Kasiisi Project Updates


A Week at the Kasiisi Project

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Kasiisi Project Wildlife Clubs with flamingos on a Field Trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park

 We thought you might like a glimpse into what happens during a typical week of project work in Uganda: Below are the minutes of the staff meeting for the week beginning 11/11/14.

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Kibale Chimpanzee Project Snare Removal Team and Pere Achte Primary School Wildlife Club

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Posted in Conservation Education, Construction, General, Girls Support, Health Project, Porridge and Farm Project, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 

Bikes for Girls

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Thanks to volunteer Oliver Bradley, the Kasiisi Project has an exciting new program to protect girls from sexual harassment , increase their access to education and to promote independence and self reliance: BICYCLES!

Long walks to school are a problem for all children in rural Uganda,  but particularly for girls. They are vulnerable to sexual harassment on the road,  and the temptation, when you are tired,  to accept lifts from  the Boda-Boys (drivers of motorbike taxis) can be irresistible. But Boda-Boys often expect sexual favors in return, leading to pregnancy and HIV infection.

The length of the journey also means very early starts, often before dawn, and arriving home too late to do much homework while it is still light.

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Bikes arriving from Kenya

 

The Kasiisi Project Girls’ Bicycle Program hopes to change this. The brainchild of volunteer Oliver Bradley, this pilot initiative is providing 25 girls from Kasiisi and Kigarama Primary Schools with bicycles, and teaching them to ride them. Buffalo bicycles,  provided by World Relief Bicycles, are built to withstand the tough roads of Africa. All the girls will receive helmets, road safety training, and will be required to bring the bikes in for regular check ups and maintenance.

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Oliver and girls from Kasiisi Primary School

 

 

And we do not forget our boys – we hope to train students in bicycle maintenance, both to maintain our bikes and to provide a skill they can put to good use in the future.

 

 

This is a pilot – we hope to expand the program into other schools. We thank Oliver and his family for their generosity donating the first 25 bikes. If this program excites you, donations for more bikes can be made via the paypal button on our website – instructions for use are in the previous postGirl's Bike 2.

Posted in General, Girls Support, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Volunteer | Leave a comment
 

Paypal Instructions

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Here is how you use the Paypal button on the Kasiisi Project website so that your donation goes to the program that you wish it to.Click on the Paypal button and follow instructions until you reach the page where you make the final confirmation of your donation. On that page there is a line that says “Add Special Instructions to Seller” Click on this line and a box will open. You can type “Beehive” or “Girls’ Program” or wherever you wish your donation to go, in this box, and when Paypal sends us notice of the donation we will see what you wanted and act on your instructions.

Don’t worry if you can’t make this work. When we get notification of your donation it includes your e-mail address and we will always check in with you which program you wish to support.

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Girls and Bees

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Sarah Callan demonstrates pollination to members of the Kasiisi Wildlife Club

Know a kid who loves bees? or a friend passionate about helping girls stay in school? With the Holiday Season just round the corner are you looking for a great Holiday, Birthday or just an “I Love You” gift.

We have 2 great options for you:  Help donate a Bunk for our new girl’s dormitory,  due to open in February, or a buy a Beehive for our farm.

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Each bunk set costs $80 – we need 60, and each Beehive $40 – we need at least 20 to make it worth the beekeeper’s time to set up the hives. Buy a whole bunk or only part of one,  share the purchase of a beehive with your honey or buy one for your children – we will keep them updated on “their bees” and link them to the Ugandan students who are going to paint them.

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Put your Honey's name on a beehive or your children's on a bunk.

6″ x 2″ plaque We will engrave the name of the recipient of your gift and attach it to the item you choose.

Let us know the name and address of the recipient and the date you want it delivered by,  and if you want us to add Holly, Menorah, Hearts or Birthday Balloons.  We will send either a Bee Card or a Bunk Card, or both, and attach a plaque with the recipient’s name to the item you choose. Then we will send a photograph of the finished item to them.

Donate through our Paypal button  at www.kasiisiproject.org and we will contact you for details or e-mail elizabeth@kasiisiproject.org

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Girls looking at Bees

 

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Girl teaching about bees

Posted in Conservation Education, Educational Collaboration, Girls Support, International Collaboration, Porridge and Farm Project, Uncategorized, Volunteer, Wildlife Clubs | Leave a comment
 

Kasiisi Project Bees, Honey and Elephants

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The African Honeybee

Bees are wonderful – did you know that Honey bees will tap about two million flowers and fly 50,000 miles  to make one pound of honey ? And then there is their vital role in pollinating our food. We hope that you love bees as much as we do, and are excited that we are including them with chimps (who don’t like getting stung but love honey ) and elephants (who plain hate bees), to the growing list of Kasiisi Project animals of special interest.

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Nicole Simmons of Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust with the bee fence in Queen Elizabeth National Park – elephants do not like being stung and will not walk through bees.

It is common knowledge that bee populations are declining everywhere,  and so we are delighted to announce that The Kasiisi Project is now becoming a partner in bee-keeping in Uganda. We are currently involved with bees in 3 different ways – hosting beehives on the Kasiisi Project Farm, with a view to one day becoming beekeepers ourselves,  working with local research scientists to trial “bee-fences” as a deterrent to crop raiding elephants and spreading the importance of bees to our students.

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Sarah and soul-mates – the Kyamugarra beekeepers

Sarah Callan, Harvard ’14, and former director of the Harvard Undergraduate Beekeepers Association has been in Uganda for 2 months spearheading our new initiative. She has been learning about beekeeping in rural Africa,  sharing the successes and challenges of her experiences in the US  with local bee-keepers, and learning about how Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust is trialing the use of bee-fences to keep elephants out of farms around Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Kyamugarra Beekeepers

Clearly the language of bees is international – Sarah has found kindred spirits in Uganda and will be sharing her fascination with bees with our children through planned presentations to school Wildlife Clubs.

 

Honey Bee Life Cycle

A model of the honey bee life cycle

Posted in Community Organization KFSSSP, Conservation Education, Educational Collaboration, International Collaboration, Porridge and Farm Project, The Kasiisi Project, Volunteer, Wildlife Clubs | Leave a comment
 

Girls’ Empowerment

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Kyanyawara School skit demonstrating how parents empower girls by supporting them with basic needs and love care and guidance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-06 at 6.04.12Students from 7 schools competed in a Drama, Music and Dance competition, focused on issues of sexual health, girl’s empowerment and equal access to education. This competition, the culmination of 6 months of activities designed to support the health curricula taught in the schools, was part of a new trial initiative, funded by the Lalor Foundation, to bring  in-depth health knowledge and greater life skills to our girls. So that  information presented in the skits and songs could be shared with a wider audience, all teams performed for their schools before traveling to the competition. Nurse Lucy, of the Kibale Health and Conservation Project was on hand to correct any errors.

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Bad company and alcohol

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And lifts from Boda (motorbike taxis) Boys

 

 

 

 

 

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Partying

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Can lead to early pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STAY IN SCHOOL!

Kiko won the prize for the best song, Kyanyawara for the best skit, Kigarama showed the most creativity, Rweteera the best Life Skills message, Pere Atche the best Women’s Empowerment dance and Iruhuura the best Empowerment message. Kasiisi Primary School was the overall winner.

Scores from Music Drama and Dance, gardens and essay writing were tallied and Kasiisi became the first Recipient of the Lalor Girls’ Health Cup.

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Kyanyawara Girls’ Choir

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Social Entrepreneurship at Kasiisi

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Nai leading discussions with teachers at Kasiisi

This summer MIT D-Lab student Nai Kalema, visited  Uganda as a follow up to her classwork, to work alongside teachers in Kasiisi Project schools to develop a pilot program introducing the concept of Social Entrepreneurship, the process of pursuing innovative solutions to social problems,  to the students of the Kibale Forest Schools Program.

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Model of electrical connections to a village house

Students from Kasiisi Primary School learned that the many ways they identified as showing creativity in their lives, making books from newspaper, balls from plastic bags, cooking, drawing etc  can be applied to creating social change for the good in their communities. That even children can be agents for positive change.

 

Students brainstormed issues they felt were important to their communities: Bringing electricity to their villages to reduce deforestation: Environmental management: Promoting agro-forestry to reduce impact and frequency of droughts and famine and clean water.

The groups made posters and models illustrating the ways they could effect social change around their chosen topics: Changing community behaviors that are adverse to the environment through education and monitoring of environmental impacts: Advocacy in local churches, markets, community centers and villages : Facilitating conversations with leadership and within communities : Providing safety education about electricity.

They then presented their projects to the rest of the school.

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The Agro-forestry team presents to the rest of the school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Entrepreneurial Development Project, General, International Collaboration, Social Entrepreneurship, Teachers, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
 

Summer News from Uganda

Oliver Bradley, Clara Chen, Kayal Brude, Ann Finkel and Matt Stolz in the Mountains of the Moon

Volunteers Oliver Bradley (Yale ’14) , Clara Chen (Harvard) , Kayla Bruce (Tulane) , Ann Finkel (Harvard) and Matt Stolz (Harvard)

 

 

 

The US summer brings  new groups of young volunteers to Uganda and with them a come a range of fun and educational activities for the schools – always a high point of the year for our students.

Students at Kyanyawara Primary School are learning  to knit, thanks to the efforts of Ellen Sarkisian. Ellen, has donated wool and needles and has encouraged others to follow suit.

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Kyanyawara girls knitting on the way home from school.

 

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Oliver building the fire pit

 

 

 

 

 

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Volunteers enjoying  the fruits of his labors

 

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Kasiisi Project hand logo in the fire pit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Oliver Bradley has put his architectural skills to work designing and building a new fire pit, sporting the Kasiisi Hand Logo  at the Kasiisi Guesthouse.

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Lunch at the Kasiisi Guest House

 

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Yvonne Pemberton introducing Maths games in the Kasiisi Primary School Library

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Underwear for Kasiisi Girl Guides

Skipping ropes

Skipping Ropes

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Meghan introducing recorders to the P4 class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Netball

Megan and the Kasiisi Netball Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yvonne and Meghan Pemberton, visiting from the UK, introduced the children to  recorders, brought skipping ropes, played netball and used games to enhance math skills. We thank Yvonne for suggesting to Tesco that they might donate underwear to our girls program. Providing underwear is an important component of menstrual care.

Harvard Student Clara Chen held cooking classes with Kasiisi Students as part of a nutrition and health enrichment project.

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Clara making Rolex – omelets wrapped in chapattis- with Kasiisi students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann Finkel continued a program of cross-cultural research into cognition, comparing how Ugandan and US children’s allocate resources,  and Kayla Bruce helped out with our girls’ sexual health program. Nai Kalema a student in the MIT D-Lab Education Class, worked with Kasiisi staff to introduce concepts of  social entrepreneurship to the children.

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Ann Finkel testing how Ugandan children distribute resources

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Kayla Bruce and Kasiisi nurse Basemera Eve, with the Lalor Cup, awarded to the school who have made the most progress in girls’ health.

 

 

 

 

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Nai Kalema meeting with teachers

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Sunset from the Kasiisi Guesthouse

Posted in Educational Collaboration, Entrepreneurial Development Project, General, Girls Support, Health Project, International Collaboration, Teacher Support, The Kasiisi Project, Uncategorized, Volunteer | 1 Comment
 

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”

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Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Enrichment Project

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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