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Background

 

The origins of The Mary Wood Trust charity date back to 2002, when the initial plan was to improve the fabric  at Nyakabungo Girls Secondary School (NGSS) - mending the leaking dormitory roofs and concreting damaged floors - as well as finding sponsorship for 10 needy girls at the school (a Church of Uganda girls only boarding school). Since then our support there has expanded and now in 2024 we are sponsoring 40 girls at the school and have also completed a number of major building projects, the latest of these being a new A-level Block.

We have also been able to support a small number of our girls as they have progressed into further education - university, nursing school and technical colleges. 

Ruth Memorial Nursery School (RMNS) in Kihiihi, which provides nursery and early primary education to the needy children in the area, also comes under our umbrella and the Diocesan Health Centre at Nyakatere has had support over the years for their dental unit, laboratory equipment, generator and washing facilities

All this has been possible because of the great generosity of our supporters over many years. Thank you!

LATEST NEWS

 

It is wonderful to be able to announce that the long awaited building of the new A-Level Block at Nyakabungo Girls Boarding Secondary School, Margaret Block, will be opened officially on Friday 19th April, the 40th Anniversary of Nyakabungo Girls Boarding Secondary School.

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Wonderful progress has been made in the last few months

An Extract from a recent article written by Clare Ramsden:

40th Anniversary of Nyakabungo Girls’ Boarding Secondary School

in S W Uganda

 

 

Everybody loves a celebration and 2024 is the year that Nyakabungo Girls’ Boarding  Secondary School (NGBSS) is celebrating 40 years since it was founded. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interestingly enough, it came into being  mainly due to the effort of the men in Nyakabungo community. It was  at a time when it was quite normal to believe that girls’ education wasn’t necessary as they would get married and move away or become pregnant and bring shame on the family if they stayed in school too long. A group of prominent men in the local council trekked the 40 kilometre journey to Rukungiri, the seat of the North Kigezi Diocese and the district headquarters to lobby for a girls school. There was no public transport so they had to make this journey on foot, a number of times. These men envisioned a girls only boarding school where they would have a conducive learning environment, safe from all the dangers of having to walk on foot every day to and from Rugyeyo Secondary, a co-ed  school.

 

After great determination from these men, the dream eventually came true and in 1984 Nyakabungo Girls’ Boarding Secondary School started, under the auspices of the church of Uganda, with the Diocese as  a founding body and supported by the government with a strong community stakeholder component. The new secondary school displaced Nyakabungo Primary School, inheriting the space and infrastructure. Most of these buildings were mud and wattle, with hard beaten soil floors, which were very dusty.  Thankfully a great friendship developed between my mother, Mary Wood, and Bishop John Ntegyereize, the first bishop of the newly created Kinkiizi Diocese, and the school started to grow, with support initially for 10 girls’ fees  and upgrading some of the infrastructure. In 2003 there were only 6 buildings. Now there are 16, many of which were built with funds raised by the  Mary Wood Trust.

 

NGBSS has come  a long way in its 40 year journey and has had its shares of ups and downs. 8 headteachers  and 9 BOG chairpersons later the school is now on a very good path. The school gained Advanced  level status in 2009 and the A level exam results  recently  published in March 2024 are a good indication that the school is starting to shine once again.   

 

Friday April 19th has been earmarked to celebrate this special anniversary and it is great that Oliver and I will be there to join in.

The new chairperson of the board of governors and her siblings have recently given the makings of a marching brass band to the school, so I have no doubt that the day  will be full of music and marching as well as speeches  and fun. The MWT will provide a cow so that the girls and other visitors can enjoy some meat on that day- a real treat and a welcome change from the regular diet of beans.

 

As well as celebrating the 40th anniversary of the school, the new A level and Fine Arts Block will be officially opened on the same day The MWT were able to build this new 3 classroom block with a gift given in memory of the late Margaret Pearson, who was a close friend of my mother and all our family and also a great supporter of the school and the work of the MWT. With new desks, cupboards to store art supplies, solar powered lighting and a rain water collection system, it will be a great asset to the school. This project has taken some while to come to fruition so it will be wonderful to see it actually completed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am proud of the fact that we now sponsor 40 girls at NGBSS, many of these with individual sponsors. During our visit I try to spend some time with each of them, getting to know more about them and  their family backgrounds. It is also important to show appreciation and  support to the teachers who give up allot to be in this remote school with no internet, no mains electricity, no mains water. It always amazes me that the girls achieve what they do. The O level results also came out recently and the school performed even better than last year.

 

Over the years we have helped more than 15 girls pursue further education of some kind or another, all following on from their support at NGSS

 

Clare Ramsden 

Mary Wood Trust Chairperson

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