Melissa writes ...........

Elspeth Dugdale | September 1, 2018

Melissa writes ...........
Melisssa in action

News from Melissa in Gulu (in her own words) and an important request.

Melissa has been a vital part of the Connect Centre since its inception in Gulu, but is now is seeking to raise further funding in order to remain as Project Guardian for ServeDirect at the CEC. She writes: 

"Lots going on at Connect Education Centre!  Also, I need your help......

We finished our first term of school (3 terms/year), had an exciting program for kids during their three week break, and following that, have had an equally successfulTerm 2!


Yep, we advertised holiday programs with a megaphone on a motorcycle.


Access and learning opportunities


Starting a new project is a lot of work. It has also been a lot of fun to create and imagine the potential of the centre. We are slowly adding programs as we are able to maintain them. This year is full of "firsts" for the centre and for the area, as we look at ways to work alongside schools to fill educational gaps and inspire teachers with new ideas. 

Also, I need your help. In this I would like to show how cool this centre is and some of the impact it makes. I do need further support- both prayer and financial. I have a partial stipend raised by ServeDirect, but the funding is dependent on me raising the rest. In short, I need funding to be able to work full time at the centre. I've started looking at other options for raising funds but all take quite a bit of time. Pursuing other ventures means severely cutting my time and investment; it also lessens my capacity to focus on the project.

In these early stages, having a creative mind and a background of what resourced teaching looks like is helpful to the CEC. One focus of the centre is to give access to 'hands-on lessons' in a place where this is not considered the norm. I am hoping to help develop more locally-made, reproducible resources and ways to make resource rich classrooms easier and more affordable for schools. This is where God has placed me; I want to do it well.

Please enjoy the photo overload that follows. There are so many great programs going on. This update will be mostly photos of the happenings, the features, and the highlights of our recent programs. 

<---  Hey look! A link!  --<<
I still need help to be able to stay in Northern Uganda. Please consider partnering in this.
Note: don't forget to send an email to to let them know to put it in my account! 
Or if it is easier in the UK, please send any donations to ServeDirect via the SD Donate button above, and please mark it for 'Melissa/Gulu' 

Programs at Connect Education Centre

Monday - Friday Connect hosts schools for sessions. We offer both "preschool" and "elementary" (Nursery and Primary in Uganda) programs each with their co-occurring sessions.
Headteachers choose which class goes to the centre. Some schools have up to 160 students enrolled in a single class. The class comes to Connect and is split into three groups. They then rotate between English, Math, and Library for their two hour sesson (primary).
We focus on making lots of hands-on materials to fill in gaps of student understanding. We aim to do things differently than what they get at school and work with teachers to identify weak areas.
     Teachers attend the sessions with the class and have been found taking pictures of hand-made resources and engaging with the books in the library.

P7 Quiz Competition

  We hosted our first PLE (Primary Leaving Examination) quiz competition with students from three nearby schools. 


Students answered questions for their teams in a chance to win pens, pencils, and jelly doughnuts (of course)!

     We had almost 200 students compete and we expect more at the next one scheduled later this month.


Official Opening Day

Despite being functional since February, we finally had our grand opening ceremony in June complete with lots of speeches, dancing, ribbon cutting, cake and soda!
Directors of ServeDirect, Jerry and Elspeth speak at the opening event.
Children from a nearby school showcase an Acholi traditional dance.

Saturday Library

The library opens every Saturday from 9am-1pm. 

Between 100 and 200 kids may come to read and experience all the library has to offer, including read-aloud, puzzles, games, Lego, and of course, books!

New to Saturdays:
       Board Game Club

We have just kicked off our first weekly Saturday Board Game Club. Students in upper primary are welcome to join in learning some home-made and some recently donated games. The games promote mental skills, unity, and sportsmanship.


Holiday Programs!

Children in Uganda get a three week break between school terms (Uganda has three terms with a long break Dec.-Jan.). We took the opportunity to have fun programs!

Above: Preschoolers at the water play station
Right: A girl enjoys learning in computer club

Daily activities included:
- Open Library Hours for books and puzzles 
- Two-hour Preschool Program
- Read-Aloud Storytime
- Lessons in phonics, English, & Math
- A variety of fun afternoon clubs
Mosaics in Art Club
Reading in the Library
A girl enjoys reading a book with Teacher Everline
Drama Club practices a skit teaching against child marriage.
A proud student having played the "teacher" in Phonics lesson time.
A boy practices making words with letter tiles.

Proud new authors from Story Writing Club.
Well Done!!!
You've made it to the bottom of the page!
Thank you. I appreciate you. Enjoy the rest of your day!
Melissa Rogers