2019 Newsletter

2019 Newsletter

2019 Newsletter

December 09, 2019 Read

Tom and Paul Tom and Paul

Tom and Paul Tom and Paul

Some of you may know that UKHF has faced particular challenges this year. Tom Bagoole was brutally attacked in 2018 causing him to seek asylum in Canada. In 2019 Esther and the family were also attacked. They were warned “not to continue their projects in Busiiro”. In both instances we were able to help move the family to safety. We contacted Frontline Defenders, who proclaimed them both Human Rights Defenders and publicised the attacks on their website. The school was our prime concern and UKHF has not been idle. We have been actively supporting Esther Bagoole to establish herself as Director during Tom’s leave of absence.

Esther is doing a marvellous job and the school goes from strength to strength. At the same time, she is continung her Girls Workshops in the Secondary School and running Femlead, our partner organisation working with local women’s groups.

The Ugandan board (HFOC) have stepped up and are now donating to school funds and UKHF are in telephone communication with them and the head teachers, which is a first. Tom is employed in Canada and has also started sending funds. The local community and school Board are active and have again contributed bricks for the nursery building project.

Esther has pushed ahead with various money making and training projects at the school. There is a real sense that these changes reflect the move towards self determination for the Healing Focus community.

So this is an opportune time for Maggie and me to take a backseat. From December 1st, Ruby van der Meulen is our new chairperson, working closely with our administrator Teny Ohannessian.

We will of course, still be supporting UKHF. I intend to join Dame Helen Mirren as a patron and Maggie will continue as a non exceutive director with Femlead.

I’d like to sincerely thank all those friends and acquaintances who became donors over the last ten years. Together we have achieved something extraordinary, proving that personal intervention is not only possible but highly effective.

I do hope UKHF can count on your continuing support for the foreseeable future.

Kids under tree Kids under tree

Sewing Class Secondary Kids


Maggie Scott

A letter from Co-Founder, Maggie Scott

It is truly amazing to think what we have achieved in 10 years!

From that first visit, when Paul and I sat with young children dressed in rags, queuing for their ration of ½ a cup of porridge per day and decided, on the plane home, that we had to try and do something, to NOW, where 250 uniformed, well nourished children attend one of the best equipped and highest achieving schools in the region! All of you reading this trusted us with your time and your money and together we have built something extraordinary in Busiiro village. I’m particularly proud of how we have been able to provide help and accommodation for ‘girls at risk’ in our dormitory, plus a series of girl’s workshops in our school and Busiiro secondary school. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our donors the many friends, who, during the last 10 years, became trustees of UKHF and worked selflessly to support the children, many of whom visited the school at their own expense. Thanks to everyones hard work the school and the vocational centre is functioning well, but the continuing challenge is sustainability - how to ensure that the school can use its resources to start to generate its own income. During our last trip Teny and I were able to make preparations for several new income generating projects so I am truly delighted and completely confident that both Ruby and Teny will, with their energy and commitment, lead UKHF into this new relationship with HFOC. After such a challenging year the future is bright and full of exciting possibilities!

Maggie Kids

Maggie in Bus Maggie Dancing


We are very excited to introduce our new Chairwoman, Ruby Van Der Meulen! The remaining UKHF team includes Teny Ohannessian (Administrator and Treasurer), Pamela Mullins, Julie Bartlett, Alison Poole, Geraldine Ohannessian and Timothy Mamo.

A word from Ruby

For those who don’t know me; I have been working with UKHF for the past 4 years with a focus on the teachers. I am a primary school teacher myself and am therefore passionate about teaching and learning. I will now be taking on a bigger role as new chairperson. I have known Maggie & Paul my entire life and am honoured they trust me, Teny and the rest of the trustees to continue UKHF’s support of HFOC, the teachers, and children in Busiiro.

UKHF has faced many challenges in the past few years. Challenges which we have, every time, managed to overcome. A large part of this is thanks to you, our donors. I am excited to continue UKHF’s journey as we enter a new phase. A phase where we will focus more of our support on the school’s independence. Where we inspire them to become sustainable and autonomous. We hope you continue to believe in us, HFOC, the school, the teachers, and the children and, with your continued backing, I am positive we will be able to fully support HFOC in this new phase of their development.

… And Teny

Since joining UKHF in 2013, I have witnessed, first-hand, the tremendous positive impact our work has had on the children and teachers of Healing Focus School. This next step, focusing on sustainable development programs, is an exciting and challenging one and I feel confident that with the help of our loyal donors, we can achieve our goal – to help HFOC become an independent and autonomous entity.

Esther Bagoole’s message to Paul and Maggie

“On behalf of Healing Focus family, we greatly appreciate the Great leadership with wisdom, teamwork and understanding exhibited during your time of leadership. The love and empathy towards the Busiiro orphans and community.

Maggie is a great hero.

We are glad for the great work well done from 2007 to date.

We are happy to work with Teny and Ruby. And looking forward to learn more from them.

Thank you

Kind regards Esther”

Moving towards a SUSTAINABLE future

UKHF’s primary objective has always been the education and welfare of the orphan children at HFOC.

Because we are unable to send every child to Bussiro Secondary School, we asked HFOC to research skills which could be taught not only to the children but also to the members of the community to help alleviate proverty and encourage financial independence.

Since 2018, HFOC has introduced tailoring, book making and hairdressing to the community. Further projects to be put in place next year include bee keeping and carpentry.

If you would like to donate towards these workshops, please do so here