News From RYDA

2020

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February 2020

Director Returns

After over two months of hospitalisation and recovery much-loved Director Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune returned to work on February 5th. One of his first tasks was to write to his supporters, especially the congregations of St. Margaret's and St. John's, to thank them for paying his hospital bills. (See November 2019 News for the background to Geoffrey's illness, his need and the response.)

Geoffrey is 8kg lighter, is trying to maintain a recommended diet and will now only work Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Dear Doug Williams,

It's important to have people who support you in this challenging work but today when I arrived at the center I was greeted by everybody. Once again I write to appreciate people who supported me while I was sick and hospitalized. What an opportunity you gave to pay the hospital bills. The supporters acted fast and on time. I am very grateful for the donation.

Today I resumed work. There is a lot to be done. As the year begins, we are finishing the follow up on the children who are doing their practicum/field experiences and submitting their report to the examining body.

You must also know that the years I have worked has made RYDA community a team and our children too have the Director at heart.

Challenges come and go since I worked with RYDA but I have never realised the impact we have made to community, schools around us and the children / young people under training and the young people we have trained.

I will always remember their visit while I was sick. Those we trained in the past flocked to our house to show sympathy and small gifts to make me feel at home. The Headmaster of the neighbouring primary school even gave 100,000 shillings to contribute to my upkeep at home. The RYDA staff and children have flocked to my office since I have returned.

Many things happen in Life which sometimes leaves you pondering on what is going to happen next. Deep through these problems you need to stick to Prayers.

When I got sick, I didn't expect to pay these bills but with connection and people of good will it happened and I was discharged from the hospital. Let me take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to all those who supported me to have new life and bring me back to the office. You are game changers. May God bless you abundantly.

Let me hope that this will not happen again. I am now more stronger to help the team to work alone without me.

Shalom,
Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune

Two Days Later

Do you remember that in the middle of 2019 RYDA was invited to apply to WorkAid UK for a shipment of reconditioned tools to support various of the training programs? The application was submitted and included a support letter from Australian supporters. RYDA was visited by WorkAid representatives later in the year and assessed as worthy.

  • On his second day back at work Geoffrey received an email telling him that 63 cartons of tools were on their way. What an inspiration!
We hope by our next newsletter the delivery will be complete and we will be able to show you some photos.

Appreciation from Principal and Staff

Suzan Nabirye, Principal, was blown away by this message from WorkAid and wanted to thank Australian supporters for the letter of recommendation.

Greetings,
We write to thank you for the effort made to see that Work Aid gives us all the equipment as received on the directors email. He shared with us and we thank God for such a big breakthrough. We also thank you for the continual support that you are giving to RYDA. We are indeed very grateful and pray that God will reward you abundantly.
Yours Faithfully,
Principal-RYDA
Suzan the Working Mum

Suzan's youngest child, Daniel, was born on November 28th, 2018. She returned from maternity leave in March. Daniel is just over one year now. We don't have a current photo - perhaps next time - but here is at around 9 months.


Yep that's a mobile phone he's cutting his teeth on. Mobile phones made
a huge difference in Uganda. Communications could expand quickly without the need build expensive land line infrastructure.

What do you mean I can't? You told me that was enough screen time
and I had to find something else to do. That's what I'm doing.

Christmas Gift Certificates

Congratulations to everyone who gave or received RYDA Christmas Gift Certificates recently. Your thoughtfulness resulted in a total of: $AUD770.
You don't have to wait until next Christmas to make use of RYDA certificates. We also offer an all purpose certificate for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings... You can support RYDA in this way at any time of the year.

Disability is not Inability

Disability is not inability to the RYDA community. Mid-February RYDA received a trainee, Kinalwa Gilbert, aged 18 years. He chose to do Art & Design. Two years ago Matovu Davis, also disabled, chose Art & Design (see June 2018). He has now finished a two year course and is a darling in society. This year there are 4 trainees and all have chosen to do Art & Design.

The photo shows Madam Precious, the Multi Media Instructor, with Kinalwa Gilbert Gonzaga in the blue shirt and Mukibi Conrad.

Other News

Geoffrey has again been voted by the Ministry BTVET non-formal training providers to be the Chairperson of the central region and the Vice Chairperson for the entire country. This illustrates the impact of RYDA Vocational and Technical Institute skills training for vulnerable children. We congratulate Geoffrey on this honour and pray that he is granted the good health and wisdom to be able to fulfil these roles in addition to his duties at RYDA.

April 2020

RYDA When It's Needed

Lots of us have been thinking about Rubaga Youth Development Association as this virus crisis crashes around the world. About three weeks ago, before Uganda had any confirmed cases, the government instituted significant measures related to community gathering. They included no church services, weddings and funerals limited to immediate family, and the closure of all education facilities. This was before we were faced with such community constraints.

The President made the announcement on a Wednesday. RYDA had to cease operation by noon Friday. What can you do in one day with over 200 orphaned or vulnerable teenagers who live and learn at this residential college?

We waited to find out.

In the meantime St. Margaret's treasurer went through the books and garnered all the funds that have been given to support RYDA since December. That included Christmas Certificate donations and various weekly and one-off donations from a range of caring people. But our dollar was plummeting. Should we wait a little to try to get the maximum US value for our dollar? What to do?

Days and more days passed without hearing. Checking the Internet revealed that Uganda had its first case, then its next, then eight. Still no communication. I emailed again.

This week I tried ringing Geoffrey in Kampala. For two nights the phone rang out. I sent a text. The text wasn't answered. I prayed Geoffrey would eventually see my email or text. I would try again Wednesday night. 

Wednesday afternoon I received an email from the Treasurer. $US916.25 (AUD1583.29) had just left the St. Margaret's account bound for RYDA's bank in Kampala. Ninety minutes later this email arrived from Geoffrey.

I have just received your message. My phone was in silence and I didn't hear it ringing am sorry but in Uganda we are locked down no movements at all although at RYDA we are deeply affected no more activities going on.

At the same time no vehicle moving,no shops open except supermarket and markets for food,hospitals,banks and pharmacies for drugs.

At RYDA center we have some few people remaining there who need sanitizers,food,power and water and yet no money so it's the biggest challenge at the moment .

And for me it's only the insulin and the injections if completed by 10th April then I will be having no other solution to do because at the moment those are the only ones I had bought hoping that the quarantine would not be for many days.

Currently, we have 44 cases in Uganda of Covid_19.

My phone will be available as for all communication but am out of data.Hope the situation will improve by God's grace we pray.

How are our donors, supporters and all who wish RYDA well.Greetings we pray that God Almighty protects them also through this Covid_19 period.

Stay alive and take care.
Shalom
Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune

I was able to write immediately to tell him that God had anticipated RYDA's need and all the funds we had were already on the way. This time I knew he would receive because he had just written to me. I added a request for information about the young people we all care for so much. Just after dinner I received this message:

Thank you so much for the quick response.Thank the donors for the contribution and support done even before this Covid_19 period.

Indeed money will be used wisely mainly supporting re_settled children with food and those at the center. Sterilizers,masks etc will be bought in response to Covid-19 prevention

About the students some were resettled with their relatives and people of good will since government could not accept students to stay together in big numbers.We had no choice except to find measures immediately and to remain with few at school

Lastly,we have had some sad news in your country about the death of some Australians as a result of Covid_19 our condolences to you and the people of Australia may God solace your hearts.

Shalom,
Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune

Wednesday night I did not need to ring. But I did need to offer praise and thanksgiving.

Doug. Williams
RYDA Support Co-ordinator
St. Margaret's Uniting Church, Mooroolbark

Photo: Robin Halls

An invitation from Three Little Maids.

  • Yum Yum - Ellen Maple
  • Pitti Sing - Cynthia Van Der Hulst
  • Peep Bo - Elanor Franklin
Make It To The Mikado

Plan now to celebrate the end of the virus season with a rollicking Sunday afternoon outing to a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado. Possibly the best comic opera in their catalogue. We can expect a releasing, revitalising, colourful, musical performance in concert from SATB Choir 'Singularity'. All proceeds to support Rubaga Youth Development Association, Uganda.

In an act of faith, add one of these dates to you diary now:

  • Sunday October 11th
    ... St. John's Uniting Church, Cowes ... 2pm
  • Sunday October 18th
    ... St.Margaret's Uniting Church, Mooroolbark ... 2:30pm
Help RYDA Recover

When the virus crisis is over in Uganda how will RYDA recover? The answer is with the same Spirit-led resilience, energy, enthusiasm and enterprise that has been central to its growth, outreach and conquest of crises since 1993. But, they will need funds to support action. St. Margaret's has just sent every dollar given since December. There is nothing left to give. October's concerts are likely to be the next fund raising activity.

If you feel led to start the ball rolling before October then donate whenever you choose. St. Margaret's account details are:

BSB 633 000 ... Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B
(Donors outside Australia only)
As soon as the account balance creeps over AUD1000, we can look at another transfer.

May 2020

Uganda, RYDA & Covid 19

Uganda is a land-locked country of 45-46 million people. It closed schools and instituted a range of other measures some days before most of Australia, but it has a unique problem because of its geography. Not only is Uganda land-locked, it locks its neighbours to the north and west. Uganda is a major transport route to South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, each of which can be reached by main roads through it. Uganda could not close its borders totally because that would deny essential resources to its neighbours. Managing the health of transport drivers wanting to cross the border has been a major issue. Those testing positive are sent back and not counted in the Ugandan Covid figures. At time of writing, Uganda, internally, had 175 confirmed cases of whom 68 have recovered. There are no reported deaths so far.

Life is very difficult at RYDA right now. There appears to be no end to the school shut down before the end of June, although some easing of restrictions is beginning. 35 youths who had no known family contacts remain on site with 10 staff (including a security officer and cook) who are working to care for them. Some 200 other students were placed with known relatives or families of good heart. The remaining children are attending training so they are not idle, but they must also be fed and provided with safe, hygienic accommodation as normal.

As well, all the buildings, showers and toilets must be sanitised 4 times a day even though everyone is maintaining strict hand-washing routines and distancing. The extra cost of cleaning materials alone is draining resources. Just as it is here in isolation, bills also have to be paid. However in Uganda there are no government hand-outs to tide people over, although the government is handing out one washable cotton mask to each person, with encouragement and specifications to make their own.

To add to RYDA's difficulties, Principal Suzan, who, like Geoffrey has been working every day at the centre, has developed an infection in the area of her caesarean section. She has had to go home and was hospitalised this week. We have not received information about the outcome of her treatment. But at RYDA we know it means a key staff member is absent.

The funds transferred at the beginning of April are running out. Miraculously we have already received $630 towards the next $1000, which is the amount needed to make a worthwhile transfer. Thank you to those supporters who have offered this hope. Please pray for RYDA, its people, its present and its future. See below if you feel you can help with a donation.

Make It To The Mikado

Let's be optimistic. Add one of these dates to you diary now to support RYDA by attending one of these outstanding Singularity performances of Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado:

  • Sunday October 11th
    ... St. John's Uniting Church, Cowes ... 2pm
  • Sunday October 18th
    ... St.Margaret's Uniting Church, Mooroolbark ... 2:30pm
Help RYDA Recover

When the virus crisis is over in Uganda how will RYDA recover? The answer is with the same Spirit-led resilience, energy, enthusiasm and enterprise that has been central to its growth, outreach and conquest of crises since 1993. But, they will need funds to support action. October's concerts are likely to be the next fund raising activity ... unless you feel led to donate now.

St. Margaret's account details are:

BSB 633 000 ... Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B
(Donors outside Australia only)
As soon as the account balance creeps over AUD1000, we can look at another transfer.

July 2020

Commitment, Inspiration, Success
I sent $XXX as a donation the other day. We are so blessed to live here and it is good to be able to help others in Uganda.
This message arrived within two hours of the distribution of the May news. The amount was already included in the $630 that was mentioned as being in the bank at that time. I am including the message here because I think it reflects how most of us feel about our involvement with RYDA.
  • For each of us to know there are others keeping RYDA at the forefront of our prayers and giving is encouraging.
  • For RYDA staff to know there are committed people so far away working with them to provide their youths with a better future is inspiring - especially in this Covid Crisis.
Less than a week later we found out that RYDA had mortgaged a land title to raise funds to keep going. We appealed for help to raise enough to get the title back from bank and you responded immediately and amazingly. The first donation was transferred within 30 minutes of sending the appeal message. The next within the following 30 minutes and the donations continued over a few days. One prescient comment that came among the messages was:
I hope you can exceed the minimum limit to try and build up a reserve again for RYDA.
In just one week the bank account rose to $2520 - exactly 4 times more than the starting figure - which included a supporter from USA who donated one dollar for each of the 62 years of her parents' married life, which was being celebrated at the time our message arrived, albeit by video call from hospital.
I wanted to honor their commitment to honoring all life, and all people, wherever they might be.
The total was sent to RYDA and indeed it did exceed what was needed for the loan. We have since been told the loan has been paid and the land title has been recovered. Wonderful!

  • But that's not where it stops - only where it starts.

On the same day as I sent the message about your amazing response to the appeal, and before RYDA knew the funds were coming, we received a message that 63 cartons of reconditioned tools from WorkAid UK (applied for in July 2019) had arrived in Kampala and could be delivered when RYDA arranged local transport costs.

  • You had already given enough for that as well ... and more!

In today's message from RYDA we were told that the container has been cleared and the cartons are expected at RYDA in early July. Apparently transport has become very difficult in Kampala because of pandemic restrictions.

Once again, thank you to all for keeping RYDA in your prayers and for continuing to provide funds to support the future of orphaned and vulnerable teenage girls and boys through this organisation. You have brought them breathing space, hope and inspiration.

  • A special thank you to the person who has faithfully paid the same amount into St. Margaret's account every fortnight for years. It's a real winner and may actually be the most consistent funding RYDA has ever had.

Acknowledgement of Recent Donation

I hereby write to acknowledge the receipt of US dollars one thousand six hundred twenty on behalf of Rubaga Youth Development Association. I hereby write to extend our sincere appreciation to our donors for their continued support and love to our institution.
  • The land title has been secured.
  • Transportation will be also have been received to transport the donated equipments and tools.
  • Also the medical bills - this was a miracle.
In this COVID era where problems are being turned into a challenge and challenge into an opportunity, we need to appreciate the COVID support to our institution. Thanks.

Bravo! to our donors for the spirit, love and compassionate heart. We appreciate for making us continue in this challenging world. One wise man one day said one drop off parrafin when it drops in milk of twenty litres it gets spoilt - just one drop. But with your donation miracles have been made.

Shalom,
Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune, Director RYDA

Update on Education

Director Geoffrey has been involved in three days of meetings this week at the Directorate of Industrial Training as the government tries to manage education in a very different system to ours. Geoffrey tells us:

  • Schools will not be re-opened any time soon.
  • RYDA will continue to provide for the 35 students who have had to remain on site.
  • Final year students are unlikely to be examined this year.
  • Students in other years will probably have to take two years to complete one year of study.
  • All RYDA courses involve work placement. That system has been totally disrupted by businesses shutting down. Some may not re-open. Some may not have the capacity to take students if they do re-open. How this element of vocational training will play out is currently totally unknown.
In the face of these unique challenges and the continuing everyday need to feed, house and educate the young people, Geoffrey is still able to end today's message with:
We need to continue to do our activities as planned no matter what.
Update on Covid in Uganda

(From the government health web site 27th June 2020 ... https://www.health.go.ug/covid/)

Confirmed cases: 833
Deaths: 0 Active cases: 214
Recoveries: 761
Covid 19 Foreign Truck Drivers Exited: 978
Samples Tested: 182,059
Under Quarantine: 1,354
Make It To The Mikado

We're still hoping. Add one of these dates to you diary now to support RYDA by attending one of these outstanding Singularity performances of Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado:

  • Sunday October 11th
    ... St. John's Uniting Church, Cowes ... 2pm
  • Sunday October 18th
    ... St.Margaret's Uniting Church, Mooroolbark ... 2:30pm
Help RYDA Recover

When the virus crisis is over in Uganda how will RYDA recover? The answer is with the same Spirit-led resilience, energy, enthusiasm and enterprise that has been central to its growth, outreach and conquest of crises since 1993. But, they will need funds to support action. October's concerts are likely to be the next fund raising activity ... unless you feel led to donate now.

St. Margaret's account details are:

BSB 633 000 ... Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B
(Donors outside Australia only)
As soon as the account balance creeps over AUD1000, we can look at another transfer.

August 2020

Virtual Visit To RYDA

Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune
Executive Director
and
Doug. Williams
RYDA Support Co-ordinator
Australia

invite you to take a short trip with them through Kampala to RYDA Vocational Training College.

  • Learn a little.
  • Just 5 minutes.
  • Meet some of the young people.
  • Get a feeling for purpose and place.

Let's get to know each other a little better.

Click the image to start the video. Pause and right click to 'Save video as...' to your own computer.

WorkAid Tools Arrive
The container finally made it to the front of the queue and on August 19th RYDA was able to visit the Interservice freight depot in Kampala to collect 63 cartons of reconditioned secondhand tools, a gift from Work Aid UK.

Unloading back at headquarters. Still in lock down with just 35 young people who could not be placed with their own extended family or other families of good heart when education was closed down.

  • 4 Sewing Machines (Manual) ... 4 boxes
  • 3 Sewing Machines (Electric Straight Stitch) ... 2 boxes
  • 1 Sewing Machine (Electric Zig-Zag) ... 1 box
  • 3 Sewing Machine Accessories ... 1 box
  • 1 Carpentry Kit (Long list) ... 12 boxes
  • 1 Carpentry Kit (Short list) ... 4 boxes
  • 1 Mechanics Tool Kit ... 12 boxes
  • 1 Masonry Tool Kit ... 9 boxes
  • 1 Electrical Tool Kit ... 4 boxes
  • 1 Plumbing Tool Kit ... 12 boxes
  • 1 Welding Kit, Machine & Tools ... 2 boxes
20th August
On behalf of Rubaga Youth Development Association (RYDA) board and secretarial staff hereby write to acknowledge the receipt of the donated equipments and tools you donated to our training institution for which we are very grateful and appreciated.
Indeed we are indebted to all our donors at Work Aid and staff for choosing RYDA as one of the beneficiary to receive such a noble support. In the lock down in the COVID era today we managed to receive our project items from the Interservice. The 63 boxes were received and they are at RYDA center.
When the schools, tertiary institutions and universities operate again we shall open the boxes and start using them. We will always rejoice and uphold this noble support for many years to come.
Once again we are really very grateful to all donors and WorkAid Board and staff who selected our project. Thanks also goes to Interservice for their continued monitoring.
Yours sincerely Rubaga Youth Development Association (RYDA)
Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune

Vale: Lyn Bromage

A wide, wide circle of family, friends and colleagues were shocked and saddened by the recent death of Lyn Bromage.

It was Lyn who first suggested to us, in 2012, that Singularity would love to help raise funds for RYDA through an annual concert at St. Margaret's. It was also Lyn who suggested that Singularity would be equally willing to perform a second concert each year at St. John's, Cowes. It was Lyn who accompanied the choir through every one of those rehearsal schedules and each ultimate stunning performance in both communities.

Lyn with husband Alan and their family have supported RYDA in many generous ways since they first learnt of RYDA's work through their membership at St. Margaret's.

But this was only a small part of her life lived for others. Throughout her life Lyn generously and selflessly shared her time, talent, intellect, personality and sheer hard work in whichever direction she felt her God was leading. She is now with that God.

Thank you Lyn.

Rest in peace.

Singularity 2020

With Stage 4 Covid lock down in Melbourne and Stage 3 in regional Victoria now having no chance of easing before mid-September, and significant social distancing measures expected to be in place beyond that, it is clear that the planned Singularity performances of The Mikado cannot go ahead. However, keep these dates free for now. Discussions with Singularity's Musical Director, Cecily Woodberry, this week has led to thoughts of a 'Plan B'.

For now though we must wait and see.

  • Sunday October 11th
    ... St. John's Uniting Church, Cowes ... 2pm
  • Sunday October 18th
    ... St.Margaret's Uniting Church, Mooroolbark ... 2:30pm

Update on Covid

In this COVID era things have not remained the same. People who used to assist RYDA locally they are failing. Many problems in the lockdown.
Businesses have suffered greatly as many people don't have money to run them. Suppliers for food who used to supply schools some have closed as both government and private schools, tertiary institutions and universities are still closed.

Geoffrey
Help RYDA Recover

Since our last news there have been several much appreciated donations for RYDA. Every dollar is important and we thank those donors for their thoughtful generosity. As soon as the account balance creeps over AUD1000, we can look at another transfer. Are you able to help.

St. Margaret's account details are:

BSB 633 000 ... Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B
(Donors outside Australia only)

October 2020

Wonderful Support

It seems to have come from nowhere, so soon after our last transfer to RYDA in July, but no, it came from you. So many supporters in lock down and unable to worship other than through the Internet; so many people concerned about the unearned position they and their families find themselves in; yet so many who have sent large and small amounts to support the staff and children of RYDA through their COVID crisis.

By mid-September I was able to inform members of both St. Margaret's and St. John's that $1,054 had been gifted for RYDA. They were invited to add to that before it was sent. On the 29th, when it did go, the gathered amount was $1,214 and St. M's added $20 for Ugandan bank fees. The total included almost half donated by one person, several amounts from certificates given for a family birthday and the regular fortnightly salary sacrifice from one person. Many others gave what they could to make this amazing and unexpected total. Every single one of you is thanked for your prayers and whatever you have been able to give.

The US dollar equivalent was $US821.84. I rang Geoffrey the same day to inform him and discovered that education is expected to resume in Uganda on October 16th under strict hygiene requirements. The money has been sent at exactly the right time. It will be spent on thermometer 'guns', hygiene and deep cleaning products and re-connecting to the Internet, which they have not been able to afford for the past month.

Footpath Fundraiser

This cherub met Executive Director, Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune, when she was very little.

She is now 10 and during her school holidays last week, with the help of her mum, she turned an idea into an action.

An idea that also involved lollies.

Jojo had been thinking for a while about helping
'the RYDA-ers' as she called them.

She discussed it with her mum and she watched the
video we released last month. (See our new video page.) They came up with a plan for a Covid-safe, footpath chocolate shop that might catch the eye of passers-by.

It's chocolate. Why wouldn't it catch the eye?

Lots of chocolate temptations;

a box for the sales money and a tin for donations;

lots of customers;

and cheerful customer service;

led to lots and lots of money for RYDA;

a grand total of $205 after costs!

Together, Mum and Jojo, printed and letterbox dropped about 250 flyers to neighbouring streets in preparation for their two day pop-up shop. They hoped to raise about $70. At the end, when they realised the generosity of their neighbours had well exceeded that, Jojo told Mum she had prayed that it would be a good fundraiser. Prayer answered!

Perhaps the most important aspect of Jojo's effort is that many more people have learnt about RYDA.
Perhaps they will tell someone else.
Perhaps they will mention it on their social media.
Perhaps they will explore our web site.
Thank you Jojo.

Singularity: An Afternoon at the Proms

Here it is. Plan B!

As explained in the previous news, the planned Mikado performances can't happen. But Singularity very much wants to do something to entertain you and support RYDA. Our plan is to record a one hour Afternoon at the Proms as soon as the 5 kilometre travel limit and numbers permitted to gather inside are eased. We are hoping that will be October 19th. Four singers (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) with accompanist presenting a mixed program of the usual Prom favourites with voice, harp and piano that includes some Gilbert & Sullivan and sing-a-long opportunities.

Simple, joyful, musical merriment you can enjoy from your lounge chair simply by clicking a video link on our new video page.

  • The entertainment will be fabulous and free.
  • If it moves you to donate a 'ticket price' to RYDA, information about how to do that will be included.
If things go well on the 19th, the video will be available from 2pm, Sunday October 25th. Just the right afternoon for putting the feet up after screaming your lungs out the previous afternoon at the AFL Grand Final telecast. That's the hope. Wish us well.
  • If you are on the mailing list for this list we will keep you informed.
  • If you are not on the mailing list and want to be informed, email doug@blackdouglas.com.au.

Director's Health

Many readers have met Geoffrey and many others have come to know him through our eNews. His health has been weak for more than a month, partly because he can't always afford the diabetic medication he has been prescribed. As a consequence he has been away from the RYDA centre more often than present. Principal Suzan is again stepping up to make sure the centre continues to operate successfully. You may want to pray for a resolution to Geoffrey's health problems and for resilience and inspiration for Suzan.

Help RYDA Recover

Jojo has started off our next transfer. If you are moved to keep the total growing towards $1000, just EFT to St. Margaret's account.

St. Margaret's account details are:

BSB 633 000 ... Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B
(Donors outside Australia only)

November 2020

RYDA Reopens

Dear Doug,
First I write to acknowledge the receipt of US Dollars 800 donation to RYDA. With this donation we managed to buy 2 temperature guns, water pipes to connect water to stand pipes to provide water points for hand washing and supplies for the center.

The government has opened schools for the finalists from primary, tertiary institutions and universities. The Ministry of Education has directed that only those who meet the criteria may open.

We were directed to make sure that we improve on the toilet facilities, that staff quarters be provided and to provide single sitting arrangements (in classrooms).

So find attached the Certificate of Compliance and the criteria mark sheet.

All donors are thanked for the donation that came in our hour of need.

Regards,
Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune

A minimum number of students; everyone wearing masks and 1.5m apart.

     

New rules to be explained.

Signs everywhere to remind everyone
of healthy, hygiene habits.

Even additional makeshift drying lanes (lines??)

But they are at school again ... with two new washing stations in construction at opposite ends of the property ...

... and we will continue to support this African Success Story as they grow out of their Covid Crisis ...

Passed inspection with flying colours.

Certificate issued.

An Afternoon at the Proms

Hi,

My name is Elizabeth Sutherland. I am looking forward to performing for you at our virtual concert. I will be accompanying Margaret, Cecily, David and Roland on the keyboard and I will also share with you some harp pieces I truly love.

The programme is planned and we are ready to roll. We hope the next phase of easing restrictions will be just what we need to bring it together.

If you receive the regular RYDA news in your email, you will be informed when we know the date. If you don't, then register your name for Concert Date with doug@blackdouglas.com.au
Update: November 17th
  • Afternoon at the Proms will be available
    from 2pm Sunday November 29th.
  • Watch then or any time thereafter.
  • All you need to do is click the link on our RYDA Videos page.

December 2020

We Did It!

After months of planning and rescheduling, pandemic restrictions finally eased enough for a small group of Singularity singers to gather at St. Margaret's Chapel to record...

If you haven't watched yet, now might be just the right moment. 40 minutes of what has been described by others as 'wonderful', 'very enjoyable', 'a great way to spend an afternoon'. Just click, sit back and relax.

If it inspires you to donate, details are in the video. $300 raised so far.

Watch as many times as you wish, but most importantly pass the link on and help us retell the RYDA success story.
If the concert image doesn't show go directly to its You Tube link ... An Afternoon at the Proms

Update from the Director

Covid is on the rise again in Uganda. Rubaga Youth Development Association met the first level of government requirements and was allowed to reopen. Currently there are 92 girls and 108 boys, aged 12 - 18, on site attempting to prepare for modified exams in a social distancing, high hygiene environment.

Distancing to learn in St. Margaret's Hall.

The young people all live on site. Health and hygiene is a 24 hour vigilance. The government has made it clear that RYDA must somehow complete two additional new bathroom facilities (male / female) and modify existing spaces to create two new health clinics - the existing one is to be for staff - in order to satisfy the next level of regulation.

Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune, Executive Director, wrote about these things on 26th November:

Greetings from RYDA community and staff.

It has been a while without writing but it is because I have been down with sugar levels high and heavy work we are doing to make things happen.

Those who are doing non formal, will be doing their exams this December. Those who are doing their final exams, UBTEB and DIT, will be doing exams in March.

We are supposed to add on more toilets both at the girls' side and the boys' side because of Covid and also construct toilets and accommodation for staff and we need to do it on last week of December according to the new guidelines. Currently we are in desperate need of 15,000 US Dollars, which includes the building materials and roofing. The work on girls side, needs quick attention we started constructing on the girls side a toilet facility to add more units for the girls and also another incinerator for the girls.

Then the sick bay, needs two big rooms to cater for the boys and the girls, so that the other sick bay can be used for the staff. We are in desperate need of the money to make this happen. I don't know where this money is going to come from. What I know is that the problem can be turned into a challenge and a challenge to an opportunity. Also I know that God prevails in all our challenges.

With Isaiah, it makes me not to loose hope, for it says in Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 

I know people can make things happen and God is my saviour in all these challenges. A young girl in Australia, stands there to raise money for RYDA by selling chocolates. I never expected this but with God, it prevailed.

Shalom.

(Ed: The story of Jojo's footpath fundraiser is in the October News.)

Girls' block under construction. Every brick costs money. The multi-storey construction is on neighbour's land.

Geoffrey is right. God has to be our saviour in this.
$US15,000 is an awful lot, but every little bit helps, so let's get started.

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Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
St. Margaret's Uniting Church
Bendigo Bank
BSB 633 000 Account No. 157319310
Swift Code: BENDAU3B (Donors outside Australia only)
Please:
Ron Can Do

Hi Doug,

Just thought I would fill you in with my latest project I am doing here in sunny Yarrawonga.

In NSW we have a recycling depot (Mulwala) where you can take bottles, cans etc. and get 10 cents each. I put an ad in Yarrawonga Buy/Swap/Sell on Facebook and the response I got was overwhelming. People are now donating their cans etc. to me and in one week I have made around $200 dollars which will be going to RYDA. Wish there was some way we could get your people down there to get some up to me!

I am spending a bit of time sorting and counting but what the heck, it fills in a bit of my retirement day. Will let you know when I am depositing the cash.

Regards to you,
Ron Seccull


I spoke to Fay, Ron's wife after this message.
She says he is working like a man possessed.
He must be. Two weeks later he transferred

$375 he had earned in his first month!

Funds Transferred

Ron's $375, plus the $300 so far from the Singularity concert video and lots of big and small donations since our last transfer in October, meant that on Friday 11th, St. Margaret's treasurer transferred $AUD 1,150 plus $20 towards bank fees in Uganda. The conversion to US dollars resulted in $US837.25.

Well done everyone.
It's not $US15,000 but every little bit does help ... and the next little bit has already been given towards our next transfer.

Geoffrey's Christmas Message

For many years, things have happened from people of good will, especially our donors and the fund raisers and this includes both the young and the old people and others who have organised a fun run, concerts and from anonymous donors.

We need to uphold them all for this noble support. It's upon this background that I write to extend our appreciation for moral and financial support. And for maintaining our web site for more many years. I uphold you greatly.

For Saint Margaret's and Saint John's, your financial support and material support over the years is highly appreciated. For work of Hong Kong supporter, and many others that I have not mentioned, your material and financial support is highly appreciated.

Staying with us during Covid is beyond imagination for the RYDA community. I don't think we would have managed without you people. The year is almost ending and we have gone through this challenging year with you supporting us.

May the almighty God bless you abundantly.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Shalom

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