By: Julie Collura
The well at Sydney Paul Primary School in Kinoni is dry. Students and staff must walk nearly two miles to the closest water source, but even that water is not clean. Thanks to a project initiated by Engeye Teen Connection (ETC), and supported by the students of Shaker High School, the Calvary Church Youth Group, and Carlos Quinones, an industrious sixth-grader, they won’t have to make that long walk much longer.
These groups, in addition to supporters at SUNY Albany and Albany Medical College, have raised over $6,000 USD of the necessary $8,000 USD to build a new well. Construction on the new bore hole (water well) is set to begin in mid-June.
I arrived in Uganda as an Engeye Scholars volunteer just in time to document the construction process. On Friday, June 7th, the students and staff of Sydney Paul assembled to welcome me and express their gratitude for the new bore hole. Head Mistress Rachel, teachers, and several students stood up and spoke with heartfelt appreciation for the generosity and hard work of ETC and the other supporters. They expressed their difficulties in collecting water and their joy at the news of the new bore hole. I felt honored to represent Engeye and to receive the good wishes of the students and staff.
The assembly closed with the students singing a song of gratitude. I will return to Sydney Paul twice a week over the next two months to teach English and read with the students. I will also document the bore hole construction process with photographs and written updates.