As I said, Bulabakulu is a distinctly rural and widely branched community. Some of the children come from very far away and so far had to be brought to school and back home every day in the only school van. There is of course no public transport system. The road network, I am deliberately not talking about the road network, is in a pathetic, catastrophic state. The paths are not tarred and, compared to Germany, do not even correspond to field paths. No German driver would dare to drive here! The deepest grooves and holes, poorly visible depressions and heights are a constant danger. When it rains, entire roads are impassable and detours have to be sought. The poor condition means that the journeys take a long time, as many places can often only be passed at walking pace. In a total of three tours, the children are picked up from different directions. The first trip starts at 6 a.m., the last trip brings the last children to school at around 7.45 a.m. In the afternoon, the first tour brings the kindergarten children home around 1 p.m. In the afternoon, the last two tours start around 4.30 p.m. and it often takes until 7 p.m. until the school van is back. The bus driver is the school principal! For reasons of cost (petrol), the children had to be “stacked” in the small van (seven-seater). Sometimes three of the little ones sit on top of each other. The passenger holds one child (usually already asleep) on his lap, another lies between his legs, and two more sit between the passenger seat and the driver’s seat. It can happen that the bus driver also has a child on his lap! So between 21 and 28 children “fit” on the bus!
For the reasons mentioned, it was the principal wish of the school director and the staff to get a second, perhaps somewhat larger, school bus – an almost impossible task given the high costs of at least 6500 euros for a used bus.
At the beginning of 2021 it was made, contrary to expectations: so many donations arrived over Christmas, supported by the sale of Christmas decorations in Advent, so that we could transfer the money to Uganda. The new bus now makes everyday life much easier for children and of course for the driver too! The first big goal was achieved!
The older bus…
The new school van