Water. Something so simple we take it for granted here in the UK almost completely… but in rural Africa access to consistent supplies of clean water can be a rarity.
In Uganda people pray regularly for good weather: and by that, they mean rain. If it's raining as you arrive, Ugandans will say you bring a blessing. Our partners are located in south western Uganda on the rift valley, a relatively humid climate with reasonable precipitation levels over the year. However, the region sees distinct seasonality and the ’rainy’ seasons are unpredictable. Therefore, to grow crops regularly throughout the year requires careful management and conservation of clean water supplies.
Accomplish supports the RAPCD special needs primary school in Kasese. It is normal practice in Uganda for parents to pay school fees, and for children to be sent home if they cannot pay. RAPCD is unusual in that it never sends children home, and its fees are means tested so families only pay what they can afford. Accomplish funds most of the school's costs so fees can be kept low and accessible.
Accomplish recently purchased 10 acres of farmland adjacent to the school to enable RAPCD to plant crops for feeding pupils, thus bringing down the school's food bills. RAPCD also uses the farmland for hands-on lessons in agriculture - an important part of village life.
Most local people are subsistence farmers. They grow crops to feed their families and sell excess produce to pay school fees and medical bills, and buy other items, such as firewood, soap or clothes. If they plant seeds at the wrong time, or if there is not enough rain, or perhaps it rains too early or too late in the season, their harvest will be affected which has a huge impact on people's lives. RAPCD will be growing crops on a larger scale, but its farmland's yield is still completely dependent on the weather.
RAPCD is planning to expand the primary school from the current 140 pupils to a 200 student capacity by building more accommodation in a new 80-bed hostel. In addition, the organisation is in the process of building a secondary school, which, like the primary, will start small with the first year’s intake of approximately 50 students. The secondary school will grow gradually, adding another intake of ~50 students annually, until it teaches four year groups and 200 pupils.
The farmland already owned by RAPCD is large enough to grow food for all these extra students, but only under ideal weather conditions. Therefore, RAPCD has asked Accomplish to install an irrigation system to provide a steady supply of water and thus ensure a bountiful harvest. Sunshine is in abundance, so with a reliable water supply RAPCD's farmland will be well positioned.
The irrigation system has been designed and engineered to produce a reliable, cost effective water supply. To purchase and install the system will cost £4,500. Although this is a significant upfront investment, the irrigation equipment will eventually cover its costs by ensuring reliable harvests, increasing the farmland's yield and thus lowering RAPCD’s food bills. Any excess food will be sold to subsidise the school's running costs.
We know from the work we have done previously with SADICH and RSNF, and the agricultural land already run by RAPCD, that properly irrigated and managed farmland in the region provides an incredible abundance of food to be harvested, so we're asking you to dig deep this Christmas to help the RAPCD school become more self sufficient and sustainable by growing the majority of its own food.
As a result of this project, the school will be able to support an additional 60 primary students and (eventually) 200 secondary students…. So for a sum of £17 you will be helping to feed a school child not just in 2017, but for the whole period of their education at the RAPCD centre! And not just that child, but the child that comes after that one. It really is quite a marvellous idea, and feeling. You could even support two, or ten, or even more children!
As a seasonal fundraising idea: one of our trustees has decided not to send Christmas cards this year and will instead donate the money she would have spent on cards and postage towards the irrigation project. Alternatively, perhaps people you know may wish to become involved in the project by way of a Christmas gift?
To give directly, please go to our Christmas Campaign page: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/christmas2016/366670
or Accomplish's main BTMyDonate page: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/accomplishchildrenstrust
You can of course also set up a electronic bank transfer by liaising with our treasurer, Sue Baldock via email, or send a cheque to our postal address. Do please let us know in good time if you will require an e-gift card—these can be provided at no extra cost.
Thank you so much for your generosity; your giving will make a real difference. We wish you all the best for Christmas and New Year.