Subject: School's Open

Back to School

Ugandan schools opened for the new school year on January 10th. In contrast to many schools in the area, Mustard Seed was ready. The long shutdown was really hard on everyone, but thanks to your support, the hardships for the MSA community were tempered.

The New York Times headline: Uganda Reopens Schools After World's Longest Covid Shutdown, hints at the dire consequences of such an interruption in education. Click here for the NYT article.

Latest from Lukaya

Headteacher John Robert wrote on January 10th:

     We had our first day of school after nearly two years of lockdown.

The attendance was over 50%. The learners are interested in learning.

I believe tomorrow, attendance may shoot to over 80%. This is very impressive as some schools were seen having only one child per class according to the newspapers.

     The challenge we have faced is convincing people that we don't have vacancies for more children. Almost everyone wants their child to join MSA. I think this is attributed majorly to the care we gave to our learners during the lockdown, such as home visits, small group learning, take-home work, and above all, the food items.


     Blessings to you for providing us with the support that enabled the programme to be a successful one.

Of course, not 100% of Mustard Seed children were eager and able to return to school. Especially among the older ones, being away from school for so long led them to find other ways to spend their time. Many started up small businesses and, in some cases, were quite successful. In a way, this is a testament to the education they received during their tenure at Mustard Seed.


The team in Lukaya is working hard to make learning fun and the school experience inspirational. Parachute games (above) and chess (below) are special activities that keep kids wanting to return to school.


One of the first things Rehema, Mustard Seed's new agriculture/nutrition/health consultant, impressed upon the poultry team is the need for greens in the hens' diet. They are happier, healthier, and produce more eggs when their diets include fresh greens. In the photo above, you can see the space around the poultry houses has been planted with nutritious mucuna and comfrey.  

Rehema and her team have also planted 10,000 pineapples (not for the chickens) in non-productive areas. See the photo below.

What's Up?

Travel? Yes! I (Elaine) plan to go from mid-February to mid-March. However, there are still Covid related restrictions and requirements. We are hoping that by fall, travel will be less complicated.

Communicating with students and teachers? This time we are offering the option of sending an email to RPU with your communications to the children and staff of Mustard Seed. Then, we will print them to be ready to deliver. You can find a template, guidelines, and suggestions for communicating with your student on our website: Click here.

I'll be a courier on this trip, but I hope to do more than that.

On my list:
-photography and interviewing
-gathering stories about Mustard Seed children and staff
-planning with the board of Tree of Life Ministries and Mustard Seed's leadership team

-touring Lake Mburu National Pard with the fifth-graders and their teachers
-documenting progress on projects and the health and welfare of the children
-visiting MSA grads now working or studying at different institutions
-sharing with you what is happening at Mustard Seed

Thank You!

A Mustard Seed Nursery School student opens wide for her polio immunization.

Your generosity made it possible for Mustard Seed students to return to school with all of the needed programs and staff in place. What's more, the campus looks green and welcoming, health care is given a high priority, good nutritious food is served twice a day to all students, and three times to those who board. On top of that, there's a lot of fun and socializing.

Special thanks to Susan Harper who brought parachutes and playground balls just before the Covid lockdown, and to Dana and Kathryn Hiscock who donated the funds for the Lake Mburu field trips for several years now. Such 'extras' help a lot to enrich the Mustard Seed school experience.

Lunch-time at MS Nursery School

Breakfast for the Secondary School girls

Just for fun– did you know?

Over the last few months, we featured some words and phrases with meanings unique to Uganda:

Short calls

Boda bodas

Well be back

You are lost


Give a push

Here's a new one:  I saw a shopping list and was curious about the item listed as ingredients. Where would you shop for ingredients, and what specifics might you ask for?

Hit reply to this email and submit your answer or a comment. 

Please also ask questions or give us suggestions. Let us know what you are thinking– how you are doing. We love to hear from you!

I especially love to get emails from 'home' while in Uganda. Your prayers, well-wishing, notes of encouragement, comments, and questions mean more than you can imagine. We are in this together– changing lives!

With all my best,


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