Friday, 21 July 2017


As we prepared for the day ahead the team was ready to go for their group plays and the last day at Bright Future School. The eventful day left a majority of the team in tears and heartache as we drove away from the school. We made the journey to the school for the final time which stirred up emotions before the day had even began.  We settled in to watch the plays we had prepared in our respective pairs and once they had finished, and Mr William had his final say, the team began to feel the emotions kick in, with tears flooding from both the Stoke Park team and the children and staff at Bright Future School. Admittedly, as Lewis, I was the first one to crack as all of us were taken to the front and faced with their overwhelming gratitude. Whilst being awarded some certificates, we were greeted by the teachers of the school who could not have been any nicer or kept us happy any better throughout the entire week. The care and the gratitude continued to show through the rest of the day, causing rivers over tears and crowds of smiling faces. Trisha

When we woke up this morning we all realised that this day was going to be emotional. However, I had no idea how emotional it was going to get. The eventful day started off with performing our plays that we have all worked so hard to perfect in the last week. As the last play came to an end I felt my eyes fill up but I held it back. We then had to stand up and accept our awards for winning the sports yesterday. As this was happening a little girl called Esther ran up and gave me a hug. This was when I cried a lot. I wasn't aware on how much I was going to cry. Getting on the bus was a lot harder. All the kids came over to us all and gave us hugs and notes. Most of the kids at Bright Future School started to cry which made it a lot worse for me. Leaving the school was so hard but it makes me and the rest of the team happy as we have left the children as much as we could. We taught them new sports, science practicals and hand games to make there school life more interesting. I wish all the pupils there a very bright future.

Friday 21st, the shortest day of the trip. Not because of time, even though it wasn't on our side, but because of the events which passed. In fact, it literally felt like how I have written this. We woke, we bathed, we ate and we were on the bus. I was able to take in the Ugandan scenery we had been encountering for the past week better as I knew it was the last time we would be taking this journey. It's a contrast of mahogany and green. The bare soil in one area followed by the lush green grass in another. The green bananas and cassava leaves on the villagers brown skins as they make their way to the market. Even though it was 8 in the morning the market and streets were rampant with vendors, men building, children playing and gazing and mothers washing clothes. The increase in this indicated that we were at the Bright Future School gates.
We sat in the library then mingled with the teachers whilst putting final touches on our props ahead of the plays they would be performing that afternoon. Trisha and I called a meeting with our group and allocated them with costumes. The final run through was the best performance they had given, they were confident and added their own style. We were then being rushed in front of the stage and into a hectic. The music was blaring and the children were being rushed on and off stage. We blinked and it was over. We were then being credited for all the work we had done and witnessing children crying. I thought to myself "why are they crying, it's still early?" But then I blinked again and were were outside the library herded by children at our feet, giving us an abundance of letters and hugs. I cried even though I said I wouldn't.
So that was the day through my view, short and bittersweet. To leave it on a positive note the experience only bettered and help to stabilise my plans for my future. The relationships and bonds I have created at Bright Future School are unbreakable. I am assured that I will never forget their faces.

During breakfast,  there were definitely quiet faces sitting at the tables which meant that it was the dreaded day: the last day at Bright Future School. Although,  it also meant the long awaited performance of the students plays which not only bought a smile to the parents and staff of the school, but also myself because I saw a difference in personality and character of the kids from the first day I met them to today; it's truly amazing . All the plays were absolutely fabulous and was accompanied by teacher William who bought the life and soul of the party today. It's going to be difficult not hearing his loud personality when we go but the performances are memories that I'm never going to forget.
After the plays, it was time to say goodbye to the kids . I knew I was going to cry but little did I know I was going to be knee deep in a flood. Hugging the kids bought a stream of tears but the amount of care, kindness and generosity the people of bright future gave to us was the reason I was surrounded by a waterfall . Uganda 2017 was absolutely amazing and is a trip where I've learned so much about the children as well as my self . I'm never going to forget them and I'm going to miss them very very much! ~ Prianka

Today was the most emotional day by far. It was a great honour to create such an impact on the way bright future teach as well as making science fun. The happiness that was the atmosphere of the school and the parents that attended was amazing. Some of the children in P4 were able to be in a play lead by me and Charlie it was such great fun to teach them and  then see how well they preformed in the little time they knew about the play. That is the way the children preformed was amazing. When some children came on doing the experiments the audience became so intrigued by what the children were doing and the children had amazing reactions to the experiments. I was so proud of the way the children all wanted to say good by later on. Some of the kids wouldn't let go and asked if we could take them with them. The kids swarmed us as we made our way to the bus hugging us asking if we would ever forget them. In all honesty this experience is something that I could never forget. Especially the kids and their enthusiasm and passion to learn. I know that as I left bright future I left part of myself with them. Thank you to everyone that supported us and bright future to get this opportunity. Thank you bright future I will miss all of you but you'll never be forgotten!!  ~ Faith

Even with all the excitement for the day ahead, the thought of saying our goodbyes was on everyone's minds at breakfast this morning. As amazing as the week has been, leaving the children and staff today was far from easy, which became all too obvious with half the team in tears before lunch! I'm extremely proud of myself and everyone else for what we have managed to achieve this week, combing sport,science,reading and drama in such a short space of time and very successfully too. I'm also proud of the teachers and children for taking this on with enthusiasm and a strong willingness to learn and develop. The impact that can be had at Bright Future in just 5 days is unbelievable, and everyone has played a massive and important part in this. As much as the point of our visit is to help and give to people less fortunate than us, it still doesn't fail to amaze me just how much they give back to us. A part of me will always be with bright future, and I'm honoured to have had this wonderful opportunity again. ~ Emily

Today was our last day at Bright Future School and by far the most emotional. Although I knew it would be hard to leave nothing could prepare me for the countless emotions I was feeling. The day started off with each class performing there plays in front of students, teachers and parents. I was so proud at each and every one of the students who participated and realised that we weren't the only ones out of our comfort zones this week. The kids had never done drama before and seeing them shine and have fun whilst doing it was truly magical. The school gave us certificates and held thankyou speeches for our work. In my opinion there the ones that need thanking. For me what we did is so small in comparison to what they do day in and day out. Looking out at the crowd of beautiful and smart kids made me fill with tears and made me realise that I get to go back to my life whilst these kids have to continue to fight and overcome the many obstacles in their life. The last few hours was spent just playing with the kids and saying our goodbyes. I didn't want to leave especially when every child gave us each a hug, there loving attitude truly warms my heart. In such a short time I have gotten so used to seeing their smiles everyday and having my spirits lifted. I hope that they remember us all and everything about this week as I know I will never forget them. Although today was sad and hard I will carry bright future school in my heart always and truly believe that this week will leave an impact on the school and our team forever. -casey

Writing this blog, I wonder how the best way to describe today would be... should I write about how each previous moment left on our last day with the children at Bright Future School left us all in tears or how, regardless of everything,  we remain proud of how each step we have taken will have some sort of lasting impact on the children at the school. The fact is... there is no way to describe today. It is that idea of almost knowing that leaving Uganda and Bright Future School is the best option we have; and yet we all still leave a part of us in the school whilst knowing that it is the best thing to do. Admittedly, we would all love to stay with the children or even take some of them with us... but it's almost as if by only visting the school for a short experience keeps the 'magic' and 'excitement' with this all. all of us leave bright future school feeling grateful and blessed of how such as small experience has had an enormous and everlasting effect upon us; how it changes our perceptions and ideas that we take with us to the future. I only wish that everybody could have an experience that I have fortunately been able to have... and I will forever remain grateful to everyone at Bright Future for providing me with this experience.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Photos Tuesday


The day began with breakfast at 7am before a 45 minute journey to Bright Future School. On entry to the school, the minibus was surrounded by the children of the school welcoming us to what was going to be a sporty and eventful day.

Shortly after arriving we were taken to the sports field and put together a dodgeball team. The first series of games ended within 2 minutes as the girls team of the school didn't quite seem as prepared as we were. After an extra couple of high action victories against the boys of the school, we proceeded into a game against the teachers. So this game determined the overall winner and the longest an individual game had lasted was around 10 minutes. That didn't last.

The game began slowly with people going out here and there but before I knew it, I was by myself against 4 of the teachers. Shortly after the initial panic, I was able to eliminate one of the teachers, gradually making it easier for me. Half an hour later of my own pure arrogance, children shouting my name and a lot of sweat and effort, we managed to lose. So we then had to play them again and after a much faster 10 minute second game, we actually managed to beat them and win the dodgeball overall.

Next was the bench ball which got a much stronger reaction than I expected. After winning the first game against the girls as the last player, I was swarmed by children trying to lift me up, resulting in lying flat on the floor. A few games later, we managed to defeat the boys and teachers, meaning we were actually able to win the 2 sports out of the 3 that we played.


A historic victory or 2 indeed! In the 4 visits to Bright Future School these are the first, we normally get thrashed at everything!

Today held many highlights for the group, from the discussion and reflection over dinner it was clear that they have gelled as a team, that they have each supported one another throughout the the week and that they have developed a deep understanding of the impact of education on the futures of young people. Each of them has shown compassion, care and kindness to the children and staff of the school and each has given their time to support the needs of the school, in large ways such as teacher training in phonics and science, to teaching them new sports, listening to children read, creative script writing and directing of plays and often just playing with them, giving them time and attention. When people have very little, even a little thing means a lot. Our Stoke Park students have gained in self confidence, have left behind their WiFi and technology every day and shown that they can communicate, that they can put themselves out of their comfort zone, that they can problem solve, that they are kind, genuinely thoughtful individuals and importantly, that they can work as a team. As I said last night, we in the UK have everything to be thankful for, I have a feeling these students will be showing their gratitude more frequently on their return.

Tomorrow will be an emotional day, the last chance to spend time with the staff and children of Bright Future, the last lunch made by Betty, but rest assured the legacy that this group is leaving behind will continue. Thank you to everyone who has donated to Bright Future School, whether that is on non-uniform day, at cake sales or the Fashion Show. The money has been put towards the repayment costs of their new minibus, which means that children from further away can be picked up in the mornings,  that children don't have to walk home alone in the dark nights and that the sports teams can go to other schools for competitions.

Miss Kirk


Today at Bright Future School we slowed things down a bit,  having individual reading sessions with the children. It still astonishes me how brilliant their English is, and how absorbed they become in the books. But not all of these books were fairytale stories, as many were about the awareness of HIV and AIDS which is a common disease in Uganda. It was good to see the children educated in this very real issue, but also heartbreaking to see the normality of it amongst students as young as 10. I am proud of bright future for understanding the importance of spreading this message to the children, and proud of the children for being able to understand and accept this so maturely. I really enjoyed being able to experience their learning and developing of the English language and important issues with them.

Having taught the students and teachers at Bright Future School Bench Ball this week, we thought it was about time to really show them how it was done. It was a sight to behold as the sports area was flooded with students as the staff of Bright future School were preparing to take on Team Uganda 2017.
The determination of the staff was amazing to see, with Headteacher William leading the competitive charge! Having discussed tactics briefly, the match began. The roars of the students whenever either team scored were so motivating! After some questionable decisions in favour of the staff, it was safe to say that we were left in the dirt! The pitch was then swamped with students coming over to congratulate us on our performance and say 'good game' to us. The power of sport and being part of a community was blatantly obvious and an experience that I will never forget. We may have lost the match, but tomorrow we are fielding teams in Bench Ball, volleyball and dodgeball. All I can say is, bring it on and watch this space...never has there been a Stoke Park victory in Uganda, but 2017 could be the year that this all changes! Wish us luck!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Photos from Monday

Monday in school

The morning began at 6:30 to leave and take supplies to the school. The day was to be spent teaching new sports -dodgeball and bench ball,  teaching science teachers how to do practical experiments, teaching phonics to the nursery add primary 1 teachers and producing and directing plays in the afternoon,  some with scripts and some inventing their own. First challenge -dodgeball. It took a few minutes to explain the instructions and demonstrate the techniques of the game. Although we had a slight barrier when it came to speaking to the kids we spoke slowly yet some of the teachers had to translate the instructions, one teacher said " We're African, you need to speak slowly!!". But when we actually got into the games the kids were full of energy and enthusiasm but in the end some of the smaller children still didn't get the hang of the rules. Even when we would tell them they are out in the next second they are running straight into the match!~faith

We taught the science teachers including the Head teacher soever simple science experiments using everyday items or items that can be bought from the local market. The teachers were so happy to learn about the experiments, they were like the children in the classroom! They wanted to learn the science behind the experiments and what it could be used for later on in life. We hope to see that the teachers will be able to inspire the children to practice science and enjoy it even more and aspire to become future scientists who could make ground breaking discoveries to change the world.~faith

Well after a 7am start, the determination of the children of Bright Future and their enthusiasm in the games of dodgeball and bench ball definitely lifted our spirits! Although it took a few minutes to explain the rules of both sports, it's clear that there are future athletes amongst the school that will be appearing on our television in the next 10 years.(even though they didn't get the idea of standing still when they've received the ball) Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to coach the dodgeball but bench ball was very exciting; there were very impressive throwing skills-especially when there was only one left on a team. Competition began to grow when "We are the winners and you are the losers" was yelled our their mouths... let's just say there won't be smiling faces of adoration towards the opposite team tomorrow. Perhaps aggression and looks of triumph! ~Prianka

The morning at Bright Future School was filled with theories and science experiments as well as teaching.  In the beginning the idea of having to teach experiments to teachers as well as the science behind the experiments was very daunting and out of my comfort zone; but it wasn't until we began to do the experiments that the fear left and that we all started to enjoy ourselves. The teachers had almost became the students and we interacting and learning and most importantly enjoying even the simplest baking soda and vinegar experiment; it was one of the most interesting experiences I've had so far... especially being left to teach an experiment by myself. I think that the best part was the fun that we had during the experiments... the best one had to be the lung capacity experiment where the teachers had to blow into a straw that was inside a bottle filled with water and had to breathe into the straw. The competitiveness especially with the headteacher William is something I won't be forgetting. But the experiments with felt tips and Chromatography or showing that a lime without the rind will float or even releasing balloons with air on starts on a line to see which shaped balloon would move the fastest; not only were they great to do but also made me realise how even the most basic things that we may show can have a massive impact. I'm hopeful and excited for tomorrow when the teachers will be teaching the students the experiments and hope they have just as much fun.


This afternoon we all split into pairs and had a group of kids each. We wanted to give the kids an opportunity to be creative in a different way then they are used to so we created plays with them. At first I thought that creating a story and acting it out would be difficult for them but I was amazed at home quick they got involved. There enthusiasm was contagious.  Their ideas and Input were so detailed I barely had to help them. My group created a play about a royal family that invited the whole village to a party except for one man who had bad manners and how he changes himself for the better. I was glad that whilst being creative we could also instill in the kids morals and the importance of respect for other people, although they don't really need it as they are all so lovely. I was shocked at how little time it took them to remember their lines and was so proud at how in just a few short hours their English pronunciation improved.  Seeing the light in their eyes when they made it through a scene was so rewarding. I felt honoured to introduce them to something new and see their confidence and personalities shine. I can't wait to continue adding to the play and see them perform in front of the school and their parents so their talent and hard work can be shared.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The day started at 9 with a group breakfast on the balcony which we all throughly enjoyed (especially Charlie). After that we headed to Bright Future school to begin our eventful day. Once we arrived we were greeted with a warm welcome and open arms once again. The students of Bright Future presented their dances to us to show us how to dance after our compromising attempt at the macarena without music. Their outstanding performances left us in awe made us tired just from watching them! Once the performances were over the students proceeded to teach the team how to do their traditional Ugandan dances. This involved Mr James, Lewis, Emily, Navneet, Faith, Venni and Prianka wearing traditional dress and shaking their stuff for all their worth! Videos to follow!!
After that we went to visit the Kosovo slums with Ronald from CEFOVID. Within our time there, we got a sense of what the typical lifestyle in the Ugandan slums are. All of us had to overcome a man made wooden bridge to continue our journey, in which we had to had have our hand held in order to make our way across. We also saw variety of wild animals walking around the slums. This included "leg licking goats." The poverty was eye-opening, it made us realise what we take for granted. There was a big difference between driving past it in the minibus and living amongst it. The smells, the drainage ditches with filthy water, the lack of basic amenities and the poor quality housing stood out. This swamp area will be bulldozed in 3 years and these people will be displaced to other areas of the city with no compensation. Their lives are in the balance.  Education for many is the only way out. This puts into perspective the things back home ,that most of us take for granted, making us more aware of the daily struggles people have to go to in order to live on a daily basis.
As for, Betty, the cook,she over fed us with delicious food, the hospitality at the school brings tears to our eyes. Although these people have little money to spare they value our time and efforts to improve the education and resources at the school and will go above and beyond to ensure that we are part of the Bright Future Family.

Trisha, Tara and Charlie