Kasiisi Project Updates


Kasiisi Project Girls’ Program

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Girls from 14 Kasiisi Project Schools attend Peer Education Workshop

Our Goal: Happy, healthy confident girls. Students from 14 Kasiisi Project Schools attend Peer Education Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to a generous grant from the Lalor Burdick Foundation we have been able to deepen the content of  our Girls’ Health Education Program,  and for the first time to lay the foundations of a parallel initiative for boys.

Senior Women Teachers

Senior Women Teachers

Two girls and a senior woman teacher from each of the 14 Kasiisi Project schools attended a 3 day residential Sexual Health Education workshop at the Makerere University Biological Field Station ,led by Ainembabazi Rachel of the Jane Goodall Institute (Uganda) to train them to be Health Peer Educators and to be a resource for other girls at their schools.

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Rachel

 

Nurse Eve, Kasiiis Project Scholar and Project Nurse

Nurse Eve, Kasiiis Project Scholar and Project Nurse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was assisted by Field Director Debi Hoege, Basemera Eve, Kasiisi Project nurse and graduate of the Kasiisi Project Scholarship Program,   and Nurse Lucy of the Kibale Health and Conservation Project.

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Nurse Lucy lists the challenges girls and boys face during adolescence

 

 

 

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Re-usable Sanitary Pads

 

 

 

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And how they fit into underwear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the workshop  girls from 7 of the schools are engaging in a series of projects to enrich and support what was learned in the workshops.

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Ideas for enrichment activities

Supervised by Nurse Eve girls will   debate gender roles, take part in drama and music competitions,  and write essays about the challenges and joys of being a girl.

The first activity chosen by the schools was to design and plant “Secret Gardens” – private space with trees and flowers where girls can gather and talk about life skills and the issues that are important to their health, happiness and academic success..

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Nurse Eve selecting plants for the “Secret Garden” at Kigarama

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Kigarama Students ready to plant.

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The gardens will have signs, painted by the students highlighting the facts they had learned from the workshop.

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Students from Rweteera School painting a sign to remind their peers that it is important to “Bathe Daily”

Posted in Boys Programs, General, Girls Support, Health Project, Teacher Support, The Kasiisi Project | Leave a comment
 

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Enrichment Project

Kasiisi Project Ngamba Island (8)

Kasiisi Project Students, the Kibale Forest Schools Program Conservation Education Team and Ngamba Island staff

 

“Chimpanzees are our closest relative. They share 98.7% of our DNA – isn’t that a person? Now if he/she is a person you try to conserve them, right?Nyangoma Sarah, Visitor to Ngamba Island,  Grade 6,  Rweteera Primary Schoolacedeadbeef322c4e4c8b2d

Columbus Zoo logo

 

This year, in collaboration with the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) which runs the chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria,  we launched an exciting new program aimed at fostering empathy towards chimpanzees in our children,  The chimps spend most of their time free in the island forest, but there are times when they are confined to holding cages. This project was designed to get children thinking about the impact of boredom and inactivity on themselves and the chimps. The project was generously funded by the Columbus Zoo Conservation Program.

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Making Noise Makers from Jerry cans and Bottle Tops

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Stringing Bottle Tops on Wire

 

 

 

 

 

400  students from 7 Kasiisi Project school Wildlife Clubs heard from visiting CSWCT staff about why chimpanzees end up in sanctuaries, and the special challenges of keeping them healthy, happy  and active. Each club was matched with a particular Ngamba chimpanzee and, with help from the CSWCT education staff,  they learned of the benefits that enrichment articles bring to captive animals. Under  CSWCT guidance they then constructed balls, tire climbers, noise makers and feeding puzzles for “their” chimp.

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Filling Feeding Puzzles with Honey and Peanut Butter

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Kasiisi Project Students with Feeding Puzzles, Noise Makers, and Tire Climbers ready to install in the holding cages on Ngamba

Children from all seven schools,  accompanied by Kasiisi Project staff then visited Ngamba for 2 nights, met the chimps and watched them enjoy their new “toys”. They also spent a night at the Ugandan Wildlife Education Center and visited the airport – a highlight! These students are now preparing presentations to share what they learned with their school Wildlife Clubs.

This makes a great noise

I like this noise

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But what is making it?

 

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There is definitely something good in here

 

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We just need the  right tools

Thanks go to CSWST and  to the staff at Ngamba for providing such a wonderful experience for our children.

 

 

Special gratitude to Lilly Ajarova, Director of CSWST for enthusiastically supporting this project, to Columbus Zoo who recognized its wonderful potential, and to the Ngamba chimps, who played up beautifully, and made the project work by doing everything they were supposed to with the   children’s offerings.

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To get at it!

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Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

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Entebbe Airport

 

Posted in Conservation Education, Educational Collaboration, Kibale Chimpanzee Project, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Wildlife Clubs | Leave a comment
 

West Point 2014

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West Point Cadets and Rwabuhinga Francis Kibale Forest Schools Program Conservation Education Coordinator

 

For a third year we welcomed a group of West Point Cadets and their Professor to the Kasiisi Project. This year they focused on 2 water related projects. The first was to ensure that all our schools had working  rain water catchment systems, with a 10,000L barrel for every 500 children. They installed barrels in 2 schools and work in 7 more schools will continue after their departure. IMG_0842

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Watching other people work is the most fun. Kigarama students recess entertainment

 

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But you can help as well – Rweteera students carrying hardcore to the site of the new water tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second was to find a way to pump filtered water from the river at the eastern boundary of the Kasiisi farm, up the hill to where it is needed for chickens and pigs. There is no electricity at the farm so they focused on ways to use the energy from the river’s flow to pump the water. They visited the RAM pump at Nyakasura  in Fort Portal to see how one school addresses this challenge

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RAM pump at Nyakasura

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Measuring lift distance

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking to the Farm

 

 

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Testing turbidity for the proposed filter

After further research they will return to Ugandan in 2015 to build a pump best suited to our needs.

In addition they initiated the first step of a new program to compare emissions from traditional 3 stone fires and the clean burning stoves built by our students in their communities.

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Traditional high emission 3 stone fire

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Low emission, fuel efficient stove

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Emission testing equipment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Setting up the equipment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While with us they also tracked chimpanzees and visited Queen Elizabeth National Park accompanied by students from Kiko, Kigarama, Rweteera and Komyamperre schools. They joined other volunteers in a soccer game against the barefoot Kasiisi team and were beaten 1-0, and we took advantage of one cadets skills as mechanic to fix our project bikes.

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Hanging out with the kids

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Fixing a project bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Visiting the Katwe Salt Pans

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West Point, Harvard and Yale Students joined by pupils from Komyamperre   School on a trip to Queen Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

 

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Kasiisi Primary School Team and Volunteer Teams face off. Final score 1-0 to Kasiisi

Posted in Conservation Education, Construction, Educational Collaboration, General, International Collaboration, Porridge and Farm Project, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Volunteer | Leave a comment
 

Kasiisi Project and Conservation of Kibale National Park Videos

We have 2 videos linking the Kasiisi Project and conservation made  by Ronan Donovan and Caroline Riss in 2014.  The first one is new but you may have seen the second one before. We are posting it again in case you would like to take a second look.

Thank you to everyone who makes this work possible!

Posted in Conservation Education, General, Girls Support, Kibale Chimpanzee Project, Literacy, Porridge and Farm Project, Scholarships, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Wildlife Clubs | Leave a comment
 

Another Kasiisi Scholar Excels, Virtual Cultural Exchange and Photography!

Namara Godwin

Namara GodwinAnother Kasiisi Project Scholar has excelled in his Grade 12 leaving exams, to become our third highest scoring scholar ever. Namara Godwin scored 18/20 in his A Levels – results that qualify him for a government scholarship to university.

We are especially proud of Godwin who kept going despite bouts of debilitating ill health in high school, and we would like to extend huge thank yous to everyone who chipped in and supported him, when he lost his sponsors after 10th Grade.   Thanks too to the Kasiisi Project Scholarship Committee,  that ensured he got the right medical attention when he needed it and who helped him regain his place as one of our best students.

Virtual Cultural Exchange

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Iruhuura Student Skype with Brookwood

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Demonstrating making mud bricks

For the last 2 years a Kasiisi Project School has partnered with Brookwood School in Manchester, MA and schools in Brazil and Rwanda to discuss issues of conservation and to build clean burning, fuel efficient stoves (now built with handmade unfired mud bricks to reduce cost and use of wood). This year this Virtual Cultural Exchange,  expanded to include not only the building of stoves, but also discussion of great ape conservation  and  issues impacting girls. Students from Iruhuura Primary school and Brookwood were able to meet and learn about each other through e-mail and Skype.

 

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Grouped Photographs by students of Kigarama Primary School, Uganda, Brookwood School, Massachusetts and The Urban Assembly School, Bronx, NY

Brookwood has also become a 3rd school in the growing program to connect students to their environment, and to each other, through photographs.

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An exhibition at the school included photographs taken by students from Kigarama and Kyanyawara Primary schools in Uganda, from the Urban Assembly School in the Bronx, NY, and from Brookwood in Massachussets.

Posted in Conservation Education, Educational Collaboration, General, International Collaboration, Renewable Energy, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 

The Plight of Boys

Christopher, Christopher, rabbits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much attention has deservedly been paid to the difficulties that girls have getting an education in developing countries, and to the importance to economic development of educating girls. And indeed we have seen in Kasiisi Project schools how relatively simple interventions, such as building special latrines and providing sanitary pads, can have a substantial impact on their attendance and academic performance.

In most local primary schools boys outperform girls but in Kasiisi Project Schools girls do as well as, and in some cases even better than, boys. While this is a clearly a good thing for girls, in the long-term equal educational opportunities for both sexes is our goal. Uneducated, unemployed men are bad news for any society.

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Our data show that absenteeism is much higher in boys than girls, and rough data indicate that boys drop out of Kasiisi Project schools at a higher rate than girls. This is likely happening because boys can bring financial benefits to their families at a younger age than girls. Primary aged girls are useful as babysitters and for domestic work, but boys have real economic value, whether by watching cows or driving away vermin. Dr. Catrina Mackenzie from McGill University, has shown that the likelihood of boys completing 4th Grade, is substantially reduced in forest edge communities with high levels of crop-raiding by wild animals – boys are kept at home to guard the crops because local people say baboons, the most frequent crop raiding species around Kibale National Park, are not scared of girls or women . Boys as young as 10 are hired to work in the tea plantations, driving up drop-out rates in schools located close to commercial tea enterprises.

Economic need is a much harder challenge to address than lack of sanitary pads. Helping boys complete primary school at the same rate as their sisters will not be easy, and is compounded by the fact that, while finding money for girls’ programs is at least a possibility, there is virtually no funding to support boys.

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Tumwesige Chris

Tumwesige Chris - Future Nurse

Tumwesige Chris – Future Nurse

Tumwesige Christopher has been a Kasiisi Project Scholar since 2009, completing Grade 10 in 2012. Chris wants to be a nurse and last year enrolled in his first year of a 3 year nursing certificate program at Virika Hospital in Fort Portal.

Unfortunately Chris lost his sponsor after 10th Grade. On Saturday Allison Rosenberg and her mother Susan are running in the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon to raise money to help pay for Chris’s tuition and that of other students who for one reason or another no longer have sponsors.

Please help Chris by sponsoring Allison and Susan at  http://www.crowdrise.com/RunforKasiisiStudents

Only 3 days to go!

 

 

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Dr. Zahura Adolf MBChB!!

Dr. Zahura Adolf MBChB

Dr. Zahura Adolf MBChB

The Kasiisi Project and the Kibale Forest Schools Programme are proud to announce that Zahura Adolf has become the first project scholar to become a doctor. Adolf took his Hippocratic Oath on Sunday and is about to begin his residency.

Many congratulations to Adolf, huge thanks to his sponsor Terry Eastman and many thanks to the Scholarship Committee who guided and supported him through his 6 years of secondary school and 6 years of medical school. A proud day for all of you!

Adolf and Classmates take the Hippocratic Oath

Adolf and Classmates take the Hippocratic Oath

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Environmental Issues Bridge Cultures

No matter where we live the issue of clean water is a vital concern for us all. When we encourage young children to think about what factors  impact water quality we are helping raise adults who  will be more thoughtful about their environment.

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This week the President of the United Sates, while attending  the White House Student Film Festival, talked about the collaborative environmental programs  that link Kasiisi Project children with peers at the Brookwood School, in the US. The same day we received photos of children involved in  water conservation  classes in Bay City State Park, Michigan that mirror those from our own Cleveland Zoo funded Kasiisi Water Project in Uganda.

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We were struck by the similarity in these photographs taken in two very different places.  They underscore the fact that protecting the environment is something that is of concern to all people wherever we live. In addition by enabling children to connect face to face across the world to discuss issues that are important for everyone, modern technology, particularly in the form of Skype,  helps us build important bridges.

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Posted in Conservation Education, Educational Collaboration, General, International Collaboration, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Wildlife Clubs | Leave a comment
 

Kasiisi Project White House Debut

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President Obama talks about the Clean Stove Project

Congratulations to Alexander Emerson, a student at Brookwood School in Massachusetts, for being one of 16 finalists chosen for the first White House Student Film Festival and congratulations to our colleague Rich Lehrer, whose innovative approach to teaching science resulted in Alexanders film “Tomorrow’s Classroom”.  

“Tomorrows Classroom” entered in the World of Tomorrow category  featured the collaboration between students at Brookwood and  Kasiisi Project Schools, to learn about and build Clean Burning Stoves.

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Alexander’s video stars pupils at Kyanyawara School and was one of the movies specifically noted by President Obama in his address to the Festival participants.

You can  see the children of Kyanyawara school on Alexanders film on youtube  or at the White House Students Festival page where you can also hear what the president had to say.

Posted in Conservation Education, Educational Collaboration, General, Renewable Energy, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Wildlife Clubs | Leave a comment