More new arrivals...

Thursday, November 19, 2009- Over the past month there have been many new developments here at St. Denis Secondary School!
 Our S4 students have finished their O-Levels (GSCEs) and are now enjoying their newly gained freedom. S1 – S3 are still in full exam mode working hard to achieve good marks for their end of year examinations, but they too are looking forward to finishing them at the end of this week.

The month of November started with the arrival of Charles, a healthy bull who has joined our dairy business family. Now that Charles is old enough and does not depend on his mother’s full milk supply anymore, our milk production has increased substantially. Although this is great news, we now need to investigate new markets in the surrounding villages in order to ensure there are enough customers for our milk.
In order to make sure our cows continue to be well cared for, the agriculture club has planted nutritious elephant grass all across the school premises. The grass, which takes around 6 months to grow, will be a great supplement to the cow’s nutrition and will further contribute to improving the milk production. Although this was an important step in the right direction, there is more work to be done and more grass to be planted in order to ensure that we can supply each cow with enough feed. Therefore we are planning to plant even more grass over the next month and we will also investigate the possibility of acquiring more land for this.

Next to planting grass, the students have done a lot of work on the cow’s shelter, removing weeds and other hiding places for potentially dangerous insects and replacing the soil in the shelter which also will contribute towards the cow’s well being. Some students applied some very creative means in order to speed up the progress of removing the weeds…


The ‘Send a Piglet Home’ (SAPH) programme too has lots of new arrivals to report. Six pigs have had piglets over the past month and a further eight pigs are pregnant! This is good news for those SAPH beneficiaries who will soon be able to sell the piglets and pay for essential supplies for them and their families.

Godfrey Kalungi, the SAPH project coordinator, is very pleased with the progress and is positive about the successful growth of the project. 30 new beneficiaries have been selected, 10 of which have already received their piglets.
The school’s Computer Business Centre has also achieved solid progress thanks to the commitment and hard work of its staff. We have researched and identified a more reliable internet provider which the school will switch to in February, when our current internet subscription expires. Over the Christmas holidays the Computer Business Centre will also offer beginners computer courses. In order to promote this and the Computer Business as such, over the next weeks we will start an advertising campaign within the neighbouring community.
The final new arrival has been eagerly awaited by everyone here at St. Denis! A generator, sponsored by Into Your Hands has been installed and will supply the school and its businesses with electricity when needed. Due to the rainy season, power cuts have increased over the past weeks, and the generator will now enable us not only to ensure the work in the Computer Business Centre, but also supply the border students with light for study purposes in the evening.

As the rainy season has now finally set in, our Matooke has also resumed growing and we are expecting output from the plantation to increase again over the next months.

In all three businesses there are now detailed records being kept, which for the first time will enable us to produce a financial report at the end of this month. Regular financial reports will be vital for monitoring the progress of the St. Denis Self Sufficiency Project, and as we are all curious to find out about how we are doing, everyone here is looking forward to the report and its results.

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