Impact Blog

Four Weeks in Kalonga

Katherine Riolo spent June of this year serving in Kalonga, Uganda. Her dry humor, contagious laugh, unstoppable energy, practical skills, and creative entrepreneurialism made a big splash and a lasting difference in this beloved community. Here are a few excerpts from her report of this full trip. 

Sewing Project-- Cooking Boxes Business

… The box is made of fabric and stuffed with sponge. The boxes are an efficient way to conserve charcoal, water and time. I taught the women to use the box. First, I boiled rice for 5 minutes, covered it with the lid and laid the pot in the cooking box. After 45 minutes the rice is ready. We cooked potatoes, meat and beans all in the box… Read more about the cooking boxes here.

Justin is 34, a single mother of 4 and lives a few doors down from Hope and Care. In 2008 she had a dream (night time dream). She dreamt she had a sewing machine and was sewing clothes. She told her husband and he laughed at her, telling her it would never happen. When she heard there were two sewing machines at Hope and Care she began stopping in to watch Ema, Stella, Esther and myself. We’d hand her scissors to help us cut fabric or she’d help pin. She would sit and watch as we used the machines. Day by day she learned more skills; she learned to use a needle and thread to finish button holes and close the openings in the cooking boxes, how to measure a person in order to make a skirt and finally how to use the machine. Her dream has come true.

One evening 8 women came to ask when they would be able to begin sewing. They are all eager to start working. These 2 machines were the first steps of a long process of transformation. Read more about the long-term plan here

The School-- Teacher Training

At Hope and Care, classes range from 30-50 students. There is a black board in each class and teachers have a (one) book to teach from (several teachers share a book). Students sit 4-5 to a bench, their only supplies are small notebooks and pencils.  

After observing the teachers for a week we had a meeting. We talked about the purpose of teaching, how they will be changing the history of their village one child at a time. I described teaching strategies, learning styles (auditory, visual kinesthetic...) and showed how to use several paper back books with their lessons. They were thankful for the books, calendars, flash cards for math, flash cards with shapes and colors, and posters to hang on the walls. I talked about the importance of planning lessons, parts of a lesson (what you want student to learn, how you will teach, what students will do, group activities, how to handle advanced/slower students, and assessments). I gave each teacher a lesson plan grid and explained how to fill it out.

Change can be difficult and often comes slowly, but we are dedicated to improving the education in Kalonga. You can help by sponsoring a child at Hope and Care or with the Desks and Blackboards Project.
 

Listening Group-- Faith Comes By Hearing

Faith Comes By Hearing gave me a Proclaimer to take to Hope and Care with the condition someone would start a weekly listening group. Pastor John’s wife, Sarah, was enamored with the Proclaimer. After seeing a demonstration she listened daily. She listened to it with the other women while preparing meals, she listened with the kids and she listened by herself. I told her she could keep it if she would start a listening group and gave a few simple questions to ask after listening. For example: “Can you retell the story? Who said ___? What did ___ say to ___? What do you think about ___? What will you do differently now that you know/understand this?” Sarah started a group the next day!

She hopes to take it to other villages, where Hope and Care has relationships, to start weekly listening groups. 

On a Personal Note

Other highlights for me where eating grasshoppers, straddling the equator, learning a few words in Luganda, chasing kids around the house, learning to sew on the treadle machine, being loved by the community, living without electricity, teaching about finances at 2 different churches, having jiggers taken out of my feet, cleaning the feet of a child with jiggers, killing a chicken before church, skinning a rabbit, soccer games, praying for the sick and the 50 people that were baptized one Sunday, planting flower seeds from my garden, waking up with the roosters, the little girls who would sing and dance for me, watching butterflies flutter, worshiping God with a new part of my family. 




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