It’s been a few weeks since I returned from Uganda. Looking back on the fellowship, it was a life-changing experience. I made many friends and grew a lot both as a professional and on a personal level.
I’ve been in touch with GDPU still. I left feeling like my time with them was too short, but it is good to stay in communication and help them remotely. I put Simon in touch with a Program Officer from the Open Society Foundation, and I was hoping they would meet up in person shortly after I left. Unfortunately, things have come up to delay that meeting, once when Simon went to Kampala, and again when Boaz, the OSF Program Officer, came up to Gulu. They have plans to meet September 25 to discuss scaling up the program so I am hopeful that it turns into something.
In the meantime, Simon has been making site visits to Tochi for GDPU according to our monitoring schedule that we built. He will be making these visits twice per month until November to see how things are progressing into the new school term. In his last visit, he reported a major issue that we had been worrying about, vandalism of the toilet.
There had been some reports from teachers about people from the neighboring community using an illegal pathway which cuts through Tochi school grounds. Some teachers who live on the school’s land saw people loitering around the toilet at night. We were afraid they would do something, but since we couldn’t identify their motives, we waited to see how things played out.
Despite having multiple local officials and community leaders speak out against vandalism at the Opening Day festival and giving the project their blessing, the issue still persists. Simon found that they had destroyed the tap to the water tank. They were not able to cause much more damage, due to the safeguards we built, but they still have caused us headaches.
Prevention now seems the only way to move forward. It will be a challenge but Simon, GDPU, Tochi, and AP must work together to find a trustworthy security guard that can be hired to protect the facility for a few months. We need to develop some deterrence and build a live-fence to block off the pathway. It is the only way to protect the facility.
Posted By Josh Levy
Posted Sep 21st, 2015