February 14, 2018

Portraits and a Movie

This year we will be unable to travel to our beloved Kagomagate. Nevertheless, Keenan’s Kids continues to support the feeding program at the School and supports many other initiatives. Here, we feed nearly 400 students daily. The food consists of a corn porridge mixture (called posha) and beans. This is what is served in every school, every day. Sometimes we are able to supplement with some greens and bananas when available. Maureen really enjoys being able to work alongside the women in the kitchen, and even more being able to serve lunch to the children.

As she did in Nicaragua, Maureen started a tile painting project with all the students back in 2016. The project consists of each child painting a portrait of themselves. When all the children have completed their paintings, we affix them to the wall of the Keenan’s Kids kitchen where their images are captured for posterity. During 2017, Maureen continued the tile portrait painting project, providing the opportunity to another class to add their lasting image to the walls of the kitchen – nothing like ownership! In 2018, the portraits are now completed and on display.

The finale of our last visit was to show a movie to a community that had never seen one before. No electricity here, but we brought in auxiliary power. We christened one of the new classroom buildings with what the director called “An Historic Event.” No pressure here! The movie is called the Queen of Katwe. It is a true story about a young girl who rose out of an Ugandan slum to win the world chess Olympiad. The rural community where we work is taught chess by “The Real Robert.” The children in the village play chess against “The Real Phiona” (chess champion). The 2016 movie is an accurate depiction of life in Uganda. The children were glued to the image projected on the white sheet and left with wonder in their eyes. This is a wonderful movie of hardship and hope. See it if you have not already. When Maureen got home, she received a note from the director saying that the two stars of the Disney movie came to the school to talk about the movie the children had just seen. Wow!