Sunday, April 26, 2009

History of Bukeka Children's Center

One day during the 1980s my father called me and he told me that when he is no longer here it will be my responsibility to look after and educate my 7 brothers and sisters, in his words he said ‘Mpagi you have to look after and educate your brothers and sisters’, he continued to say that there is hope that some good hearted and caring people will come up to assist you in raising the children.

At that time I heard what he said but because he was still living there was not much for me to worry about. Unfortunately after a short time he left. This was the time when his words came back that I had to put them action. My self too I was a young man but now with responsibilities to look after fellow children. To cut the story short things became very difficult right from what to feed on, clothing, school fees etc, I and a guardian tried hard but still things were very hard.

In 1995 a team of scout leaders from Surrey visited Uganda to do voluntary community service. I worked with the team. I was very much moved by their level of commitment towards helping others. It was during that time that I raised a lot of hope and confidence in me to do some thing for the betterment of vulnerable children in my area.

I had always want to support children in my village who were suffering in the same way me and my brothers and sisters were suffering, I had the will to do some thing for them but I could ask my self a number of questions like, how best I can help these children since myself too do not have the money to cater for my own brothers and sisters. I always had memories of how my father used to support people in our village, I gained the determination that I will work hard to see that I help some people.

It was in 1997 when I got the idea that by starting a school and children's care centre will be the best way through which to help the children. Although I did not have the money but I was determined to start.

I constructed a shelter on my family land using reeds and mats with very old sheets to serve as a class. At first I got 11 children coming to the school and one teacher, and my grandmother who used to tell them stories.

In the same year 1997 I communicated to my friends in the UK, Mr and Mrs Eric Goulding and Mr and Mrs GF Dunstan to tell them about my school project. When they got the news, all of them responded with very encouraging words, which gave me more confidence and determination. It was from that time that I started getting support from UK scouts and friends. I always get support in a number of ways that is materials, advice, labour and financial support.

In the year 2000 a group of 150 scouts led by Mr Eric Goulding came to Uganda to do a number of community projects. And my project was one of them.

A team of scouts which was named Unit 8 led by Mr GF Dunstan came to Mityana and turned the wooden shelter in a permanent classroom block. Money to do the work was fundraised by scouts and friends in the UK led by Mr and Mrs GF Dunstan from the 9th Reigate cub scouts and this team Unit 8 physically did the constructions.

This year 2006 a team of volunteers from Building Brighter Futures gave the building a new look when they raised money and physically came to Mityana and painted the building.

I have tried a number of names and finally decided to name this project after my father's name Bukeka School. I have always wanted to do something in the name of my father and this was the best opportunity.

My vision is to develop this project in three sections
1 - Bukeka Nursery School
2 - Bukeka Care Centre
3 - Bukeka Primary School.

My plan is to consider number 1 and 2 first, develop them to the best levels possible.For number 2 which is a care centre the main target are these vulnerable children who need more help than only going to school. These are vulnerable children majority orphans and these with very poor parents or guardians. The main goal is to give them all around support eg clothing, feeding, school fees and all other possible assistance that a child need to develop and live a happy life like there friends who still have parents who are able to support them.

For this project to be successful need good hearted and caring people to give support and assistance in all ways possible. I give my thanks to UK scouts, BBF members and all friends who are working hard to support this project.

Livingstone and his wife Resty with their daughters
Livingstone's Family Home
Livingstone's Garden
Livingstone's pig project