Friday, July 17, 2015


Spent today at community church derby with very inspiring people. Great to hear what people ate doing and what they hope to be doing. Also great to get updates on all what's happening. #excitingderby

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Waiting and waiting some more! At Entebbe airport waiting for BA to arrive, we are now leaving 2 hours late. Oh what fun :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Anya came back with this book the other day, Gone, it's really good and a great idea that suddenly everyone over 15 years old disappears.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


What a great way to start the day by having breakfast with my 2 lovely ladies;) in Entebbe after dropping off K's Dad.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Beach

So Grandad has arrived and why not spend time at the beach? A beautiful spot with some tasty fish. Always good to remember how lovely Uganda is..the Pearl of Africa . thanks God

Thursday, March 26, 2015


I wonder how much of our life is taken up by waiting? We are waiting for Kathryn to finish her parent teacher meetings. I am waiting with some cool people though;) and the weather's not bad too!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Preparing for a new play, "Watchdog". A Dutch play having a look at death, sounds fun eh? Actually it is a comedy. Now busy learning lines, which has to be the worst part of the whole process! So if you see me talking to myself, I'm learning lines.....honest ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Skill finding

In the garden identifying our skills. IY Jinja 2nd week of training

Friday, April 11, 2014

Eric and IY

My name is Jaromo Eric. I grew up at good shepherds fold orphanage. When I first heard of the Investment Year programme I was at university studying a course in industrial engineering. Since I was at a young age I have dreamed of becoming a pilot and as I went through school I was told the sky is the limit since I was performing well. And so I dreamt my future depending on my grades at school, so whenever I evaluated myself I saw something different every time looking at what I did best at school and what people saw in me. It seemed I was made to be a teacher, engineer, artist, pilot, inventor, and pastor, theologian the list could go on and on! As I completed my A levels I was advised against being too picky in life but to take whatever door opened to enable me to become self-sufficient which is one of the biggest goals for one who grew up in an orphanage. Anyway my results for my final exams came back and I had done well so I applied for the courses in line with my subjects and grades. The standard procedure is 4 choices of courses in their order of priority for every student joining university. In the end I was given something I didn’t really want but I took it anyway.
During the first weeks of the semester I hated what I was doing and I told Stephen Langford that. He encouraged me to persevere maybe I would like it after all. I was also encouraged by aunt Karen the administrator at GSF who told that me that it would be wise to take what doors are currently opened now and maybe after I would see other doors opened to achieve my dreams in life, and so with more encouragement from my brothers and sisters I resolved to complete my course get a job then after I would be able to personally pursue any other dreams I have. So I placed my all in my studies and I wasn’t surprised that I began to enjoy my life at campus. I told Stephen about my change of heart but he wasn’t convinced, apparently he and the directors of GSF had met with Steve brown the IY facilitator who had convinced them to try the programme. “Steve brown is a very convincing talker!’’ Stephen said to me. I was also told I was the reason why they accepted to give it a try. I wasn’t convinced at all but Mr. Langford told me to think about it, so I did and still wasn’t convinced. In the end I was forcefully invited for lunch with Mr. Steve Brown at cafĂ© javas at garden city. He explained to me the whole thing and how it works. I was in a fix, uncle mark the director of GSF wanted to plan and budget for the programme and in addition Stephen told me previously that I had already been drafted in so I agreed to go through the programme. Thereafter I promptly applied for a dead year and started preparations for IY.
Many people who knew me were shocked about my decision to go through IY, I was in complete agreement with them – I was wasting a lot of precious time. But I consoled myself as best as I could. The first weeks of IY were very similar to life at school! Hour after hour of training, lectures, instructions what! This was not what I had signed for.  Mr. Brown assured as that that wasn’t the only face of IY. Then came the internships which at the start were interesting because I was learning new things everyday but after they became tedious due to monotony, having to go through the same routine, I was losing the motivation. And the food, bread and beans! The first time I ate that for lunch I wondered how in the world I would get used to such feeding! Apparently the staple food of England is bread and since we were living in an English man’s home ….. But we also eat posho and beans so that’s not too bad eh! Also reading books and writing book reports, I thought I was taking a break from school! Then also the time keeping, every early morning going to work and every evening coming back on time! Sometimes I feel like what’s the point? Then I remember that this is my Investment Year, I have already invested my time and others have invested their money in me, so I must make it all count. 
As I write this I have just completed my internship at NCR a company dealing in computers and their maintenance. I learnt a lot about software installation and the like. I have come to learn that am not made to work with computers! Yea IY involves discovering what you were made to do in life, what talents and gifts you have. In this respect we read a number of books and apply their truths in our lives, like for example the book DO HARD THINGS has challenged me to take action and keep my motivation to do whatever I am doing exceptionally every day. Although it’s difficult, this is a good taste of reality! During the weeks of training I learnt many things I wouldn’t have learnt at school some of which are; Work ethics such as keeping time to work and dressing professionally, writing a cv and selling oneself in a job interview, world views and how they affect my relationships in any environment be it at home or at the workplace. Something else I have liked about IY is the freedom to disagree and challenge whatever information I am introduced to. Mr. Brown believes that we learn best through discussion other than being lectured or told this is truth and that isn’t truth, I totally agree with him. I have also met new people, from Kasana New Hope, and also gotten to know my way through Kampala! 
Finally, what is IY really about?  It’s about knowledge, skills and character but for me it really is about character because by the end of the year if I see no difference in my personal character tested through the truths I am learning in IY about living as a Christian in the world every single day, then I really would have wasted my time!  

Monday, March 31, 2014


It was a privilege and great joy to stay overnight on 2 separate occasions with the students (16-18 year olds) and the Brown family in Kampala. I was introduced as 'Myrna from St Mary's  Burwell church - they sent money to help with the conversion for you to live here' and Judith Goddard as' the lady whose house this is and lets us rent it'.  It was amazing to see how much our money achieved towards the conversion to accommodate this big 'family'!  During the evening I enjoyed talking to the students in their bedrooms.  Some asked "Why would your church send money for us?" They were also surprised when I said I would tell you more about them and were obviously pleased to have our interest.
Would you eat the same food each day?
Both evenings we shared an evening meal with everyone, maize and bean soup.  Their food is basic - as Steve said "Posho and beans, rice and beans, Katago (beans and casava),  MEAT on a Saturday evening otherwise it's BEANS".     Two students serve everyone from 2 huge pots and it is filling and adequate.  The Browns, including their 3 children, eat exactly the same food with them. Breakfast is cereals and Kathryn makes bread to augment the budget.
The Browns' focus is on enabling the students to acquire basic life skills ready for work and life in the 'outside world'.  They come from orphanages and this is essential experience of becoming more independent, eg   managing time - getting ready and being punctual for their placements; informing placements of absence - "no excuses eg rain" (many of them walk a long way!); creating a good impression by being willing to do whatever is asked; budget training; communication skills (discussion, negotiation)- the list is long and it was fascinating to hear how kindly but firmly this is all encouraged and instilled, individually or in groups. There are such different personalities and needs. All of this is backed by Christian values through teaching, reading, discussion eg making choices.
Examples of their placements are at a dentist's, doctor's, garage, Blood Bank, workshops, teaching, hospital, construction 
I also met  previous IYP students, Immaculate and Kasule, who now assist the Browns.   Kasule has a Diploma in legal studies and has an internship at a legal firm working with prisoners' human rights cases (many now unjustifiably in prison as no-one to  help) - this is his career ambition and shows how the IY programme helps.  
By our second visit students were more settled, getting on together and discussions were lively; I loved hearing activity all over the house and outside in the evenings (even early in the morning as some have left before 7 am).  Since my visits I've been left with many thoughts and prayer needs.

  • The students' success at work and when they return to their studies - that this experience will equip them for the future, including the Christian guidance received.
  • Steve and Kathryn Brown and their dedicated commitment to this valuable programme.   
  • Their children Joel, Anya and Silas living alongside the students in this bustling family environment - that they also may have the care and attention that they need from their parents.

For further reading            

Friday, March 07, 2014


Rainbow School
  • Kathryn half way through her second term and enjoying the job.
  • Joel is off on a survival weekend soon - left to fend for himself with his group of 4 friends.
  • Silas has taken time to feel part of the class but is friendly and enjoys his friends.
  • Anya loves all aspects of school and has a great bunch of friends who hang out together often at the weekends.
  • Steve is Chair of the parents/staff association, which plans a few events through the year

Our family and the IY family. 
  • We have found that each time a new group of students  come there are always some who really relate well to our three children.
  • Making time for being just a family is a constant challenge and we sometimes feel we need to be more creative in figuring out how to make more time for our children.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Jan - Mar 2014

It’s the 27th January and our 8th Investment Year is about to start, the students arrive to our location in Kampala. As they arrive I find I have a mixture of feelings from excitement to the year ahead, and all that the students will experience, to feelings of fear due to the responsibility I have to these young people. As I look at them arriving, I quietly whisper thanks to God that the year is dependent on Him and not me and help me to remember that this year.
There are 33 students this year with 11 of them form ‘Good Shepherd Fold’, an organisation near to Jinja. We are very excited to be partnering with them this year and look forward to further partnership in the future.
The first couple of weeks of the IY programme, we are all together to set a foundation for the year ahead, so there were over 40 of us squashed into our house, it certainly makes for cosy community. The benefits are that by all living together, we all get to know each and form an IY community, and I feel very happy with how the young people begin to mix and get to know each other.
The training over these 2 weeks ranges from note taking, world view, authority of Scripture and How to read the Bible, money matters, finding your mission & purpose in life, journalling it is a busy couple of weeks.
By the time you read this the students are experiencing life in their internships and will be there until April 17. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013


old garage
lounge/meeting room
 .when building, i think faith is that amongst the mess and chaos, it will all turn out ok and be what you wanted.  Last Year we moved to kampala with the Investment Year to increase the opportunities and experiences for our students...The house we will be moving too is a long term home for Investment Year in Kampala and thoughthe house we have been in has served us well, this house will be so much better as it has more space for our family and the IY students...we are hoping to move 12th April weekend......have faith, that though the pictures don't suggest that's never know.....
Dining room
 ..We have a guest room so visitors always welcome..



Friday, March 01, 2013

school fun

This term in school PE has been trampolining skills - a lot of fun if a bit hair raising with so much concrete around to avoid!  Anonze and Anenda practice their jumps and seat drops whilst Silas shamelessly aims to be awesome ...

what a cutie

We had visitors last week - the couple who oversee the New Hope baby home, and they came with the newest little guy there - Moses.  Anya was in heaven! - but pray for this little man ...his dad is not yet very interested in looking after him, his mum has recently died and he is just out of the incubator.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Investment Year 2013


..Well we are off and running with our biggest Investment Year group ever! 38 students have started and I know will finish...
..we started in January and after our first month all the students have successfully survived the first weeks of training and living together as a group with our family in a very small space.

 ..The students are all on their first internships, including working in schools, garages, clinics, construction sites, working with babies and children with special needs, etc..
all are being stretched and challenged as well as developing and discovering skills and character..
    games and food, a big part of being an IY student

Thursday, November 08, 2012