Access to the internet and skills in the use of electronic media are not yet available to most teachers and students at the UNIFAT Primary School, and this shortfall was a major need identified at the November, 2019 workshops. Words Into Deeds, in partnership with Friends of UNIFAT, raised over $5000 in private donations and obtained a matching Rotary International Grant to renovate and furnish a vacant room to serve as a computer center, and hire an IT education specialist. Working with teachers, a grade-by-grade set of curricular goals has been established, and is being implemented as classes have resumed.
Words Into Deeds established a grants program whereby teachers could apply for financial assistance to set-up student outreach projects. The first project drew upon teachers’ skills at traditional bead-making crafts. This taught students how to make beads from paper and then assemble them into jewelry and purses. The items would be sold both within the Gulu community and in the USA, in some cases aligned with in-school outreach projects. All proceeds are sent to the UNIFAT School scholarship fund. From the first two sets of items produced, nearly $900 has been raised.
Partnership with the Wawoto Kacel Cooperative Society
Founded in 1997, this cooperative in Gulu, Uganda supports individuals, mostly women, who are unable to work or are ostracized due to having HIV/AIDS or other chronic diseases, loss of families, and other issues that make them vulnerable https://www.facebook.com/wawotokacel/. At the co-op center they learn a wide array of traditional and contemporary craft skills.
A mini-grant was awarded to establish an on-campus vegetable garden. Students explored possible sites, consulted experts, cleared the land, and planted cowpea seeds. They later harvested their crop and prepared the leaf cuttings for school lunches with part of the crop also sold to local green-grocery markets.