Former Depute Head Teacher of a Secondary School.
Former Principal Teacher (Curriculum). Deceased 25 February 2014
Former Child Psychologist/Lecturer.
Former Primary School Head Teacher
Former Depute Principal in Botswana and England
All about us................
Sandy and Elizabeth Riddell handing over text books to Kyebambe Girls' Secondary School.
Elizabeth... My grandparents had been in Rhodesia in the early 1900s and hearing stories from my grandmother kindled my first interest in Africa. After graduating I volunteered with VSO and spent a very happy year teaching in Northern Nigeria. Despite the huge cultural and material differences I immediately felt at ease. It spurred me to return in 1969 but this time to Uganda where I experienced the same feeling of being content and “at home”, once again stepping off the plane to the distinctive “ Smell of Africa” a mixture of lush vegetation, blossom and wood smoke. At Kyebambe I met Anne Harrison and together with her and my husband Sandy we returned in 2007 after we had all retired. We taught again at Kyebambe and made many friends with both the students and staff. Although facilities and resources were very poor there was a great spirit about the school. We felt that our contribution was small but we were humbled by the appreciation and love shown to us by everyone. We vowed to help in whatever way we could, helping with fees for needy girls, buying books and equipment and being “consultants”. We have returned annually to visit our many friends and monitor progress.
Sandy....For more than twenty years Elizabeth had told me how wonderful Uganda was, so in 1993 I took her back as a special birthday treat and immediately fell in love with the country and its people. When we retired we returned to Fort Portal and Kyebambe where we were immediately made welcome and given a full timetable of teaching. For a teacher used to the high tech environment of a Scottish school, I had to relearn rapidly how to teach English to classes of 60 with only a blackboard and a piece of chalk and virtually no text books. But the girls were a joy to teach and we soon made many lasting friendships amongst the staff. Before long we were also well known faces around the town. We have returned each year since and scarcely a day goes by that I do not think of Uganda. After our visit in March 2009 I determined to establish a Charitable Trust in aid of Kyebambe, Buheesi and the newly founded Glorious Preparatory School
Anne Harrison tutoring two senior girls at Kyebambe
Anne.. I first went to Uganda in 1968 as a newly qualified teacher. In those days British teachers were being actively recruited by the British government to work in recently independent countries. I was naïve and inexperienced but formed a deep attachment to Kyebambe School, Fort Portal and Uganda as a whole that lasts to this day. Several of the girls I taught forty years ago are still good friends, as are the colleagues I worked with. One of these is Liz Millar. It was an amazing experience to spend a term back at the school with Liz and her husband Sandy and again many firm friendships were formed with the staff and pupils we worked with in 2007. Not only did we become aware of the huge financial pressures and domestic difficulties suffered by the girls but we were also shocked by the very poor level of resources in the vast majority of schools. Contrasting the poverty of the educational environment with the students’ immense eagerness for learning motivates me to raise as much money as we can to make a positive difference in the schools we are involved with.
Diane Ellis pictured at the opening of new science labs at Buheesi Secondary School.
Diane- Having worked extensively in the UK as a teacher, University Lecturer and Educational Psychologist, it was natural for me to become involved in supporting the education of some of the children I encountered during my trips to Uganda. Like so many others I was enthralled by Uganda and was touched by the efforts made by parents, teachers and children I met to provide education. I was able to facilitate the building of science laboratories and toilet blocks at Buheesi Secondary School near Fort Portal, and these were completed in March 2009. I am pleased to be able to continue supporting Buheesi and other schools through UST
Chris Madeley meets a former pupil at Mweya Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Chris- I did my Diploma in Education at Makerere University in Uganda as part of the "Teachers for Africa" scheme in the 1960s. I subsequently taught Biology at Nyakasura School, Fort Portal for five years, after which I taught in schools in the UK, Nigeria, Malawi and Botswana until my retirement two years ago. It was in Fort Portal that I met Anne and Elizabeth for the first time.
Keith and Jean Dodds with two girls sponsored by them through the Trust
JEAN- I trained as a Clinical Psychologist but later went into Primary Teaching filling a number of posts in various parts of Scotland before serving as head teacher of a Primary School in Aberdeen for 18 years. I was introduced to Uganda by my friends Elizabeth and Sandy who found two girls at Kyebambe who were in need of sponsorship. In 2008, with my husband Keith, I visited Uganda and met the girls and was immediately impressed by their warmth and charm. A visit to Kasese and Glorious Preparatory School was perhaps the highlight of our trip and we were so overwhelmed by the dedication and enthusiasm displayed there that I vowed to do whatever I could to assist development.
KEITH- I graduated as an engineer but spent most of my career running my own business as an accountant and like Jean I was overwhelmed by the welcome we received in Uganda and by the sheer determination of the founder of Glorious Preparatory School to do something for his local community. I was very pleased to meet the girls we had sponsored at Kyebambe and to see that we were able to make a difference to their young lives.