July 20, 2020
I am writing to update you about the status of the school and to request your prayers and support as Bishop McAllister School and Seminary face their greatest threat in my 23 years here.
On March 18th all schools in Uganda were abruptly closed due to COVID 19 for a period of 30 days. After several extensions, all schools in Uganda were closed indefinitely. It is now unlikely that we shall reopen before February 2021.
When we closed in March we suffered a loss of $15,600 USD in unremitted fees and an additional $8,200 already spent on food that had to be given away. While this was an enormous loss to us (about 7% of our annual operating budget), we hoped to be able to survive assuming that we would collect fees for the second and third terms of this year. Now as we face losing the entire year of fees the financial challenges on several fronts could jeopardize our entire ministry. Our teaching and non teaching staff have remained unpaid for three months and could remain without any income until February 2021. The school continues to have a basic operating staff, security, grounds keepers etc, and there are bills mounting each day that we are closed. Our annual operating budget is based solely on the collection of school fees, of which 27% comes from sponsorship. We are in need of funds to maintain and secure our property and facilities, to provide some small support to our teaching staff whom we will need on reopening and to make sure that we have funds at opening to purchase food and other necessities for a boarding school of 750 students.
With the encouragement of leaders and supporters in both Canada and the USA I am launching an Appeal, BMCK 2020. I know many churches and individuals are facing financial constraints just now, and I would not ever suggest christians should divert their support from their local churches, but only appeal to those who are able to support this one time effort. My target would be to raise $40,000 USD. $20,000 would be to cover current operating costs, including the maintenance of the schools property and buildings, and ensure the school was ready to open smoothly with food and other necessities unhand as soon as we are given permission to open. The additional $20,000 would be allocated for teachers and non teaching staff, providing them with a small living allowance per month. Gifts may be sent for BMCK to the Diocese of Fredericton. Lastly, the other way of keeping Bishop McAllister College stable is by supporting the student sponsorship program. This important program not only provides needy students an opportunity to go to school, but also provides a certain amount of financial stability for the school. Currently we more than 30 students enrolled in their first year who are seeking assistance. Many of these may be forced to drop out when school resumes, a negative impact both for the young student as well as the school.
I am so grateful for your partnership in this work, for our hundreds of successful graduates who are serving in all walks of life (priests, teachers, doctors, lawyers, including several working internationally in the field of computer engineering), for the Child Sponsorship Programme and for our able and loyal staff. We have grown from a small two room to a two stream school know in the province and country for our excellence in morals, discipline, teaching, sports and music thanks to God’s grace and provision.
Your Servant in Christ,
Rev. Canon Paul Jeffries
Rector Bishop McAllister College
Send Gifts payable to Anglican Diocese of Fredericton with a MEMO BMCK 2020
Anglican Diocese of Fredericton