Christmas at COVE

Christmastime in Uganda is a beautiful season, and at the St. Jerome COVE Center it is filled with cheer and wonder. The annual COVE Christmas party gives the children the opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and thank God for what they have been given and achieved through education.

At this year’s party COVE also celebrated the achievements of many of the students. Four young women graduated from vocational school, eleven students completed seventh grade, four students completed senior four (junior year of high school), and three young men joined universities.

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The celebration began with a mass led by Fr. Jerome; the Deputy Chancellor of Kasana Luweero Diocese. Co-celebrants were Frs. Hilary, Peter and Vincent. Christmas party attendees included: board members, health unit management committee, school management committee members, parents, COVE staff, community leaders, and of course the COVE children.

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The children decorated the COVE campus with crafts, flowers and balloons, and felt proud to see their contribution appreciated by the guests. Another excellent Christmas activity the children participated in this year was a play about the birth of Jesus Christ. The play was a definite hit with everyone that attended.

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All of the children also had a present to receive! This year their Christmas gifts were colorful blankets.

Merry Christmas!

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Uganda Tour: A Field Trip!

gandhi 2The recent COVE day trip to Jinja (Eastern Uganda) was the first field trip for some of the COVE students. On Thanksgiving morning the COVE children departed to tour the source of the Nile River. Many of these children have never been out of their villages. They tell us they do not know what their country looks like, and are amused when we tell them how beautiful it really is!

marketThey have now had the opportunity to see it for themselves. This tour is the only full day trip that enables the COVE children to experience a wide range of outdoor educational activities in the natural beauty and serenity of the Ugandan country side. They visited a number of places: Nytil Industries (Manufacturer of clothes), Vitafoam (Manufacturer of mattresses), Owen Falls Dam, and Kasaku Tea Estate. Everyone had fun taking a walk in Mabira Forest and seeing the source of the Nile River. The tour also included a craft market, the National Football Stadium, ice cream (what trip wouldn’t be complete without it!?), the Gadafi mosque, and a statue of Mohatma Gandhi. The tour was educational and has added to their knowledge, amusement, curiosity, and adventure.

Peace and Prayer,

Joseph

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A time of Thanksgiving: Graduation from St Mary’s Vocational School

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It was so happy and joyful to see Miria, Leokadia and Josephine graduate on the 21th November 2014. Their first grades in hairdressing and cosmetology are great tidings for their future careers.

Joseph and Harriet (sponsorship coordinator), along with teacher Helen and nurse Bruno attended the 14th graduation ceremony on behalf of the staff. We want to congratulate them on completing their studies at St. Mary’s Vocation School.
COVE Uganda extends a big thank you to our beloved sponsors for all they have provide to see that these young women complete their studies.

We want to extend our thanks to the administration and the entire teaching staff of St. Mary’s for the efforts they have put to making sure that our girls acquire these skills.

There is saying which goes: “When you educate a girl, you are educating a generation.”

God has always answered our prayers.

-Joseph

Immunization Day

Immunization Day is an exciting time at the COVE Health Center. Please enjoy this entry about Immunization Day from health worker Mary Serbin. 

Every Wednesday of the week is immunization day at St. Jerome COVE Health Center. Several mothers and their babies start gathering as early as 9:00am; many are dressed up in brightly colored clothes, the babies dressed in “ruffles.” We have learned many things, like how to weigh the babies in a sling attached to a scale that is hung over a mango tree limb. Many of us were nervous that the baby might fall out of the sling, so three of us stood around the baby, ready to catch.

After weighing, everyone congregates in the clinic, mother and baby are waiting to receive either a vaccination injection or oral vaccine. Nurse Dorothy taught me and Dr. Philip how to dispense just 2 drops (gtts) of oral polio, and she also acquainted us with the information on each vaccination card. The rest of my group members enjoyed being able to help with the vaccination process and were very gentle with the children. Nurses Sylvia and Dorothy refreshed my injection skills and oversaw my DPT + Measles injection into many of the babies. I loved being able to interact with the lovely mothers and the beautiful babies.

St. Jerome COVE Health Center nurses are excellent in providing compassionate, comprehensive care to the patients. It was a pleasure and honor to work alongside Sylvia, Dorothy, Bruno and Joseph.

Mary Serbin

Delegates Visit COVE

The Uganda Culture is all about sharing gifts with the visitors. It is their way of saying ‘welcome to my home’ and ‘thank you for caring’. The gifts shared with the visitors are from their land, whether it is food from the garden or leaves from the trees made into crafts. Chicken, jackfruit, sugar cane, ground-nuts, eggs, avocado, bananas and mats are among the gifts that they freely share with the delegates. It is a joyful time of conversation and family.

In the last month seven children were adopted by a group of delegates from Bloomington led by Fr. Tom. They are now part of the COVE family. The children were initially timid around their new sponsors, but after some quality time, everyone relaxed and enjoyed themselves. Would you like to sponsor a child? Visit our website at http://www.covealliance.org

God Bless caring hearts

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Indiana group working with the children

Working with the Children is awesome experience that helped us bond and gain insights into each other, we joined p.1 Class and the rest of the School on Wednesday of 23rd July/2014 at 2pm to teach art and craft. We taught them how to make friendship bracelets, and some children and teachers learned how to crochet. All of the children were very excited to participate and have their own crafts to take with them. The rooms were very crowded, and full of noise and movement! They did a very good job. It is awesome to see all of the students, teachers, and our team walking around campus wearing these bracelets. It brought all of us great joy to be a part of this activity!
It has been a huge privilege to pray with and celebrate Mass each day with the COVE family. It is just incredible that we can share this same prayer, even though there are language differences between those of us from America and the people of Uganda. Jesus’ love extends beyond country borders and cultural differences. Coming together to sing, dance, and receive the Eucharist is one of the greatest gifts of these two weeks. The children sing loudly and passionately, with love for God in their hearts! What a joy it is to be able to share our Catholic faith.
This morning, Monday, July 28, 2014, we spent time reading with small groups of children from P1 and P2. They are developing good reading skills, and are able to identify big words (like ‘xylophone’!). You can tell that their teachers work very hard with them. The older students came to help the younger students, and they are very proud of all they know. It won’t be long till these little ones are reading chapter books like the older kids! We enjoyed reading with the students and helping them learn a little more.
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Beautiful place beautiful Children!!!!!