my first days I also started my research and preparations about the special reading and writing classes I wanted to do with the pupils at the Arise and Shine Primary School, as they found out last term that it is where they ally need extra help. For that reason I visited the village and the school first for only one day, after which I never could imagine myself to stay there actually for 3 nights and 4 days every week like I do now! It was all so different to what I am used to.

So to start, I stayed only one night to observe the lessons how they are now and got back quite shocked: that is how I imagine my parents or even grandparents were taught! And although I am not a teacher, just from remembering the English lessons I had in Germany I was thinking I could do that maybe better or at least in another way, that is not just the teacher saying something and the children repeating it without any thinking on their own. But it turned out it is not just that easy to change the children’s habits and make them think themselves – they are, after all, used to being taught in a much different way than I was. And they’re too worried about getting something wrong – but it’s lovely to see how happy and motivated they are when they get something right! The teachers always say that the children are slow learners and at first I didn’t like that word, but whatever speed they are moving it they are definitely learning and improving and that is wonderful to see. Sometimes it is a bit frustrating when they don’t understand things as quickly as I expected, but I guess that is just how a teacher’s life is!

Lauren, Myrthe, Renee, and Suzan, some of
AASU's other volunteers, outside our house
in the village!
The first two weeks I was the only volunteer staying in the village and life there was quite an adventure on its own. However, the teachers are very helpful and show you how to survive! Although I am very glad that I have more company now with Lisa, another Muzungu (that is what they call white people here) who is also teaching at the school, and also Renee and Myrthe, two Dutch volunteers working with pregnant women and those with young children, teaching them about healthcare, nutrition and even stimulating play. I’m really enjoying having more company in the village now, and the teachers are already talking about the improvement they see in the children. And then when I’m back in the Babies’ Home I see Cow Dina and how all the children are enjoying her milk, which is a lovely sight.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Well come home Ezra!

Just a small up date to let you know our precious one is back! God is keeping him alive for a reason. Ezra came back home last night.He is weighing 1.8 kg meaning he has put on 0.2 kg. I could see he has grown so much in the time he has been away . He has developed nails, he didnt have them before. I hope i told you that he was a premature.

Ezra is opening his eyes so wide now and complains at any discomfort. This morning, the arise and shine Nurse put an iv on his hand and he didnt like it. But he only gets this treatment today and tomorrow and then he will be fine .
He looks amazing! Sleeping lots, only waking up to eat and sleep again. Thank you to all of you who donated some money to go to his medical. You were God sent to save his life. We all know that one day, Ezra will minister to so many souls, serving God's children . We look forward to when God's plans for Ezra unfold. 

Jeremiah is also doing so much better, though he still has some cough.We are treating it and hope it will pass soon.

The rest of the babies are doing well. Yesterday we received some blankets and soy based formular from a team from 60 feet.This was so nice. Those are some of our greatest needs. Most of our children are baby babies. Formular, onesies, blankets, crib sheets are so much needed in our house hold.

At the moment we also have alot of children sharing beds. We wish to get 12 more beds so that each one of them can have their own bed. 

Please help contribute to buy more beds for our children, this would help minimize infections. You can all donate on this blog and you will get tax deductable receipts.

Thank you for following us, have a blessed day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The living miracle- baby Ezra

I was just browsing the net , looking at baby information websites. As I browsed, one caught my attention
People preparing for their babies to be born and how much it will cost them. The excitement of a newborn baby, shopping for baby cloths , cribs and all.

For one of my babies, this was not the case. A mother was pregnant and at birth she had a different plan for her twins.

On the 2nd of October I got a phone call from the probation officer. Twins had been thrown in a pit latrine 15-20 ft deep right after birth.
These babies were rescued and taken to a near by hospital in that village.  We went to pick the babies so they could be further treated here in Jinja. At the village  hospital they were just wrapped in a blanket and left on the bed with no treatment at all.

We were lucky we made it soon to the Jinja hospital, all was done to save the babies. Unfortunately the twin sister didn’t survive. She had been hurt so much by the machines that rescued them from the pit latrine. She died shortly after admission in the hospital.
Ezra fought on and he is still fighting for life.

I had spent last Friday with a family in Kampala trying to help them with their process. In the evening, I felt I hadn’t seen the babies at all and wanted to just go say hello. I greeted each and everyone giving them good night kisses.

When I got to Ezra, I found out he had thrown up once that evening. I immediately told the auntie to pack up staff so we could go to the hospital.
While in the car, I thought to myself, there wouldn’t be a doctor in the public hospital this time of the day. So I decided we go to a private clinic.

 Getting their, the doctor took off the babies cloths and looked at his eyes trying to open his eye lids. He told me the baby was so sick, so severely dehydrated and could not handle his case and advised us to take him somewhere else.
I had an instant emotional breakdown, I was scared, I was afraid of what would happen to my little Ezra.
During all this, I had to remind myself of God’s love and His plan for Ezra. He gave me a scripture right then Isaiah 41:10. This encouraged me, I got energy for the next step.
I wrapped up my baby, and rushed to the public hospital. There was no doctor there but the nurse was very nice. She kindly looked at Ezra and told me he was severely dehydrated. She gave him 10mls of glucose. I suddenly saw a little hand moving towards Ezra’s face. He had got some energy!
We put him on Oral rehydration solution that whole night but he wasn’t seen until after 5 am. Later on Saturday morning, he was seen by the head nurse and put on antibiotics.

Ezra is feeling a little better but he still has a lot of diahorea.
He is feeding well but not picking up. He still weighs 1.7kgs. We need to get more medical examinations done on him, so we can find the problem. We have been advised to take him to Kampala international hospital were they can do further medical investigations. It is a very good hospital but very expensive. He would be there for a while, but he would get the best treatment.
Ezra is fighting A LOT of infections in his body. Please fight with him. Help donate today; together we can make a difference in this little boy’s life.
To donate please look on the right hand side of this blog for the donate button. Thank you all for following us and thank you for your support.We would not be able to do all we do without you!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ARISE AND SHINE UGANDA, a second family for all the volunteers!

My name is N’taho Emmanuella Djama, a volunteer from Côte d’Ivoire. I worked for Arise and Shina Uganda (AASU) for 9 weeks (20th June 2012 – 27th August).

In the beginning, I really missed my friends, my family, in a nutshell – my country! But I couldn’t just get on an aeroplane and fly back home, so I did my best to feel like Uganda was home.

For my work with AASU I chose the Community Education Project. It is one of the 4 main projects and at the heart of the organisation. The project is based in Kibuye, a village in North Eastern Kamuli district. Topics I taught included HIV/AIDS and other STD awareness (e.g. syphilis), hygiene and sanitation, and also good child nutrition.

It was a great experience for me! During the morning, the other volunteers and I walked around the village to talk to the community members and also to encourage them to come to our sessions. During this time the translators we worked with showed us different types of plants and animals, and taught us some words in the local language, Lusoga. I learned how to greet someone, how to kneel when talking with an older person (a sign of respect), and also how to thank someone. Let me give you some of the vocabulary I learnt from the translators in the village:

Oli otya? (How are you?); Wasuzi otya (Good morning) ; Bulungi (Fine, good); Webalé nyo (Thank you very much); Sebo (Mister) ; Inyabo (Madame) ; Méeka? (How much?) ; Miliki (Milk)

Sometimes the community members we visited would very kindly offer us Ugandan food for lunch – for example, posho (maize flour mixed with water), beans in sauce, and roasted maize. This was especially generous when we thought of how most people we were visiting were subsistence farmers, growing just enough (and sometimes not enough) for them and their families to eat. I enjoyed being able to spend this time with them and they also liked us to have photos taken with them. They are kind and amazing people.

In the afternoon, I organized my education sessions with the adults. I was helped by a translator who translated my English lessons into Lusoga, the local language. Most of the attendants was women; and they were always enthusiastic and open to acquiring new knowledge. These women are wonderful mums, and also wonderful friends for me and all the volunteers.

The night was time for relaxing. We all cooked together and would tell stories about our lives, our countries, our universities, all so that we may know each other more and discover the similarities and differences between our countries. I really learnt a lot about foreign cooking and the other cultures.

When we came back to town on Thursday after being in the village since Monday, it was just amazing. A meeting is organized by the Project Coordinator every Friday and where we discuss our week in the village – our achievements and also the challenges we faced. From these we worked together to propose ideas to help those in the village achieve a better life for themselves. The Project Coordinator always took care of us and listened carefully to our propositions. We would spend Fridays in the Arise and Shine Uganda Babies’ Home with the children – playing, singing, dancing, eating together and also sometimes swimming. During the weekend, we organized parties, visited some beautiful sites of Uganda, did some shopping and strolled about Jinja town.

At the end of my trip to Uganda I felt really sad, because I had gained a real family there with the staff of AASU, the volunteers and also the people I worked with in the village. I will always remember this wonderful organization. I thank everybody for making my travel to Uganda so exceptional. Don’t miss it! Join AASU, you will never regret your choice, I promise you!!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

iPad Raffle and Matching Funds!!

Do you want to help Arise and Shine Uganda continue to serve the people of Jinja and Kibuye?

Do you want a new iPad?

Do you like magically turning $1 into $2?

If these apply to you then today is your lucky day!!

AASU is launching a raffle for an iPad and all the funds raised by "selling" tickets go directly to support our work on the ground in Uganda. 

The best part is that a private donor has offered to match every dollar raised up to $3,000! That means that each dollar given is doubled by this matching gift!!

Here is how it works:

1)  Go to and decide how many tickets you want to "purchase." Each ticket equals one entry into the drawing. Add it to your cart and make your donation!

2) Share this blog post or the Raffle Store link via email, Facebook and Twitter with all your friends to help us meet the match of $3,000.

3) Every ticket will be assigned a number in order of purchase. 

4) The raffle ends on Wednesday August 15th at 10 am EST. We will use to generate a true random winner from all the entries.  We will announce the winner by the end of the day and the iPad will be shipped to the lucky supporter of AASU!

Every dollar donated to the raffle will make a huge difference in the lives of our people. We work hard to make every penny count so we can serve the most people most effectively.

In 2010, Arise and Shine Uganda was founded with the goal of using education to transform the lives of vulnerable children and adults throughout the districts of Jinja and Kamuli in Uganda.

AASU uses a four-part approach to bring about sustainable community development:
1.) Income Generating Projects
            -The Beads Project
            -The Candle Project
            -The Tailoring Project
            -The Farming Sessions
2.) Adult Education and Outreach
            -Adult Literacy
            -Sexual and Reproductive Health
3.) Kibuye Village School
-Offering nursery and primary education to over 200 boys and girls and community development and education courses to local adults
4.) Jinja Babies’ Home
- Employing 15 caregivers and providing love, shelter, nourishment, medical care, and education to up to 40 children at any given time. The home works diligently to restore the children back to their families or to find local foster families when reunification is not an option.

Under the faithful oversight of Sharon and our team, these programs are successfully working together to improve the standard of living for vulnerable community members in Jinja and Kamuli.

The scope and reach of AASU is continually increasing as we seek to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people in our community. 

We need you to help us continue our work. Buy some tickets and spread the word!!!!!!

*************CLICK HERE TO BUY YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS**************

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kibuye? Where's that?

Bernice Lin, a kind and hard-working volunteer from Singapore with us here in Uganda for 6 weeks, tells us about her time with Arise and Shine.

Monday, June 11, 2012


It has been such a long time since we last blogged!  There has been a lot going on since you last heard from us.

Just to give you a quick update, all is well at Arise and Shine Uganda. Classes at our Nursery and Primary School have increased from 3 to 6! We now have classes from nursery to Primary 5 and from 50 students a year ago we now have 250! We are surely educating the village, raising Uganda’s future generation.

We are also building 3 more classrooms to cater for the growing number of students in the school. This is going slowly but surely and we hope that before the end of September these will be usable. We will be sure to keep you updated!

The Babies’ Home is also doing well. As most of you know, we shifted to a new home where we have more space and shade. The children are looking happier and happier in their new home. We even have goats, chickens, and swings!  Our garden is also coming along nicely and soon we will be enjoying delicious home-grown vegetables.

We all love the Arise and Shine Children’s Care Home!

News about the children!

In the past few months we were sadly overrun with measles. This was such a tough time for us at the Care Home as all of the children got sick. Thanks to Sara, Shane and Shannon for coming to our rescue! That meant a lot to us. This family helped bring us a lot of medical supplies and lots of healthy yummy drinks. Thanks a lot for loving and thinking of us at such a hard time!

We have also had more additions to the Arise and Shine family!  We had 9 children move into our home since the last time you heard from us. They are well settled in and thriving under our care.

Last month 2 of our babies got adopted! Mariam and Khadil got a forever family! They are now in America; we are so excited for what the Lord has in store for them.
Last week was very difficult for everyone at Arise and Shine. Sharif has been very sick; he was hospitalized for a week in Nalufenya children’s ward, but we are very thankful to have him home with us now.

Sharif is almost 2 years old yet he looks like he is 8 months old. His appetite is so low and his development is so slow compared to other children.

Sharif is not an active child despite already being a toddler. He doesn’t walk or crawl and doesn’t even get interested in exploring his environment. His favorite things to do are sucking on his thumb and sleeping. He eats so little considering his age.

Even after being with us for a year he still looks so malnourished! When the doctors at Nalufenya Children’s Ward were told about his history, they were so concerned about his growth. They have done so many tests on him at the moment, yet they cannot find out what is wrong with him. More tests have been requested to further investigate his illness, and they are looking into getting his kidneys, liver, spleen and heart checked out.

He also suffered from measles during the outbreak in April, but he is now recovering from this at the moment.
Sharif is struggling with an illness we are all not sure of. The Arise and Shine family is fighting to find out what is going on. We need to save his life. Please follow the next blog for updates about Sharif.

Thanks for following us, we love you all!

Monday, March 12, 2012

African Dream

When we are young, sometimes we feel like we are invincible and we can change the world. This feeling can lead us to amazing adventures and in fact can lead us to fulfill our dreams. In aim to achieve our purpose we are able to do incredible things. We define the rest of our lives when we are young.
It’s this wish of doing something that is worth, that makes possible we have such a variety of young people volunteering for Arise and Shine Uganda. Our team is a mix of every continent, each one of us trying to be part of the same dream, sharing the same vision.
We came thinking that we could change the people and when we get here we just realize that we are the ones changed by the smiles of the children in the babies home and by the respect of the people of Kamuli district.
Here are the testimonies of our team during the past week.
Natalia – Brazil
“I’m already in Uganda for one month, and I’m just amazed by the people here. Working in the babies’ home just makes me see how it’s possible to be happy with so little. Simple gestures can make a huge difference with those kids, they can smile everyday even if they are fighting with troubles that I could never find myself facing. In the village, it’s not different, people are so glad and thankful that just showing them that we care is enough for making them feeling important. Let me share one experience I had these days: I brought a girl named Angela from the village to Jinja. The woman who takes care of her told me that her parents had died and she was feeling sick for a long time, but never getting better. She also told me Angela was HIV+. So we decided to bring Angela to get a properly health care in Jinja. We found out she was HIV-, which made me feel very glad. Then I took her to the hospital and now she has got the treatment for her sickness and is feeling better. Back in the village her step mother with simplicity and humbleness gave me a gift that I will never forget, four eggs and peanuts, it may not be a valuable present but made me feel that was worth every minute I spent in the hospital with Angela!”

Yuri – Japan
“Hi, Im Yuri, I’m a new volunteer from Japan! This week, I went to the village(Kibuya)at first time. It was really good! There are no water and no power, so we went to the well to get water! It was nice experience for me. I had Adult Literacy Class with Lily, the volunteer from France. There are 5-10 students, and it was my first time to teach English to adults but I did my best. I taught English words of parts of the body. Besides, I also had condom demonstration for adults. When I explain the way of using condom, I used banana to make them understand easier, and it was really good. They laughed at it so much.  When I was going back to Jinja, one of the students in Adult Literacy class asked me, ‘Will you come here next week again?’ to hear that, I became sooo happy. I’m really looking forward to meeting and teaching them again!”

  Madeleine – Norway
“This week the beadsproject have made big strides. First and foremost Sharon and I (Madeleine) made a project design and a plan for the project which hopefully will make the project reach its full potential. Second I started to organize the project which has been influenced by discontinuity, so now the ladies now have their own profile to ensure the right ladies get paid.             
Also this week I have undergone beadstraining, which is a lot more extensive than you would think. You have the cutting, the rolling, the gluing, vanishing and threading. And that's not all, you also have to think about what different papers make different beads. So now after 3 lessons hopefully I will be able to pass on my new-found knowledge.  This week has been very busy and exciting, I have big plans and hopes for the beadsproject!”

Femka – Netherlands
Everybody deserves a change!

It’s my first week in Africa and it already feels like home! I will be here for 4 weeks and mainly will work with children with a disability in the Babieshome in Jinja and in the village in Kamuli district. This week we did the first pre-school lesson with three of the disabled kids and it was amazing! We gave them papers and color pencils and they got really excited. It was probably the first time ever they have made a picture on their own. From now on we are going to do the pre-school lessons every day and we are going to learn the teachers how to work with the disabled children.  People in Africa think that being disabled is a punishment and they are not accepted yet, so there is still a lot of work to do for us here in Uganda. Everybody deserves the same chance. Pay it forward!”

Maiken and Karoline – Norway

“Next week we are going to start having sessions about HIV/AIDs and syphilis in the center near the village. We are going to have sessions every Tuesday, with condom demonstrations and sharing out condoms. So this week in the village we mobilized for the sessions. We hung up posters in the center, and went around to talk to people about it. There were a lot of people that seemed interested, and I think that to hold sessions in the center will be a really good location for bringing a lot of people together, and also get more men involved in the sessions.”
Lili – France

“This week was the third week of adult literacy session for me. We worked together with Yuri, a new volunteer from Japan.  Besides teaching parts of the body, the verbs to have/to be and objects in the house, we held a conversation on Tuesday and Wednesday at the end of the classroom. And that was a cultural experience of its own! To the question “What is your marital status?”,  Harriett, Janepher, Rosa and Annett were actually bewildered to see that at the ages of 21 and 26, Yuri and I could still be single while at that age, they were already married and had 2 to 3 kids.
 Similarly, we encountered disgusted expressions on their faces when we told them that our favorite foods were raw fish, snails and frogs.  Finally, I felt proud when Harriett answered that her favorite hobby was to come to my classes to learn English. I just felt so touched to see that they were appreciative of our work and they were realizing the impact of English classes on their own empowerment.”

Sharon – Uganda
       When one hears the word village, the person goes like ‘no…. I can’t go to the village’ but guess what? It’s one of the best experiences in the world! You know why? I know you don’t, so I will tell you why. I have been to the village myself and gosh…… I don’t really have the right words to use but I will try. I worked with adult literacy mostly in the lower class and ladies are the most active, though I have a gentleman. It can be lots of fun when they laugh at each other, when they know nothing on how to write their names. But I am glad, happy and proud to tell you that now I have the best students who have learned how to write their names. One good thing is that you always want to teach them because they are so devoted students who never give up. I’m an African who enjoys the village so what of you? You can give it a try. Promise you will before I continue. I do the translating too, for my white friends´…..and it’s amazing because my friends can’t get anything the villagers are saying and likewise the villagers don’t understand English. Let me take a second and laugh. Ha ha ha ha. It’s really funny.  Sorry I cannot say the whole of it because if I do you will not tune in next time. So if you want to know what’s going to happen to my adult class then join me! I remain Sharon Luda: the village girl.”