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Star of the border academy

Thanks to:

Lars Johansson, Camilla Johansson, Samy Ramdani


It was a sweaty night with heat and mosquitos. Good thing that we were so tired or else there wouldn’t have been much sleep.

(Pictures coming soon, i-phone is recovering from a swim in the Nile river, Uganda.)

We had a tour around the house. In a 1000 sqm plot there is Ruth’s small house with three small bedrooms and small kitchen and livingroom. In this she has at times provided shelter for 15 kids. Also there is a bigger building, half complete, half construction sight. This building houses a dorm for 30 orphants. No bathrooms yet. There is also a separate house, maybe 10 sqm serving as a kitchen for 480 students. I have that size of a kitchen but I can hardly make food for myself, but I don’t house two stoves with real fire like this either. The unfinished building will later become a hostel shelter for girls.

We leave the house and her next door neighbour is the Star of the Border academy, which Ruth once founded. This is a school where about 15 boys sleep during school days because they have no chance of going home. They used to sleep in a classroom but due to a heavy storm that building collapsed and now there beds are in the former library. This school needs a lot of help. The government only gives support during exams which is only a couple of weeks per year. The teacher’s salaries, the facilities, school supplies and food, all has to be paid by the families.

And families are apparently not able to give so much when they many times prefer having their kids selling bananas or char coal by the road.

This school is too big for us and our type of charity. They are in need of some better and renovated classrooms, drilling a well, fences, swings et. al for the playground, paving, a new library and books and very important; computers. The government demands that every school gives education on computers a part of the time. The problem is that a lot of schools (like this one) have very limited fundings and get no support in buying computers for the children.

We decide on doing something that we know something about and also know makes a difference, we buy new mattresses for a majority of the beds. 25 in total.

This school is very interested in an exchange with a swedish class. So if you are interested you can contact them through the address you can see on the photo above.

We pack our stuff and with some help from our hosts we repair one of the bikes at the bicycle mechanic and then cross the border. We are in Uganda. We take a matatu for the first time to put some miles behind. This vehicle is a small Toyota bus, taking 5 rows of people seating 3-4 per row and sometimes more. The leg space is ok for 5 minutes and you can feel the knees of the passenger behind pushing in your back. These cars go fast and often do dangerous double takeovers, honking the horn intensely rather then chickening out. I wonder if they are called matatus for a reason, mata is latin for killing?

So the 2,5 half hour drive is in speed. Christian asks loudly what the speed limit is and the driver slows down slightly for a moment. In the start of the journey one teenager kid starts asking where people are going and tells people to pay. One woman in the car tells him off by saying there is no conductor on this ride and that no one should pay to him because he is a thief. So he is quiet and disappears after half way without saying good bye to anyone.

We reach our destination Jinja and camp in the hostel yard for 14 USD.

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