Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cup Semi-Finals

Saturday night was the semi-final game in our annual Christmas Soccer Tournament. The game was decided in penalty shots before a crowd of around 500 people. Our goalkeeper is one of our students from the Kibaale Secondary School, who did an amazing job throughout the tournament. 
This year instead of the Kibaale Community Centre having their own team we combined forces with the rest of Kibaale town. Our team is a mix of students and staff from our centre, taxi drivers, shopkeepers and butchers. 
The final game is on Sunday, where the grand prize, a cow, will be given away!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Party

On Saturday we had a Christmas Party for 50 staff kids!! We made a star Christmas craft, decorated sugar cookies, acted out the Christmas story and had sodas.

The kids were excellent and had a lot of fun!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Students

Over 300 families brought their preschool aged students to have an interview with our Head Nursery and Primary teachers this week. 300 families...45 spots. Do the math, obviously some people are going to be disappointed. First our school staff have the task of weeding out the students that are just too far away or not ready to be in school, then the job gets passed over to our sponsorship office where they have to, in many instances, physically investigate how needy the applicant is. 

Please pray for our staff as they have incredibly difficult decisions to make over the next few weeks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


To celebrate the end of a great school year, as well thank everyone for all their had work, the Canadian staff in Kibaale (with the Wiebe family who are visiting for 2 weeks) decided to make and serve dinner to everyone on Friday night. We have events with Ugandan food all the time, so decided to have a more Canadian meal; BBQ hot dogs, pasta salad, donuts and soda! Many people seemed to really like the food and even came for seconds!

Our favorite part of the night was the DJ the social committee had come out! This isn't how our bbq's at home end!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Traveling Immunization Clinic

Three times a month our clinic staff go into a neighboring village to weigh, immunize and give vitamins to babies, and also vitamins to all the children that come. It's somehow still surprising how often you see such young children carrying and caring for babies! It was great to see that they were being cared for too.

Our traveling clinic is a huge blessing to the families in the 3 villages that we rotate going to, since it would take them hours to walk into Kibaale. We love seeing how involved in this program the clinic staff is. They are always so happy to go out and so helpful to the overwhelming amount of people, and this is all after a full day’s work!! We love our staff!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Seed Bank

Capacity Building

Food Security

Positive Economy

Sustainable Development

The above buzzwords (buzzphrases?) are an important part of NGO/charity lingo and the ideas and theories they describe are constantly being applied here as Kibaale Community Centre strives to make an impact in our community. 

At its core, our centre is an educational institute. We have been entrusted with close to 1,000 students to teach, mentor, prepare and develop into Godly, responsible citizens who will be leaders in Uganda. We believe that by educating these children, we are building the capacity of this nation and contributing to a future economy that will thrive, eventually without foreign aid – a lofty idea, I know! 

In addition to this awesome task, we have the opportunity to engage in other development work when needs become apparent on the peripheries of the education component of our mandate. It is difficult to teach a child that hasn’t eaten since they left school the day before or is suffering from untreated malaria (These are just examples of the many challenges our students and greater community face). This is where our community services department steps in; by offering food assistance and operating a medical clinic, among other things. 

Currently, people in our community are suffering as the previous rainy season (February – April) was not long enough for them to produce enough food to last until this rainy season began about 3 weeks ago. The staple food here is a maize flour paste called posho topped with kidney beans. Our community members have had to eat all of their beans (which are also seeds) leaving them with nothing to plant this rainy season. 

Recently, Vincent and Elkanah (both former students and now employees) developed the idea of changing the way we provide famine relief from just giving out food to loaning seeds to people and collecting them, along with a small amount of excess seeds as “interest,” back after harvest. Operating a bank, as it were. Food security as opposed to food assistance is the ultimate goal of this idea. In theory, with the seeds borrowed, people will be able to plant bigger crops, experience higher yields, be able to pay the “bank” back and even save some seeds for the next planting season. The “interest” will be used to cover losses from any failed crops and/or allow us to lend seeds to more people next season.

Vincent helping people fill out their seed bank account applications  

Over the last few weeks, in addition to giving out maize flour and beans to those in our community that don’t have enough food to eat (which has been done to sustain them until they can harvest in about 3 months) we have loaned out beans, cassava stems and maize seeds to those who applied to be a part of our seed bank program. We are all very excited and interested to see if our seed bank will be successful. Check back in a few months to get a full report! 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Micro-loans Programs

Micro-loans programs in developing countries are all the rage. 

Probably because they work. 

Let me introduce you to Caroline, a participant in our community centre's micro-loans program and the protagonist of one of our success stories.

Caroline lives in Kibaale town and is a single mother.  She has two children and cares for a child that has been orphaned and is of no relation to her.  Before Caroline joined a group of women and became a recipient of a micro-loan, she was unable to adequately provide for the basic needs of her family, nor send her children to school.

After forming a group with some other women in our community, Caroline received the first of five loans from our centre and began to grow a charcoal distribution business. 

Being a part of a group is a pre-requisite to receive one of our loans to encourage accountability and transparency and guarantee re-payment.  10% interest is charged on the micro-loans and the repayment term is 6 months, although grace is extended when a longer period of time is needed to repay the loan.  While this interest rate may be considered high compared to what is paid in developed countries, it is lower than what all other micro-finance and banking institutions charge in our area.  Loan recipients are encouraged to attend the seminars that our centre organizes that teach basic bookkeeping and business management skills.  Our micro-loans program is managed by Vincent, one of our former students, who is now an integral part of our staff and promising future leader in our centre. 

The subsequent loans Caroline received (the total we have loaned her is about $500) have enabled her to expand her inventory and stock on hand in her small store.

Caroline now has a successful business that earns more than double the average monthly income in our village. She has built herself a very nice home, is able to send both of her girls to boarding school (the goal of most parents in Uganda), has four storerooms in "town" FULL of charcoal as she has monopolized the charcoal market in Kibaale, and perhaps most importantly, in my opinion, has become a vibrant, confident, happy and empowered woman who is able to contribute positively in her community.

It is encouraging to see women (the predominant recipients of loans) making tangible differences in their family’s lives as they take advantage of our micro-loans program.  Stay tuned for more stories of success!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christmas GIFT List

The Kibaale Christmas Gift List is updated at, you can also check it out below!! 

If you don't have a sponsor child you can still give a special gift, and designate it "Where Most Needed". Our staff in our KCF (Kibaale Children's Fund) office will make sure that your gift goes to our neediest students. 

Please email Jenny Nel ( for more information!!

Gift Basket


Double Gift Basket


Bed Set (mattress, blanket, 2 sheets)


Water Collector






Primary shoes and clothes


Secondary shoes and clothes


2 Mosquito Nets




2000L Water Tank




Reusable Feminine Products


Secondary Textbooks


Antibiotics (for 10 children)


Housing (house, kitchen, latrine)




Monday, October 19, 2009


This week our Secondary 4 students have started writing their UNEB exams. That is the equivalent of provincial exams in Canada. Between now and the end of November they have an intense schedule of exam writing. 

Our Primary 7 students are also about to sit for their UNEB exam. Primary 7 students only have two chances to pass this exam.

Please pray for all our students who are busy finishing up their school year.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sports Day

Another great event put on by our social committee in Kibaale!!