Latest News from the School
28 February 2021
UDOBO SCHOOL OPENS FOR NEW SCHOOL YEAR
Udobo School has opened for the first term of the year. It was due to open for the first term of the new school year on 27 January, but this was postponed because of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Durban.
Anne Snyders, the Principal, writes:
The teachers returned to school on 8 February and our children came back on Monday, the 15th. We are all delighted to come back as we had an extra few weeks at home as the second wave of Covid19 hit the country. We have to have an A and B group of children who alternate days as our classrooms can only accommodate 10 children as we apply social distancing. The children love being back at school and eat everything they are offered – no picky eaters at the moment.
We wish to undertake an upgrade on our classrooms. This year we want to enlarge the windows in the classrooms. The classrooms used to be stables, hence the small high windows, they have one window next to the door and one window on the back outside wall. I have always been concerned about the light coming into the classrooms as they are often artificially lit during ‘inside’ times, but now with Covid19 precautions in place we find that we don’t have sufficient ventilation either. We would like to change the high windows for larger ones which would solve the lighting and ventilation concerns. We are visited almost daily by troops of monkeys and if the doors are left open they come inside and scare the children! – a unique problem that I feel sure that you do not face in the U.K.
Thank you for all you do for us, I am humbled every month when I am able to pay the staff, during last year’s lockdown my staff received their salary every month and I am so grateful for that. May God continue to bless you for the wonderful work you are doing to help our children.
The Trustees will consider at the forthcoming AGM on 16 March how Action Udobo might be able to help with a grant towards the windows upgrade requested.
12 January 2021
The Treasurer to the Governors reports that the new school year is due to start on 27 January, and writes:
‘On behalf of the school I thank you once again for Action Udobo’s continued support without which the school would not have been able survive to this day.’
Anne Snyders, the Pricipal, expresses special thanks to:
‘The Friends of Udobo who help to keep our doors open – thank you – we appreciate what you do for us. To all those who have given and helped and prayed for and loved us – thank you!’
The school’s fourth term report for 2020 is posted under the ‘Newsletters’ tab, and will be incorporated in the next Action Udobo Newsletter
9 October 2020
More Good News from Udobo School! – Belated Government grants enable teachers to be paid on time.
We have had news recently that agencies of the South African Government have come to the rescue of Udobo School, which was facing a situation where it would not be able to pay its teachers in September.
At the end of September, the UIF (Department of Labour) paid R35,801.40 (about £1,670) in support payments for teachers’ salaries for June – payments for July and August are still to come, but this enabled the school to pay teachers at the end of the month.
Then at the beginning of October the Treasurer to the School Governors received a payment of R97,342.00 (about £4,550) from the Department of Social Development. He writes: “This must include some compensation for the period that the school was closed. I was worried that the school would not have sufficient monies by the year-end so this is a big relief. I had to tell you right away. I have informed the governing body and I am sure that you will do likewise with your Trust members”
With fees paid by parents and the continued support of Action Udobo UK, the school finally seems set to weather the financial storm created by Covid -19, and to continue to provide for its disadvantaged children.
4 August 2020
UDOBO SCHOOL THANKS UK SUPPORTERS
As a result of its recent successful fund-raising campaign, Action Udobo in the UK has been able to assure Udobo School in Durban of its continued support at current levels through to the end of 2021.
The School Principal, Anne Snyders, has expressed the gratitude of the school:
I am brought to my knees by this amazing news, as I read I went ice-cold at the faithfulness of the people of Action Udobo and of our God. My secretary, Pat, and I have been leaping and praising God like two mountain goats – you have no idea what this news means to us. I am a very positive person and always mindful that I serve a God of miracles and wonders but this year is a real faith tester – I began the year with a great group of teachers and the school bursting at the seams with children who really needed us…. Then the virus…..I suppose that only in hindsight will it make any sense but my positivity took a knock but my faith didn’t, for which I thank God.
I realised that fundraising and promoting the school would be just as difficult in the UK as in SA – our fundraising has virtually come to a halt, except for the vegetable market and the remnant of our donors who give R100 a month….
Your letter has served as such an encouragement as well as being an assurance that we are not alone, thank you, thank you for this and please inform the members of your team just how beyond words grateful we are,
May God continue to bless you,
TRUSTEES THANK DONORS, OLD AND NEW
The fund-raising effort undertaken in May and June has increased the number of committed regular donors and the pledged monthly income of the charity by a third. Also, receiving £3500 in one-off donations means we can even consider school requests to fund new capital projects – a wonderfully successful result. The Trustees express their grateful thanks to all who have responded to the Acting Chairman’s appeal and thank God for prompting their generosity at this difficult time. For those who have not yet responded, it is never too late! The Trustees anticipate that the School will have further need of support as it emerges from lockdown, and every little helps. To donate via PayPal, see home page, or contact us for standing order and gift aid forms.
15 July 2020
Anne Snyders, School Principal:
‘The newsletter that you put out is so great! I will copy it for my teachers so that they may be mindful of the work that is happening so far away. I remain in awe of what ‘Action Udobo’ has done for us over the many years, we have managed to keep our doors open during very difficult times. The arrival of this virus is probably our biggest challenge thus far – it has come at a time when our school was full and everything looked good and for a short while my Tigger-like personality took a knock! However, God has never let us go and never will! My staff have been wonderful and have got stuck in to do all the tasks needed to open the school – we are now ready for our children to return!
Today parents are collecting letters from the school giving information about what we have done to protect the children, the procedures to follow when their children return and a booklet to explain everything to their children in a child-friendly way – there are pictures to colour and so on.
The Yellowwood Park Evening Women’s Institute gave us an amazing love gift of 190 face masks for our little ones – the masks were made by the members and have pictures, flowers and even camouflage ones- ( I hope we don’t lose them in the bushes – lol). They are so child-friendly that I don’t think we will have any problems getting the children to wear them. So we are becoming quite excited to welcome our children back!’