Orton group taking gifts to African schoolchildren

Date: Friday 20th November 2015
The group of Orton residents who have journeyed to Uganda to visit schools and a church.
The group of Orton residents who have journeyed to Uganda to visit schools and a church.

A PARTY of five Orton residents this week set off to Kasese, in south-western Uganda, to visit two schools with messages and items of writing, drawing and craft work from pupils from Orton and Shap primary schools.

Shap Primary School set up its link with St. John’s School, Kitswamba, five years ago, and Orton school’s link with Busunga School was set up in 2012.

Shap school pupils prepared their gifts as part of their Friendship Week. They sent 79 letters with friendship bracelets, laminated art work by the children, depicting local wildlife, a CD of the children singing, and four footballs. Orton school concentrated on craft activities, sending instructions and materials for string art and a collection of other crafty items. They also sent a memory stick with many photos and video clips of life in Orton School.

As well as the school links with Uganda, All Saints’ Church, Orton, has had a link with All Saints’ Church, Kasese, since 2009. During that time the members of the Ugandan church who were worshipping in a large wooden shack have been building a new, brick church, which has now been completed, five years ahead of schedule.

It is to be dedicated by the Bishop of South Rwenzori, the Right Rev. Jackson Nzerebende, on 30th November, and the Ugandan Christians urged members of their Cumbrian link church to join them for the occasion.

The five Cumbrian visitors are the Rev. Christopher and Mrs. Mary Jenkin, the Rev. Ian Elliott, Mrs. Felicity Lawler and Mr. David Merritt, who is a member of Orton Methodist Church.

As well as the gifts from the two schools, and cash gifts to the schools and the church, the group is taking many other presents almost 1,000 pencils, plain and coloured, donated by the Keswick Pencil Factory; pencils, rubbers and pencil sharpeners from another donor; a solar panel and laptop; priest’s stoles, donated by the widow of a former Cumbrian archdeacon and books/personal gifts to families the Jenkins met on previous visits.

When Orton people learned that the Ugandan clergyman, the Rev. Nelson Isebagheen, had recently had his eight goats stolen, spontaneous gifts totalling £60 were also given to replace them.

On Sunday, the five travellers were sent out with prayer and a blessing by the congregation of All Saints, Orton, led by the curate, the Rev. Sandra Ward.

The team will visit local projects, including the Kasese Street Kids’ Hostel, the Rukungiri Chilli Project for families with disabled children, and Kisiize Christian Hospital.