In November, the Parenta Trust aimed to raise £1000 to give orphaned and disadvantaged children living in slums near Kampala, Uganda, an unforgettable Christmas and New Year party.
The appeal followed a visit by the charity to a primary and nursery school in the slums of Kosovo. Whilst there, the Parenta Trust team came face to face with children living in appalling poverty – with many of them orphaned through disease or war.
During the last day of their visit, the team met Pastor Deo who runs a church and local school. He disclosed that he wanted to provide a Christmas party for over 1000 of these children, but could not afford to.
In response, Allan Presland – founder of the Parenta Trust – launched a JustGiving appeal with a £1000 target. The support received was overwhelming, with over 75% of the money raised in just 48 hours.
Staff at the Parenta head office pitched in to help raise funds for the cause, by cooking breakfasts for colleagues and holding a raffle, which generated £150.
The charity is delighted to announce that the money was raised in full and that the children had a wonderful time over the Christmas period.
Allan Presland, CEO of Parenta, said: “Thanks to the amazing staff at Parenta, along with friends and family, we were able to raise the funds to pay for the children’s party. Having seen the pictures and videos, it’s clear the children of Kosovo had an incredible time. Well done to Deo and his team.”
Recently, the Parenta Trust were able to share the exciting news that a third and fourth pre-school had been officially opened in Uganda. Following on from that announcement, the charity is delighted to be able to disclose that plans for a fifth pre-school are now underway!
In a bizarre turn of events, the decision on where to build the fifth pre-school was confirmed at a fundraising dinner in Kampala which was organised by charity Fields of Life.
The King of Karamoja – Chief Peter Adei – took off his royal black hat and donated it during the charity auction to raise funds for the education of his people. He said: “I do not have much, but I am donating my hat to be sold so that you can raise whatever you can to support us.”
CEO of Parenta, Allan Presland, successfully put in a bid for 72 million Ugandan shillings for the prestigious hat. The money will be used to fund the construction of a pre-school and primary school in Komoret village in Karamoja, north eastern Uganda.
Once built, the two new schools will work hand in hand to reduce one of the lowest school enrolment rates in Uganda; enabling a smooth transition from nursery to primary education for local children.
Allan Presland, founder of the Parenta Trust, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet the King of Karamoja, and to hear the stories of the history of his people and region.
“Bidding for his Chief’s hat was a fun experience but I’m really looking forward to getting the new pre-school built and meeting the children of Komoret and Karamoja when we visit the area to open the school next year.”
If you would like to sponsor a child in a Parenta Trust school or pledge your support in another way, please visit Parenta Trust website.
Last week, a group of 7 people representing the Parenta Trust witnessed the official opening of the charity’s third and fourth pre-schools in Uganda.
When both schools are at full capacity, they will be able to provide nursery education for 300 youngsters. Both schools were built by partner charity Fields of Life and funded entirely through money raised by the Parenta Trust.
The opening of Nyakabale Nursery School in the Kasese district was attended by prestigious guests, including the Bishop of Uganda and the local MP. A plaque was unveiled which dedicated the school in memory of Marlene Cameron, who is the late mother of Debbie Cameron – Head of Fundraising at Fields of Life.
The fourth school, Kiti Parents Nursery School, was similarly dedicated in memory of Moira Hawkins – the late mother of Parenta Trust trustee, Amanda Presland. This school is the largest within Parenta Trust’s portfolio, with 3 classrooms and 2 office rooms, and is located in the Wakiso district of Uganda, just north of the capital Kampala.
The completion of the two new nurseries takes the total number of schools built by the Trust to 4, in a time span of just 3 years.
The Parenta Trust is now laying down plans to commission their fifth nursery, which will be built in Karamoja (north eastern Uganda). The fifth school will be partnered with a local primary school to ensure that children have a smooth transition from nursery to primary education.
Allan Presland, CEO of Parenta and a founder of the charity, said:
“It was truly humbling to open our two schools last week. The fact that we were able to dedicate both schools to the memory of the mothers of two of our trustees made the events even more special.
“The welcome we received at both schools with local dignitaries as well as the school staff and all the children was quite incredible. It included singing in English from both groups of pre-school children. Given that English is their second language, their ability was astounding.
“We now look forward to raising funds for our fifth school in Karamoja which we expect to be completed in late 2017.”
If you would like to find out more about the Parenta Trust, sponsor a child in a Parenta Trust school or pledge your support to the charity in another way, please visit Parenta Trust website.
On November 5, a team of 7 people representing the Parenta Trust will fly to Uganda to officially unveil two new pre-schools for orphaned and disadvantaged children.
The two new sites – located in Wakiso and Kasese – are the latest additions to the charity’s portfolio of school buildings. Once completed, they will be able to provide nursery education for around 300 youngsters.
Each school will house a block of latrines for sanitation and a rainwater collection system, as well as the classrooms themselves. The schools will provide employment for a team of teachers and support staff, as well as reducing the dropout rate of children who currently have to walk long distances to attend school.
The charity was created just 3 years ago and is currently exceeding its initial target to build one school per year in Uganda.
As part of the Parenta Trust school building programme, the charity is also trying to find a sponsor for each child. This helps with the cost of providing 1 meal per day of stew, a school uniform, school supplies and presents to the children at Christmas.
One member of the team, Suzi, has asked friends and fellow parents for donations of good school shoes to take out to Uganda, and has managed to collect 119 pairs in just 5 weeks.
Trustee Amanda Presland, who will be flying out with the group, said:
“The most rewarding thing about being involved in the Trust is being able to go to Uganda and meet the children whose lives we’ve helped transform with our schools. I feel like it’s such a privilege.
“We’ll be opening 2 new schools, one of which will be dedicated to the memory of my mum. It’s going to be such a wonderful experience and I’m really excited.”
If you would like to help open new schools in Uganda or pledge your support in another way, please visit Parenta Trust.
Notes to editors:
Parenta Trust is the charitable arm of the Parenta Group of Companies. Charity number 115 3051
To find out more about Parenta Trust, its charitable events, or sponsoring a child within a Parenta Trust school, please visit Parenta Trust.
Suzi Presland is one of 7 people going to visit Uganda with the Parenta Trust, along with her husband Dave. She’ll be leaving on 5th November and, as part of the excursion, will be visiting Parenta Trust schools and meeting her sponsored child. Here, we find out how she’s been preparing:
What will you be taking with you?
We’re going to be taking clothes and school equipment, as well as lots of pairs of shoes! I put out a Facebook plea to parents and friends to donate pre-loved, good quality school shoes for the children. I keep getting handed shoes on the school run as well as coming home to find shoes on my doorstep! I’ve collected 119 pairs of school shoes in the space of 5 weeks, which myself and my daughters have now finished polishing and matching up.
Suzi Presland and her daughters have been polishing school shoes to take to children in Uganda
How long have you sponsored a child with the Parenta Trust for?
We’ve sponsored our little girl, Gift, for about 20 months now and we’ve loved receiving letters and photos from her. She is 6 years old and attends Good Shepherd Nursery School, which is north of Kampala. We’re so excited about meeting her for the first time when we fly out next month!
Why did you decide to sponsor a child?
We attended a Parenta Trust charity ball two years ago and we were completely moved by the stories told about the children.
I’m a school teacher myself, so having the incredible opportunity to support the education of children in Uganda as well as those in the UK was one of the main reasons I decided to become a sponsor.
I’m also a mother to 2 girls – one of whom is about the same age as my sponsored child – so it’s a wonderful chance for them to find out more about the world and have that connection with someone who lives on a different continent.
As a recently qualified Thrive Practitioner, the mental health and wellbeing of children is of real importance to me. When I visit Uganda, I’d really like to find out what the differences are between children here in the UK and youngsters living out there. So, for me, I have both personal and professional reasons for becoming a sponsor.
What does the trip entail and what are you most excited about?
As part of our trip, we’re going to be visiting three Parenta Trust schools in Uganda: Good Shepherd Nursery School, Opilitok Nursery School and the newly built Kiti Parents Nursery. We’re also going to be taken to see a fresh water drilling site near North Kampala.
We’re most excited about meeting our sponsored girl, Gift, for the very first time and giving her some presents. It’s going to be a wonderful experience!
If you’d like to support the Parenta Trust or find out more about visiting the schools we’ve built in Uganda, please get in touch!
Formed in 2013, the Parenta Trust has achieved so much in such a short space of time. Ahead of schedule, we’ve already built 2 pre-schools in Uganda with a further two being opened next month.
However, these achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the funds raised by our supporters. From simple bake sales in the office, right through to more complex half marathons and triathlons (as well as our infamous yearly banger rally!), hundreds of people have pitched in to help support our worthy cause.
With this in mind, we’ve put together 7 reasons why supporting the work of the Trust is so incredibly important:
Parenta Trust pre-schools are a lifeline. Not only do they provide a basic education for children, but they take the burden off families by providing each child with 1 meal a day of either stew or oat paste. This doesn’t sound like very much, but considering most children go without eating all day (until supper) this makes a world of difference.
Many children walk long distances to go to school and often, from a very young age, are expected to work on the land before and after the school day. The nurseries we’ve built in Luwero, Kabermaido (and soon, Wakiso and Kasese) ensure children in the local community don’t have to spend a large amount of their day travelling to a classroom by foot.
Each school provides employment for a team of teachers and assistants. With each school being able to cater for between 140-250 children, a network of support staff is absolutely invaluable.
Just as children in the UK are given equal opportunities to learn at school, Parenta Trust nurseries allow every child to have the best possible start to life. This is crucial to their development in the formative years.
Children in rural Uganda often live in basic, hand-built huts without running water or electricity. Each nursery school built by the Trust has a rainwater collection system and latrines, providing a basic source of sanitation for the children to stay healthy and happy.
Parenta Trust schools provide a stop-gap for children to transition from nursery to reception, with many of our pre-schools being successfully partnered with an established local primary school to enable this to happen.
With many Ugandan families living below the rural poverty line (on less than 98p per day), attending school allows children to aspire to a better life. Whether it be to become a doctor or nurse, it’s the first step on the road to a better existence for themselves and their families.
Here are just 7 reasons why the work of the Parenta Trust is so invaluable. And there’s so much you can do to get involved! From taking on a fun run to even becoming a sponsor to a child in Uganda – there’s something for everyone. So why not help support our vision of building 10 schools in Africa over a decade? Together, we can do it!
Make your contribution to our life-changing work today