School tour strengthens ties between Jersey and Uganda

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It is the second time that a group from Mifumi Primary School has visited Jersey, the first being in 2015.

The relationship between Jersey and Mifumi began nearly 20 years ago, when John Carnegie, former headmaster of St Michael’s School, visited the African school, which at the time was just a collection of mud huts.

Soon after he visited, Mr Carnegie established the charity Mifumi Primary School Jersey, known as MPS Jersey, to raise funds for the school, which is now a campus of concrete classrooms and dormitories attended by more than 750 pupils.

In addition to sending funds, clothing and equipment, volunteer teams co-ordinated by the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission have also visited the school three times to improve facilities. A number of Jersey schools have developed links through letter-writing and Skype conversations as well.

Subsequently, MPS Jersey was named Small Charity of the Year at the 2017 Jersey Charity of the Year Awards.

The group – two teachers and one teenage pupil – spent this week visiting primary and secondary schools, including Helvetia House School, Mont
Nicolle, St Martin, Grouville and Jersey College for Girls.

Beatrice Atyang, who works for a Ugandan women and children’s charity that works with the primary school, said that she had enjoyed the trip and hoped to bring some of the teaching methods used in Jersey’s classrooms back to Uganda.

‘The teachers here are so passionate, which I think can be lacking back in Uganda. I noticed that they use a lot of teaching props and different materials when teaching, which I think should be done more back at home,’ she said.

‘The children and teachers have been so welcoming and everyone has such a good spirit of giving here and they care for one another.’

Matt Gorman, chairman of MPS Jersey, said: ‘The relationship between Mifumi and the charity has always been collaborative and two-way.

‘We have sent funds to Uganda to improve the quality of education and raise the standard of living, but Mifumi has enriched lives in Jersey, both in person and online.

‘A delegation, including the head teacher and head girl, last visited in 2015, so we felt it was timely to extend another invitation.

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