January 2021 - Newsletter
The January 2021 Newsletter is available.The Singing Gorilla Newsletter
September 2020 - Newsletter
The September 2020 Newsletter is available.The Singing Gorilla Newsletter
A water tank installation to the border with DR Congo at Nteko village
A tour around the Nkuringo Green Health Hospital (NGHH) construction
January 2020 - Newsletter
The January 2020 Newsletter is available. In this issue we look at the work that has been completed over the last few months. The newsletter also has details of the new Empower Her Project and the fund raising activities held in December.The Singing Gorilla Newsletter
December 2019 - Baskets
Baskets for sale at Dunstan Thomas in the UK. All the baskets were sold in two days. We collected over £300. The money will be sent back to the Empower Her programme to re-invest and provide payments for the work.
November 2019 - Baskets
After a month of operations, the Empower Her woman have produced a large number of baskets and mats. Many of these have been transported to the UK where they have been sold to staff at Dunstan Thomas for Christmas gifts.
Preparing the baskets for the display. and putting some finishing touches
Putting some finishing touches to a basket.
Follow the Empower Her link to find out more.
November 2019 - Videos of the Empower Her Programme
Preparing Dye - have a look at the video of the Empower Her class preparing dye for the baskets - Video.
Weaving Baskets - have a look at the video of the Empower Her class preparing dye for the baskets - Video.
October 2019 - The Empower Her Programme
SGP launches the Empower Her programme designed to help girls aged 15 – 20 who have had their education interrupted by teenage pregnancy, develop skills to support themselves. Follow the Empower Her link to find out more.
September 2019 - Nombe latrines complete
The September Newsletter is available. In this issue we look at the work that has been completed over the last few months. The newsletter also has details of the new Empower Her Project and the fund raising activities held in August. Download Newsletter.
August 2019 - Nombe latrines complete
The girls latrines for Nombe are now complete.
August 2019 - The maternity and pediatric ward
The roof is now on the maternity and pediatric ward, the floor is being installed and walls plastered next. The building is expected to be completed by the end of August.
July 2019 - The girls latrine block at Nombe Primary School
With over 400 girls and just under 300 boys, building a latrine block for the girls is a much needed addition to the school. The latrine block has an additional girls changing room. The latrine will be complete by September
July 2019 - The bio toilet at Rubguri Primary School
Father Nestorio stiring the additional cow dung in the school bio toilet to kick off the chemical reaction which will see human waste transformed into methane, that will be used in the kitchen and animal feed and fertiliser.
May 2019 - The maternity and pediatric ward
The roof is now on the maternity and pediatric ward, waiting for iron sheets to complete. The doors and windows will be installed next. The building is expected to be completed by the end of August.
May 2019 - The Music School
The music school marching band performs in Rubuguri.
The music school performs in the grounds of St Joseph's Primary School in Rubuguri.
May 2019 - Akengayo
The classroom at Akengayo is now ready for the floor to go in ready for the start of term at the end of May.
May 2019 - Iron sheets
Singing Gorilla Projects has funded the re-roofing of six schools in the area with iron sheets. Each school has receieved 100 iron sheets. The schools are in the villages of Mwumba, Rushabarara, Rutooma as well as Nkuringo Childcare, St Joseph's and Rubuguri Primary in Rubuguri. The iron sheets were delivered to the Volcano House in Nkuringo for collection. Parents and children arrived to collect and transport the iron sheets on foot back to the schools. Many of the schools are significant distances from the Volcano House. The local community shows an amzaing spirit of team work to work together for the benefit of their community schools.
May 2019 - Murore
The classroom at Murore is now complete and has been used for classes already. This was funded by our friends Kevin and Dawn Smith from Chicago.
The plaque on the classroom at Murore.
The new eight stanza latrines at the school.
The new girls changing room, now a standard feature in the facilities Singing Gorilla Projects builds. Not only does this mean that girls continue to stay at school, the overall drop out of girls is set to decline.
April 2019 - Suma
The new eight stanza latrines at the school opening ceremony, with project director Chris Read and Pius Rwomushana the manager for education projects.
The new girls changing room, a new innovation for schools. These have been built to encourage girls to stay at school, whilst they are menstruating. In the past many would not come to school whilst having their periods. The changing rooms give the girls a private space.
The construction of the Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre Maternity and Paedeatric wards take shape. The ward is due to be finished by the end of April. This will be followed by a fit out with services commencing in 2020.
The first day of term with the Iryavumba crew. Girls and boys in their secondary school looking forward to term time. Most of these kids are effected buy HIV in one way or another. Singing Gorila Projects supports the school with the intake of HIV possitive children.
Works starts on the maternity and paediatric ward at the Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre. The wards will be built and completed in 2019. The development has been supported by Dunstan Thomas, the Singing Gorilla Projects corporate sponsor - Video
An interview with James Read who recently visited uganda with his father Chris Read. Read the full article
Chris Read CEO of Dunstan Thomas features in a corporate video explaining the value of Singing Gorilla Ptojects to not only the people of Uganda but to Dunstan Thomas as well:
Internet smash - Joseph saying thank you to all his fans with his song Acunio. Translated from Bakiga to English it goes:
We youths of Ntungamo
We have come to welcome you
On this wonderful day
My friend is Joseph
Let him enter in and we will dance “salt”
We enjoyed salt.. Danced the linga...
The Volcano House is ready to take on volunteers for project work. Located close to Nkuringo, it is in the centre of where the Singing Gorilla Project work is done.
Evarist Muhumuza the Singing Gorilla Projects (Communities Projects) manager discovers a new water source. Have a look at the video: https://youtu.be/wdpCe2BaAIg.
Kevin Smith of Chicago, the sponsor the construction at Suma school has produced a newsletter.
Life in Nkuringo Video
November 2017 - The water project
The water pipe project is an initiative to move water from a stream, up 100 metre hill to a holding tank that can be used by the local community. The technology that is being used is called hydraulic ram technology. Singing Gorilla Projects, has engaged in a UK company, Water Powered technologies to install the pump. https://www.waterpoweredtechnologies.com/
November 2017 - Parents day
Singing Gorilla Projects supports a number of primary and secondary school as well as vocational schools in the Kisoro District of Uganda. The Parents Day was an opportunity for Pious, the manager of the education projects, to talk to the parents of the school kids on their role in the education of their children. A day of speeches and a picnic lunch in the trees was provided and a good time was had by all.
November 2017 - Dream challenges helps at the schools
Dream Challenges a UK based event organiser visits Nkuringo to work with Singing Gorilla Projects at the Ntungamo Primary School and the Nkuringo Secondary School.
The school at Mulore receives the Singing Gorilla Projects survey team for the first time. A water tank will be installed in November. https://youtu.be/k0HahAB57mU
The classroom at Suma is now complete and ready to enrol the children. https://youtu.be/jvRJRC08WO0
Water tank installations in Rubugurihttps://youtu.be/fhXNjYcY9IU
Singing Gorilla Projects trustee, Karen Read, raising money for Singing Gorilla Projects with a group of intrepid cyclists by cycling the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. Support Karen here
IndigoFest again will be supporting Singing Gorilla Projects by donating proceeds from the performance. The concert will take place on Friday 19th January 2019 at the Capitol Theatre in Horsham. Hosted by comedian Tim Vine, we are expecting another sell out night. A new version of Pathway will be performed, a song that bought together the Singing Gorilla Music School with schools in the south of England - here is Pathway in 2015 https://youtu.be/vhvm1-rr88M
Teaching at the Ntungamo School in Nkuringo with some young volunteers Emma Read and James Read
The October Newsletter.
The Volcano House is now complete and ready for SGP to move in.
The School at Mulore.
The Volcano House.
The May trip and project review.
Well done to Julie Thompson who runs the 2017 London Marathon for Singing Gorilla Projects and raises over £800.
The Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre in Nkuringo receives it's operating licence.
The water pipe project for the Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre.
The Suma school construction has now started in earnest - have a look at the progress that is being made.
The Suma Project
Our goal is to raise this $8,000 (£6,500) before March 31, so that construction can begin.
Kevin and Dawn Smith of Chicago have pledged a 100% MATCH FOR EVERY CONTRIBUTION, up to a total of $4,000 (£3,250). This match is DOLLAR-for-DOLLAR (POUND-for-POUND). With this matching, your contribution has twice the impact! So let's dig deep, and see what we can do for the kids at Suma, Uganda! $4,000 from you will result in $8,000 raised and enough to build the classrooms and latrines!
The water pipeline.
As dry season turns to the rainy season, the community are rolling up their sleeves to start building again. Mixing cement needs water, and the only water that’s available after the dry season is rain! Building has started at the remote primary school of Suuma, only 6 km from Nkuringo as the crow (or sun bird) flies but it takes me a good three hours to get there up and over the hills. A new classroom is being constructed to house the increasing intake of children. Population is growing by 3.2% per year with 80% of the population under 35, there is a strong demand for schools both primary and secondary. This area is called Nyabwishenya, it’s a sub county of the Kisoro District. Its one of the most remote in Uganda. However despite the remoteness, around each bend in the path or above you in the hills there are gaggles of dirty ragged children with smiles as broad as can be. As you move around the area the echoes of children shouting muzungu muzungu remind oneself that you are a curiosity worthy of their persistency.
Last week we had our first board meeting for the Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre. The centre has been running for two months and has seen over 600 patients. As we enter the rainy season the incidence of Respiratory Track Infection (RTI) and pneumonia is expected to increase. One of the items on the board meeting agenda was to predict the drugs that would be needed for this upsurge in illness bought on by the damp. When the patients visit the centre we also track not only their physical village location but also whether the kitchen is located in the living area of the homesteads and whether animals live inside as well. There seems to be a higher trend for RTI on households where wood burning for cooking is done inside the homesteads. Our next board meeting is in May as we enter the next dry season. We shall see what trends there are to report then.
The big project of last week was the locating of a water source to feed the health centre water tanks. Four hundred metres below at a distance of 2KM as the sun bird flies, is the nearest source of water. We have now mapped the hill side where the water needs to be bought up and the locations for holding tanks. We are planning to use a technology called hydraulic ram to move water uphill under pressure without the use of a generator or a pump. We continue to search for ways in which we can implement sustainable projects in which the local community can maintain. We expect this to be complete this year.
Open for business. The Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre has seen over 300 patients in the first four weeks of operations.
The February 2017 visit, three more water tanks, water filters, building a new class room for the primary school in Suma and a check up on the Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre.
The class room at Suma in need of repair.
Our Clinical Officer, Isaac, his story.
Health Centre open - The Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre (NGHH)NGHH
The Nkuringo Green Hill Health Centre (NGHH) built by Singing Gorilla Projects was inaugurated with a grand opening ceremony on the 9h December. Local dignitaries have been invited with the grand opening being performed by the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for the Kisoro District. The RDC reports directly to the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni. Singing Gorilla Projects is keen to get the government involved in the health projects its undertaking to help support the provision of resources, access to drugs and professionals. For more on the NGHH.
September 2016 - The water tank story.
The water tank story.
The container leaves from Havant in the UK with donations of hospital beds, medical equipment, books, clothes, water filters, sewing machines, guitars and whole load of other items. The container is being shipped to Nkuringo via Mombassa in Kenya and then onwards to Uganda.
A container is ordered to leave from the UK with donations of hospital beds, medical equipment, books, clothes, water filters, sewing machines, guitars and whole load of other items. The container is being shipped to Nkuringo.
June 2016 - Summer 2016 Newsletter
The rainy season is now coming to an end and the water tanks are full. The long dry season will be a test of the resolve of the community to ration the water remaining in the tanks. Truth be told, we are all trying to observe the best utilisation of water from the tanks to assess what pattern of usage manages to sustain the water for the longest period of time.
I return to Nkuringo on Sunday to install a further three tanks in the remote village areas on the DR Congo border. Thankfully Singing Gorilla Projects has a motor bike so I should be in and out in a day for each installation. Mind you, staying overnight in the villages is an experience in itself. The nights are dark, there is no light pollution, other than the orange glow from Niragongo the extremely active volcano just 30 km away over the DR Congo border.
The key task to work on this trip is to check the progress on the health centre construction. I shall be working with the team in the village to assemble a management team to provide administration and management oversight for the service, which is expected to start before Christmas. The building is still to be equipped with solar panels, cabling and a wash room before it is truly finished. I suspect there will be a bunch of snagging to be looked at as well.
Over the next few months we shall be organising a container to be shipped from the UK to take the growing number of donations as well as medical furniture and equipment to kit out the clinic. If you know of your local hospital or health centre that is throwing out equipment, please drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org, to see if we can “rescue” it to have a second home in Nkuringo.
March 2016 - Evarist in the UK
Muhumuza Evarist, the Singing Gorilla Projects, projects coordinator from Uganda is visiting Singing Gorilla Projects in the UK. Helping to raise funds at a gala dinner in his honour, Evarist has visited schools to talk about Singing Gorilla Projects and met bsueinss people to raise awareness of the project work.
The February 2016 visit, more water tanks, water filters, condoms, music and the Ntungamo School!
University of Warwich students raise money for Singing Gorilla Projects. Have a look at their video raising money on the Singing Gorilla Projects Justgiving page
November 2015 - Singing Gorilla Projects becomes a registered charity
Registered charity in England and Wales (1164315)
A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 2400969.
Registered Office 1 Riversdale Gardens, Havant, PO92JB UK, +44 7968 582327
Building the Health Centre
Indigofest fund raising concert in Horsham a great success - have a look at our YouTube video:
Wine tasting at Dunstan Thomas in Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth.
The Ntungamo School - For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day you can support a child, a school and a community.
The July Visit, more water tanks, music and the Ntungamo School
Karen Read and Luisa Partridge join Singing Gorilla Projects to run the Step to Health initiative and Light To Read initiative respectively.
The May Visit, water tanks, cricket and a whole host of other project work
A glokenspiel donated by Jane Roberson and a xylaphone making their way over to Nkuringo in May.
Two boys, Patrick and Anatoli are to be enrolled in Bright Future School in May. Patrick wants to be an engineer and Anatoli was to be the President of Uganda! Term ends on April 17th and the new term starts on May 10th. To sponsor a child costs about £35 a term, plus expenses. The first term is more expensive, since the boys have to purchase school uniform, stationary and a mattress! They tend to mostly board at school.
Laptops donated by our corporate sponsor, Dunstan Thomas Group. The laptops are for the computer lab at the Bright Future School in Nkuringo
Computer lab taking shape at Bright Future School
Florence on a Tailoring and Fashion Design at the newly opened Bwindi Community Skills Development Institite
The Singing Gorilla Projects office opens for business as a centre for co-ordination and management of the projects as well as an information centre for locals and tourists. Evarist will be running the office that also will double up as a community library.
Water Wealth Driving Health Project, sees two water tanks installed
In the Step up Up To Health project, the boys are progressing well in their respective medical courses
Music school has just opened for business again
Laptops donated by Dunstan Thomas, for medical students on the Step Up To Health project. Chris Read receives laptops from Dunstan Thomas's Operations Manager, Rowland Adams, at the Dunstan Thomas office in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.
Trip to do some initial testing of the solar technology for the Light To Read project. During this trip, we will also assess the feasibility of low powered solar energy as part of the Light To Read project for communities that cannot be connected to the electricity grid. The vision for providing solar energy is that by providing light after dark, school children can continue their studies and do homework in a more conducive environment.
The research and development that Singing Gorilla is currently undertaking is to develop components and kits of solar technology that can be assembled in the community so that it is more supportable locally.
We are installing a further two water tanks as part of our Water Wealth Driving Health project, thanks to sponsorship from Dunstan Thomas our UK corporate partner. This time we shall be moving out of the Nkuringo village area and moving down into the valleys to more remote communities.
Four girls, Mandy, Amiri, Catherine and Annah have been sponsored, by members of staff and friends of Dunstan Thomas to attend the Nkuringo Bright Future Pre and Primary School. Enrollment for the start of term was in February. We wish them all the very best and hope they study hard!
To install a further three water tanks as part of the water tank project.
For only £650 per tank, we can ship a tank from Kampala all the way to Nkuringo (12 hours by road). We can purchase the bricks and mortar. We contract workman to help us install it. All of this can be done and can provide an enormous benefit to the community.
A single 3000 litre tank can be filled with rain water that is channelled from roof tops and can provide water for 100 people for a week.
These projects have been transformational for the community. It's the job of the children to fetch the water. A three hour round trip to the stream in the valley, twice a day has now been replaced, with more time spent at school.
Autumn - Winter 2014/2015
To sponsor Thadeus, a bright 18 year old lad, through nursing college and to sponsor Isaac through medical school in Kampala. Thadeus and Isaac are being supported so that when they are finished through their studies and qualifies, we be able to set up and staff a medical clinic in the village, in which the provision of care is free at the point of delivery. This clinic will also form the focal point for visiting medics to provide help and support to Thadeus, Isaac and the community... contact me.
Three more tanks are installed in the Nkuringo area. This time they are installed outside of the village further along the ridge and down the hill. The tanks have been installed against community houses where crops are stored. This means that houses in the area can use the water communally.
Florence and Evelyn posing with Robert and Denise Shaw. Both girls are being funded to stay at school, St Gertrude's in Kisoro, to finish off their O-Levels. I am very keen for children especially girls to stay at school for as long as possible, to pick up certifications to provide them options in their lives in the future.
During our trip we also distributed donated clothes to mothers and kids at the Gorilla Camp. Here is Robert Shaw fitting clothes to a youngster.
Another visit, to check up on how Tim is getting on with the music school. We also put in another 3 water tanks outside the village area this time, to service some of the smaller communities in more remote parts of the valley and ridge.
Two local girls are also being sponsored to stay in school to finish off their O-Levels.
The Music school students posing for a picture. There is another shipment of musical instruments arriving in September. These include a guitar, keyboard, a melodia, more harmonicas and ukeleles as well as two violins, a glockenspiel and some percussion instruments.
I am organising a further three water tanks to be installed in the Nkuringo (Uganda) community area (this time a bit further down the ridge and in some less accessible places). I am getting these ready for installation in mid-September. Last month we installed three water tanks in the village. The rains have now come and these are filling up nicely before the dry season returns in July. These water tanks provide water for 600 people. Before the tanks, the community had to hike down the hill side (a big hill) to collect water from the stream and then a big climb back up.
I visit Nkuringo, with six other members of Vistage, an organisation that brings together business leaders that help to make a difference. I will be delivering the musical instruments to the school as well as case loads of clothes and books! Drop me a line if you would like to help... contact me.
The Vistage team have helped fund three water tanks. Each water tank costs $800 and can service 200 persons. The village has 600 people.
As this village is perched on the mountain top, the only way to get water is to collect it from the stream. The stream just so happens to be 700 metre in the valley below the village.
So just picture standing on top of a high cliff here in the UK, say in the Isle of Wight or around Dover.
The height of those cliffs are no more than 160 metres.
Just imagine the need to clamber down steep valleys four times the height of Beachy Head to collect something as basic as water.
Update - Dan Hook MD of ASV, stands besides the water tank he sponsored. Dan also mixed the concrete, whilst the rest of the Vistage team helped in the preparations. The water tanks are to be fed by rain water from run off from roofs.
Niel Wilkie from Vistage, is organising t-shirts for the school (and us).
Selina, from Cheeky Rascals is in the local news on her impending trip to Nkuringo with other members of Vistage - View clipping
I am collecting musical instruments suitable for children. I am looking for recorders, ukuleles, half size and three quarter size violins. Can you have look in your loft or your garage to see if you have any aging instruments no longer in use that could do with a new home. Drop me a line if you would like to help... contact me.
Update - I have found a music teacher (Tim alias MC Kiga (pronounced chiga) - www.youtube.com/watch?v=JotzN3GndKk ) to work with schools around the area and the community itself. Tim has studied music at university in Uganda.