The African Children’s Stories Uganda collections have been reliant on partnerships with the Cotton On and Irene Gleeson foundations. Ducere Group and Cotton On have a great deal in common, with both Founders committed to improving the lives of children in Africa through their respective corporate investment.
We worked very closely with Sarah Langborne from Cotton On across St Nicholas, St Joseph, St Charles Lwanga, St Jude and St Timothy primary schools as well as St Bernard’s, St John the Baptist and St Francis Secondary Schools, from the Manya, Busibo, Namabade Central Villages and the Nabbunga and Kyalulangira Outreach Villages.
Adventure reigned. We stayed in the Catholic Parish, sharing a bunkroom, with limited power and a daily ration of one bucket of water for all our needs. Morning prayer began before dawn and as the sun rose and the light streamed through the aisle windows the faces of the children looked as if they were illuminated from within.
Each day in the classroom was different. The children loved master classes. As the teachers gained confidence, they would share personal stories that enriched all of us. One of our favourite exercises began, “Let me tell you about …”.
The Irene Gleeson Foundation began in 1991 when Irene Gleeson left her Sydney home and towed a caravan to Northern Uganda, rescuing children who had escaped from Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army during the twenty-year war in Northern Uganda.
The power of these teachers was reflected in Kabazalwe Rosette’s story Judith and Margaret,
‘Margaret decided she would be a teacher when she grew up because teachers are very important, especially when their advice and teaching saves lives’.