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Guest Blog 3 – Beverley Steensma

 

Today has been a hard… but rewarding day. We have been visiting the families of children in the choir. All of them live in the slums of Kampala – it is a huge area with literally thousands and thousands of people sadly living in very poor conditions. The choir support the families by providing food parcels and we bought some to take along with us. We were welcomed into homes and able to talk with the families. We also visited a state school and taught the children there. Once again the conditions were poor but lovely smiley children and super teachers. A real eye opener… feeling very humbled.

These last few days I have also been working with the ACC in Kampala. They have a different ‘arm’ there and support children in seven slum schools with Music For Life programmes. It is amazing work. Ex members of ACC choirs, who are now at university, visit the school once a week with food for the children. They work in groups of five or six with a class for the whole year one day a week. They teach them English and make school fun! The teachers told me that on the day Music For Life are coming in he always has full attendance.

I have been into four of these school to work with these classes. It has been great to work with the children but the school environment is very challenging. Small cramped classrooms with over 60 children in each. All of the children live in the slums and life is extremely difficult did them. MFL use their time to make school as fun as possible so that the children all want to come to school and learn. They encourage them to keep working hard so that they have more of an opportunity to help themselves out of the conditions they live in – with an education.

The schools themselves are all barely habitable… some made from rough wood / corrugated iron and with few, if any resources. However we were greeted with huge smiles and lots of hugs. I taught the children games/songs and told them stories. The smiles made me very happy – in spite of the difficult surroundings. We were able to give food parcels to a whole class to take home. A great day.

You can see pictures from the trip here.

Beverley Steensma - Preparatory School Director of Music

About the Author

Beverley Steensma – Preparatory School Director of Music

Beverley has been post of Director of Music at Ipswich Preparatory School since September 2006. She is currently fundraising for an exciting visit from the African Children’s Choir in May 2017. Follow her journey via this blog and on Twitter @accvisitipswich

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