It’s been a year of virtual firsts for many of us—virtual meetings, virtual trivia, virtual workshops, virtual choir... you tell us how long the list is! Thanks to the daily reports we’ve been receiving from the team in Busubi, we can now offer you a virtual experience of a week in Busubi Learning Centre.
These words are directly from BEC leaders Derrick and Shallon—who have done an amazing job reopening Busubi’s community centre.
Monday 21st SEPTEMBER
Today, the day was well started. Milly decided to continue with the work of clearing the footpath of the center while Derrick was busy with clean up in the office and the toilets. The normal schedule started.
The hairdressing class today was much dominated by the new trainees who also want to pursue their dreams of best hairstylists. It was a good experience watching these young girls giving in their all to learn the skills that were being taught to them. The trainer taught them how to twist the hair additions and how to add them to human hair. Trainees tried this several times so as to learn it.
On the other hand, Shallon was requested to go to Kampala for window shopping so as to find out the prices of computers and video cameras. We hope by Wednesday we will be able to know the cost price of these items.
Today was a promising day.
Tuesday 22nd September
It has been a great Tuesday with different activities done at different intervals. It was really amazing during the early morning when Shallon, Derrick and three small girls trainees teamed up to do general cleaning together in the compound of BEC. This team hand-slashed the overgrown unwanted grasses in the compound, swept and collected all the trash to the trash bin. This activity left our compound clean and attractive.
At around 9:20 am almost all trainees had arrived and the class started. The trainees being new, the hairdressing trainer started with some previous work so as to let them practice shortly what they learnt yesterday. What they plaited showed that each of them grasped well the skill taught to them.
Before the lunch break, Shallon was given some time and took these young girls through sex education and personal hygiene. During this short discussion, some girls opened up some of the challenges they have experienced since the Covid-19 lockdown. They have appreciated Shallon for this talk and requested her to keep it up whenever time allows.
In the afternoon, as the hairdressing was continuing on one side of the main hall, also Computer lessons were going on the other side under the guidance of Derrick and Shallon. The trainees are still learning the basics so as to have a firm start.
Generally, we had a good and busy day which is a pleasure to us.
Wednesday 23rd September
It has been a lovely Wednesday with a good number of trainees new and old, young ones and adults. All the tailoring training sessions have been lively because the trainees showed much interest in the skills and they are starting to appreciate tailoring as an alternative source of income on top of gardening which they have practised all their lives.
During the training sessions, Shallon and Derrick have been around to monitor the training process and to ensure the smooth running of the activities.
Still, it has been a good moment when Shallon took some girl trainees who were waiting for their tailoring turn to the Library to read books. Shallon introduced these girls to the book reading skills and told them the goodness of reading books. She urged them always to come to the Library for reading and to tell others the availability of the reading books at BEC. She emphasized to them that the library belongs to them for use and reminded them to ensure the safety of the books in the library so that others can also come and loan them for perfecting reading and other language skills needed. She added that in times of lack of something to do, getting a book to read helps a lot to break boredom and one can put his/her time to good use. They were so much pleased to see more interesting storybooks in our Library and at the end of the session each borrowed a book to read at home. Their details were recorded in the library stock book. We hope this will ignite the reading culture of these young girls more.
Thursday 24th September
Thursday has been a wonderful day spent doing useful activities. After the completion of the usual morning tasks like preparing breakfast, cleaning up everywhere, we switched to tailoring class.
Trainees came on time to catch up with this outstanding session. These new and old trainees were tasked with different activities among which they sewed different types of outfits, and made a lot of garment cuttings from the materials. We had two sessions, the morning session which ran from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm and the evening session from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. Derrick and Shallon engaged in both sessions and the trainer appreciated their daily engagement because it enables the smooth flow of the teaching.
Friday 25th September
It has been a busy day right from early morning. We started with the usual simple activities inside and outside the centre and after breakfast at 9:00am we switched to the normally scheduled works.
Today we had classes in Tailoring and Agriculture. A reasonable number of trainees came for the morning tailoring session and the trainer introduced them to different tailoring techniques. There has been much practice in cutting, measuring, sewing and others. Being a Friday and the last tailoring training day in the week, most of the trainees were seen struggling to finish the tasks which were given to them since Wednesday because next week they are expecting to move to the next step.
It should be remembered that, within this week, Shallon had some moments with some girls trainees in our Library, this has done us good because even other young trainees also picked interest and today as they were waiting for their tailoring shift to start they spent some time with Shallon in the Library reading books. It has been great joy there when Immaculate came across the same textbook used by her tutors at the college. She has taken her time reading it and borrowed it for further reading at home. Other trainees also borrowed some books to read over the weekend at their home and Shallon requested them to handle those books with care for further use at the centre. We hope our Library department will gradually catch up to improve the reading culture among the youths in our community which is at a low level.
Still today, after quite a long time without Agriculture training sessions, it has been massive during today’s training session, when the Agriculture trainer with the help of Shallon and Derrick led some trainees to the garden to learn more the proper way of sowing beans and maize, so as to get high yields. He taught the trainees how to prepare the garden by ploughing so as to allow easy percolation of rainwater into the soil for the proper growth of crops. A large piece of land has been cultivated and we hope for good harvests at the end of this season which will ensure food security for Busubi.
Saturday 26th September
Saturday has been a happy day at BEC and being a weekend, a good number of trainees turned up for computer and Music, Dance and Drama (MDD) lessons. Unlike the normal MDD training sessions before the lockdown, this time around we agreed MDD trainees to practice the playing of the keyboard because with this it’s possible to do social distancing. Shallon facilitated this session because the trainer was unable to come due to sickness.
Many young girls trainees were so excited to see and to play the keyboard. Many of them it was their very first time to put their fingers on this musical instrument. Trainees showed so much interest in playing this musical instrument and they are eagerly waiting for the trainer to get well so as to practice well.
On the other hand, Derrick has taken the computer trainees through computer lessons and they continued with the basics of LibreOffice writer.
Sunday 27th September
After the whole week’s work, Sunday has been for relaxation and planning for the new week ahead of us. We got a brief meeting to find ways of making the new week moving on smoothly. Each of us has been given specific days to be on duty. We hope the resolutions we’ve come up with will help to make this week a success. We shall draw the duty roster and share it with all people. And each person on duty for that week, will come up with a report and give to Shallon and Derrick to go through it and submit as required. Each one on duty will be responsible for everything in that week. But as a team, we shall be available to support him/her as he gives tasks to handle in the week day by day.
Organized by: Derrick, Shallon and Vincent