A Natural Peace

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Cicero European Classics now rebranded to ciceroconcordia to accommodate the new member countries Tunisia and Australia. Every best wish proffered to all involved,  assured of another successful year.

Visit to Cambridge College and Manyangwa Modern School - Uganda

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Purpose of visit: To Audit the implemented projects at the institutions

Manyangwa Modern Primary School

At 10:15 am, on the 16th October 2009, two of the current three proposals committee members arrived at Manyangwa Modern Primary School. They were greeted by the Deputy Headmaster.

We were taken to three classrooms that received the 20 pupil’s desks that were provided to the school this year. Each of the desks seats 3 pupils, however, some of them seat four or five because the situation is still wanting.
Distribution of the 20 desks

- The Primary 6 classroom received 10. The class has a total number if 38 pupils.

- The Primary 5 classroom received 6. The class has 32 pupils currently

- Primary 4 received 4 and has 28 pupils

The school also acquired 5 tables and 10 chairs for teachers using this year’s funds received through Project Hope – Uganda.
Two desks and three tables and all the ten chairs were not at the school at the time of the visit. The school had hired them at a fee to a company that needed to use them for a workshop.We had a chat with the pupils in their classrooms and they were so happy to see us.
At midday, we set off for Cambridge College.
Cambridge College
We arrived at the College, where we were joined by another member of the committee at 12:35 pm. At the College, we were greeted by the Headmaster. After a chat in his office, we were led to the school library. The Headmaster shared that initially, the school had a small book bank in the Deputy Headmaster’s office, but when Project Hope enabled them to stock more books, they decided to move on and dedicate a room for the library, where students and teachers could be able to sit and read if they wished.

In the Library

We talked to the librarian about the library by the teachers and students, the security of the books, and the stock. The librarian told us that the library has greatly helped the teachers and the students, especially that the books stocked with the annual grant received through Project Hope – Uganda since 2008 have been of great help. She said that both teachers and students borrow books, and students particularly use the library to read. She emphasized the problem of very few or one copy of the same titles, saying that usually, some students or teachers who borrow such titles don’t want to return them because they fear someone else might pick them off the shelves. This means that the person who returned such a book may not be able to use it again, or might only use it again after so long. We thought there is a “war” over the limited reading resources.

We were shown records of the library borrowers. We found evidence of books that were borrowed and have not been returned on schedule.
We also saw on the shelves a number of books that are almost not being used. The readers we found in at the time and the librarian said that users preferred books from Project Hope as they were of great value. Many of these books, however, appeared to be worn out, some with covers slightly wearing off, while others damaged as a result of over usage.

The school was able to collect money from outgoing students and bought some readers. Candidates who came to pick their pass slips were asked to pay 5,000 shillings. It is hoped that these readers will help in building a reading culture. The school also received 200 copies of readers from the Uganda Private Schools Teachers’ Association. We were also told that there were incidents of theft but the exact books were recovered or the culprits were made to purchase replacements.

Chat with students

We talked to a group of about 20 students representing a cross section of the students’ community in both “O” and “A” Levels. They were very thankful for the support that has been extended to the school through Project Hope. They expressed their problem with few copies of the same title. The rain threatened our discussion and we asked the students to write down their thoughts, some appear below:

“Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing to equip out library with books. Though many books have been bought, we still need more”. Bbaka Michael.
“I don’t have much to say, but I am just thanking you for the good work you have done for us as a school. The books are really helpful and we are very grateful”.
“There is a big need to get more books. Students also need to be helped to know the value of the library and reading, mostly those in lower classes to up-build their future. Students are given limited time for library use”.
“I appreciate the work you do. I request you get us more books so we can have wider knowledge and novels are not enough. Our library lacks novels and the ones we have are too old”.
Chat with Teachers

We met about 6 teachers in the staffroom. They were so grateful for the support extended to the school, but also expressed their concern with the few copies of the same title and titles that are not available but are very helpful. We asked them to make arrangements to go to Kabubbu Community Library and see how the situation can be helped.

- We suggested that the librarian starts taking records of all those that get into the library, whether students or teachers; noting the names, time, class, the book(s) they read etc. We hope this might help inform the school administration in taking decisions concerning library stock, setting and also in helping everybody to use it. At the time of the visit, the library had only a register used for borrowing.

- We advised that the school gets more pages of each book stamped with the school stamp to help quell possible thefts. When one or very few pages are stamped, it becomes easy for some to tear out those pages and have the book appear like it is theirs.

- We advised that a bucket and water be put by the library door for the users to wash their hands as a way of keeping the books clean.

- We also suggested that the librarian insists on the “Leave Your Bag” by the door and checking users as they go out as a way of ensuring that the naughty ones don’t take out any unregistered library material. And that the library guidelines for use are published within the library and other public places at the school.

- We encouraged the school to send the librarian, the helping teachers and students, and any such persons who might conduct the work of a library at the school in the future to Kabubbu Community Library to share ideas with the librarians there. This would help the school library be better managed and also has potential to help improve KCL especially in as far as dealing with student users is concerned.

- We also reminded the school of Kabubbu Community Library’s Book Box Loaning Scheme which might help ease the problem of limited resources in the meantime.

- We asked the librarian to make arrangements with class teachers and student leaders within classes to display the books that are not so frequently used. We hope that when students see these books in their classes, they might pick interest in them. This way, a reading culture will be boosted.

Uganda - Gayaza Cambridge College - library report -


The school decided to use its 1.5 Million Shillings Annual grant from Project Hope Uganda to buy a total of 92 copies of books to add to 83 copies purchased last year.

Books purchased with the funds from Project Hope, in a period of two years now, have greatly improved the library stock. Before the intervention of Project Hope – Uganda, the school had a library bank that lacked syllabus related books, which are so crucial to the academic life of the school. With Project Hope’s intervention, we have so far acquired a total number of 175 textbooks, including other books necessary for the students academic needs.
With this intervention, the school was able to dedicate a room to serve as our library.

Library Opening sessions

The library works from morning up to evening in different sessions as shown below:

The library opens at 7:30 -10:10am and students go for break.

Starts at 10:30am -01:10pm and the students go for lunch


Library opens at 2:00pm -4:40pm as day scholars leave the school and boarders go for co-culicular activities, prepare for supper and preps.

Starts at 7:30pm -10:00pm and the students leave go sleep.

The library is beneficial to all members of Gayaza Cambridge community .It is used by students as a reading room due to its convenience.

Teachers also use this library for research work to be delivered to students using  Teachers’ reference copies available. Students use the library books to supplement teacher’s work for example during  Assignments, reading ahead of teachers to ease the teacher’s work. Students use the library mostly in optional subjects as they prepare for the coming lessons. Most of the students read their books from the library


The library is controlled by the librarian who is responsible for lending books to students and specifies time for them. In borrowing books students leave their school identity cards behind. Student who borrow books from the library are given a period of 2 hours to 3 weeks depending on the number of copies available.

When a book gets lost from a student, that student is required to bring two copies and when a teacher loses it, his salary is deducted in order to buy that particular copy.

The library has been beneficial to both students and teachers. Students have found it convenient to use the optional time by reading books in the library. Teachers’ work has eased because some students are able to read ahead which helps teachers in teaching them. Books have helped students in supplementing teachers’ notes. Reading culture is seen to be improving among students because of inspiration from their fellow students.

Responsibility among students has improved especially those who retain books from the library.

The library has some challenges, which affect the students and the school at large for example

• The some book titles have a few copies compared to students willing to use them.

• Teachers’ references copies are not enough.

• The library also lacks variety of books for students to read for pleasure. Even though the reading culture is seen to be improving, the improvement is impended by the fact that what we currently have in our library is almost exclusively limited to the national curriculum

• There should be an increase in the number of copies to serve a big number of students. This will improve on the students reading culture.

• Teachers’ reference books should be increased in number. This will help to ease teachers’ work.

• Variety of books need to be increased to reduce monopoly of one variety.

• Also new editions need to be brought due to changes made by the authors.

We would like to thank British Airways, A Ray of Hope and other supporters for the support extended to us through Project Hope – Uganda.

Vincent Zziwa,

Head Teacher

Nigeria - Resource Sharing Network - Beginning of a new cycle.

Congratulations Cicero rebranded to Cicerocertamen

CICERO has now expanded to include Tunisia and Australia so we have had to change what the acronym stands for - not just Europe any more! Congratulations to all involved.

"Hope and Future" affiliated to A Ray of Hope

We welcome "Hope and Future"  into the global family of A Ray of Hope and hope that in the months to come we will be able to make a positive contribution to their efforts.

The Ethiopian Schools Project developed from our first trip to Ethiopia in 2006. We were with a team of people house-building in an area within a large town called Shashemene, a region where people live in considerable poverty and lack of basic amenities such as clean water, sanitation, electricity and proper housing.
We discovered that many of the local children were receiving no education for various reasons; no local schools, school fees too expensive, available schools located too far away.
While we may have felt helpless to tackle many of the issues within this community, we felt challenged to do something to give the children an education which could give them a hope for their future.

African Contribution to United Kindom Society

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mumbai India from Sujata - "living with the floods" !!!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ethiopia - Kevin collects educational supplies for Ethiopian Schools' Project

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

India - Andhra Pradesh from Melanie

Hi Don

These are the latest pictures Andrapedesh. Is there any way of putting these on the internet to show the world whats happening to our orphanage. They have been evacuated to higher ground, and are safe, but Giri is constantly helping everyone to reach higher ground. Its really bad, as this is the worst floods for 100 years. People here have lost everything, and even their lives. We don t know the full facts of how many people are missing.
They expect the Krishna river to recede, in a weeks time.


Canada from Sherry

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ethiopia - Ethiopian Schools' Project

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hello Don

I was speaking with Geraldine McCoy about her aid work to Hungary and she spoke to me of your role in UNESCO and said you may also have an interest in our work in Ethiopia.
Our charity, Ethiopian Schools Project, has a volunteer - run charity shop in our local town of Randalstown N. Ireland. We have been able to provide a number of furniture items, baby items and clothing to assist Geraldine and others in filling a 40ft container to provide for the needs of a group of people in Hungary.
Ethiopian Schools Project was started by my wife Christine and I in early 2007 when we set up a small committee to see if we could raise funds to provide education for a large group of children in an impoverished community in a large city called Shashemene in South Ethiopia.
We had been in this area with Habitat for Humanity in 2006 and were challenged when we saw so many children with no education provision in their area.
From a small beginning we raised sufficient funds to rent a vacant building in Shashemene and began a school for 160 children(Sept '07) employing teachers from the local area and managed by a local committee.

In our home town we were very fortunate to obtain the use of a vacant shop premises in May 2008 to commence a Charity support shop and this has been well supported by our local community here in Randalstown N. Ireland. This is now our main source of funding for the Schools Project, staffed by volunteers and supported by all sections of the community.

The number of children in the school was increased to 210 (Sept'08) and at the same time, following a year of negotiation with local authority in Shashemene, we were granted a piece of land to commence the building of a new school. Construction began right away and on 12th July '09 our new school was opened with current provision for up to 320 children.

All the children from the rented building have transferred to the new school along with over 40 new entrants. At this time the enrolment is 257 and this number will be increased each year provided our support finance can be maintained. Our construction plan also includes a 3rd block of classrooms which is presently under our consideration and if completed will raise the student capacity to around 500.

We visit the project in Ethiopia 2 - 3 times each year and invite other interested people to travel with us. Back in July '09 we had a group of 9 including a doctor, nurse and 2 teachers from N. I.

We have a local, approved committee in Shashemene who oversee all aspects of the project and we communicate regularly by email and regular visits for face to face discussions. In addition to our main goal of education provision for the children we have also made progress towards improved nutrition and health care for the children as well as adult education for the parents and others in the local community.

We commend our Project for your interest.