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The Potter's Village - Newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of the Potter's Village Newsletter.

Issue 1. 2020

In this Issue

Christmas season
Medical Centre
Rehab Centre
Staff Roles
News of Children
Children moving on
Phoebe and Madelyn
New babies
Building Fund
Celebration Day
Please pray for us

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We are delighted to inform you that the Ugandan Board of Potter’s Village has appointed Idah Kyarimpa as Administrator at Potter’s Village. Idah commenced in post on January 1st. She has a wealth of experience, most recently with Compassion International, where she was Project Director for 15 years. Idah is from Kisoro and worships at the Cathedral.



Christmas season


Just before Christmas Potter’s Village put on a party for all the community children. The caregivers were taught on proper feeding for the children and on hygiene. They then shared a cup of tea and some eats and the children were also given some clothes. It is always a popular event!

The staff at Potter’s Village received packages of sugar, rice, cooking oil and washing soap, all of which helped them to have good celebrations with their families. The staff who were on duty on Christmas Day were also served a special meal.


Medical Centre

The main news from the Medical Centre is that it has now been granted Health Centre III status, it has taken some time, mainly due to bureaucracy, but we’ve finally got there. This designation means that whilst there will be more paperwork and reporting to do, it should also, eventually, lead to some Government funding.

Rehab Centre

Trish Smith, Trustee, Friends of Potter's Village

During my visit to Potters Village in February I was able to spend two days in the Rehab Centre and witness first-hand the wonderful work being done to help children with disabilities and their families.

The Rehab Centre was set up in November 2019 by Janie Robson, a volunteer physiotherapist from the UK, who has extensive experience in rehabilitation.  She has been training one of the nurses, Judith, and a nursing assistant, Keti, from the Medical Centre, in basic paediatric therapy with the aim that they will run the programme.

The Centre is open every Monday and Tuesday, children and their parents attend the Centre monthly, in a group with other children with similar disabilities from their local area.  Following an initial therapy assessment, parents are taught individual exercise programmes to do at home, including improved feeding techniques if necessary.  Each time they return the team review the child’s progress and set new programmes for them to follow at home.  In the afternoon there is a group session including games and songs which teaches the parents the importance of stimulating play and social interaction.

Keti was the only therapist on duty during my visit (due to staff illness), so as a paediatric nurse, I rolled up my sleeves and provided her with as much support as I could. I was hugely impressed by the entire programme and especially the dedication, knowledge, kindness and patience shown by Keti to all the children and families.

The 150th child arrived for assessment during my visit, a 7year-old girl with profound cerebral palsy who was exceedingly underweight due to swallowing difficulties and unable to even sit up. Her mother had heard about the Rehab service from a friend in her district so brought her to the Centre. Sadly, there is a lot of superstition and stigma regarding disability in this part of Uganda, so the fact that word is getting out into the community that the service exists is wonderful.

Some children require special chairs, standing frames or walkers, which local carpenters are able to make. If you would like to support a child who needs one of these, by making a financial donation please visit our website.

Their goal is “We work to enable everyone to reach their full potential physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and to actively participate and contribute into the life of their community”.

The Rehab Centre is a happy place, the great joy was seeing the children and parents join in with supporting each other, developing friendships and all singing together in the afternoon. I saw their goal in action.
Keti and Judith are looking forward to Janie’s return [see Prayer Items] to enable them to learn more and continue to develop this wonderful programme.

Note from Janie “The Rehab programme continues in Janie’s absence and Judith and Keti are doing a great job treating the children. Janie is in regular contact with them via WhatsApp and is able to give advice and supervision. Please pray for strength, wisdom and compassion for Judith and Keti.”

Staff Roles

Some of the senior staff have been at Potter’s Village for several years, you probably know their names but maybe not much about their roles.

Jovia is the Senior Nursing Officer in the Medical Centre and has been at Potter’s Village since 2011. She trained as a Registered General Nurse and has worked at Mutolere, a private hospital just outside Kisoro, as well as the local Government Hospital. Jovia’s role is to manage the Medical Centre, along with the Medical Director. Jovia lives and worships in Kisoro, she is married and has three children.

Festo has been at Potter’s Village since the very beginning. He initially trained as a carpenter and much of the woodwork at Potter’s has been constructed by Festo and his team. More recently he did a diploma in Public Administration and is currently completing a degree in Social Work. Festo’s current role is with the Crisis Centre and Community Support children, ensuring due procedures are followed, liaising with their families, arranging resettlement and monitoring them once back in the community. He also keeps an eye on the upkeep of Potter’s Village. Festo lives in Kisoro, is married and has four children.

News of Children

Alex, who had heart surgery in Germany when he was 6 months old, has just reached 3 years of age. As Alex’s mother is now having treatment for her psychiatric illness, Alex was able to leave Potter’s last summer to live with his mother and grandmother, where he is doing well.

Other children
Some of you may remember Dee, now 8 years, who has severe cerebral palsy. Several years ago she went to live at Elizabeth House, in Mukono, Kampala. Dee is being supported by our friends at Rope, who report that she continues to be very happy and full of smiles. She is making slow progress and can now make her needs known. Dee loves going out for walks and gets very excited beforehand!

Children moving on

Promise, Gilbert Nirere, Joel Irahari and Agnes Mahoro had all been abandoned and their families could not be traced so they have been transferred to SOS Children’s Home, in Entebbe, near Kampala. Praise’s mother was from Rwanda, she died due to infection and again no family could be found so she has also gone to Entebbe. These children will all be cared for until they leave school and then supported throughout transition to adulthood.

Mika went to live with his father in October.

Phoebe and Madelyn

Phoebe and Madelyn are sisters who were brought to Potter’s Village when they were aged 6 and 7. They were living in Kampala, where they were born, when one of the children became sick, as did their mother, and then their father fell on hard times. The girls were sent to live with their elderly grandmother in Kisoro but she could not cope.

They were referred to Potter’s Village by an American doctor at Kisoro Hospital. Phoebe, particularly was in a bad way but with the help and care provided by Potter’s Village their lives have been much improved. They had been living with a foster mother with whom they were happy, and doing well in school, but she had no plans for them. Phoebe and Madelyn’s parents have also been able to turn their lives around and so in December the girls went back to Kampala to live with them.

New babies

Donata came to Potter’s Village in November, aged three months, after her mother died in a landslide near the border with Congo.

Shepherd was admitted here last November, on the day he was born at Mutolere hospital, as his mother died immediately after giving birth.

Anna was admitted in February, age one month, after her mother died following a caesarean section. She has had a hernia repaired but may need further surgery.

Japheth’s mother also died following a caesarean section and Japeth was admitted in February.

Mary was admitted in February, aged 10 days, after her mother died following surgery at Kisoro hospital.

Building Fund

When it’s pouring with rain and you’ve got wet through, isn’t it great to get in the dry and have somewhere clean to change? The Friends of Potter’s Village wants to do its best to ensure that the buildings at Potter’s Village are well maintained and when the need for a new building arises we want to support that.  Would you help us in this ambition? We are currently fundraising to provide another consulting room in the Medical Centre, a changing room for the staff; a raised, covered walkway between the Medical Centre and the other wards, and a mortuary which will give dignity for children who have died. To read more about this and to contribute, please click here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/building-fund.

Celebration Day

It will come as no surprise that, very sadly, we have had to cancel the Celebration Day due to Covid-19. We plan to Celebrate again in 2021.

Please pray for us

As Potter's Village increases in size inevitably costs will also increase.  Please pray that we continue to find funding and support in order that we are able to expand and save the lives of those who need us the most.

Give Thanks to God for:

  • to the Lord for keeping the project as a whole running well and focused
  • sincere gratitude also goes to all stakeholders of Potter’s Village and everyone who has contributed to the success of the project. May God bless you all
  • for the five children who needed foster mothers were able to go to SOS in Entebbe, that will take full care including their education and we pray that they will soon settle there
  • that most of the children are well and healthy, and the staff are still committed and hardworking

Please Pray for:

  • for God’s continued guidance and protection in running the ministry
  • for continued unity and teamwork among the staff at PV
  • for Lucky Caleb, who has a heart abnormality and has been very sick. He is due to go the Heart Institute in April
  • Janie is currently in the UK for tests for a health problem. Pray that her NHS appointments will still go ahead and that she will be able to return to Potter's Village, coronavirus permitting, in God's perfect timing.
  • for strength, wisdom and compassion for Judith and Keti in the Rehab Centre whilst Janie is away
  • for the Ugandan board as they start the process of recruiting a second doctor, that they will be able to appoint someone suitably qualified and in a timely fashion.
  • for Dr Nicci, on long-leave with her family in South Africa, for rest and refreshment

Coronavirus Like everywhere, this is a fast-changing situation. See the Home Page - we will update this when we have news.

Please remember all at Potter’s Village in your prayers, and pray:

  • that staff, patients and public will behave sensibly and follow instructions
  • for Idah and her team in the decisions they make at this time
  • that Friends of Potter’s Village will continue to have sufficient income during this time of increased need