An historic meeting took place at All Saints’ School, Bishops Caundle on Friday when Grace Loumo, founder of AWARE – UGANDA (Action for Women and Awakening in Rural Environment) broke her return journey from the AIDS Conference in New York, where she was a guest speaker, to visit the school which has recently formed a pen pal link with a rural Ugandan School. Grace, who was making her first visit to rural Dorset, was accompanied by her daughter, Teddy who was the first woman to take a degree in Agricultural Engineering in Kampala and then taught women basic construction skills and helped install irrigation systems, and Teddy’s daughter Laurel Curran (4).
The link and visit was facilitated by Chris Crowstaff, founder of the Dorset based organisation, A Safe World for Women. Chris first made a field visit to Kaabong, a poverty stricken region of Karamoja, to meet Grace and see the work of her organisation in 2009. Recently Chris gave a presentation to the pupils of All Saints Primary School, where the pupils were keen to learn more about other cultures as part of their Rights Respecting Schools Programme and letters from the pupils in Kaabong were delivered. The Bishops Caundle pupils were keen to send letters back and these were given to Grace by Deputy Head, Annie Schafheitre and Tom Forrest (11) a pupil at the school until the end of the summer term, as well as a large bag of good school clothing. The school, which has now received its Rights Respecting School Award Level 1, is keen to further its friendship and plans to send more parcels of clothing, toys and educational supplies to Pajar Primary School in the future. The school has only basic equipment, no television nor internet access so the pupils have little understanding as yet of other cultures.
Grace Loumo toured the school and grounds and was particularly interested in the school’s wind turbine.