June / July 2011


In June and July Soul Action had the privilege of visiting different communities in Uganda. In February Grace Munyosi, from Mbale, had spent a week in Durban with Rachel Bowyer, from our Literacy Programme. Whilst Grace was in Durban she acquired an understanding of the skills children need to develop in order to read and write and also developed practical skills so she could facilitate phonic lessons in the schools within her community. As a follow-up to this initial training, Rachel went to visit Grace to provide further support and additional training. It was wonderful to spend time with Grace and her family and to build on what Grace had started to champion within her community. Since April, Grace had been working with 2 classes of children, aged between 5 and 8 years, three days a week. Each class has about 80 children. One of the mornings Grace and Rachel were able to teach one of the classes together. Grace had previously taught the children the sounds s, a, t, i, p and n, so it was time to move the children on and encourage them to use the knowledge they had developed to read simple words like at, pat, sat, in, tin, pin etc. Considering this was the first time the children had been asked to do this they did really well. Grace will continue to include reading activities in each lesson, as well as teaching the children new sounds and blends. Grace felt the teachers needed to be empowered to take part of the responsibility for the teaching of phonics. The previous day in the Primary 1 Classroom we had seen how excited the teacher was when she realised that her class Рthe children she was responsible for Рcould use their knowledge of letter sounds to read simple words. So Rachel spent a morning facilitating a workshop for the teachers at this school, where they thought about the skills children need to be able to develop in order to read and write, explored different multi-sensory activities to develop phonological awareness and thought about the structure of a lesson. The staff participated fully and could see how this would help their children. They wanted to see the children succeed. Soul Action also spent time training volunteers from Grace’s community and working with teachers connected to the Kitega Community Centre in another part of Uganda. Although our time in Uganda was short, we travelled quite a lot, staying in five different places. Everywhere we went we met the most amazing people making a real difference to children lives. To see more photos from Uganda please visit our Facebook page

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