Our partners started a primary school for poor and destitute children in the village of Nakalongo in the north-west of Uganda. From small beginnings the school now sees up to 700 students. Our partners are determined to build seven classrooms and a staff room for their school. We partnered with the school in Stage 1 which resulted in half of the first three classrooms being built. In Stage 2 we are planning to help our partners finish building the three classrooms and equip them so they can make a really good start.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
This school is the only chance for the children to gain an education. The area is extremely poor and parents (where the students have them) cannot afford to send them to another town to attend the nearest school. Our partners have therefore created a growing local school to provide a basic primary education. To get started is simply beyond the financial means of the local people but we admire their determination and their desire to educate their own. The school is currently operating under trees with minimal resources. It is often very hot and children often do not attend during the rainy season.
The budget provides for the second stage of the school build – completion of classrooms 1 to 3. It includes the remaining construction materials such as roofing, windows, doors, plaster work, some technical advice, labour and equipment to get started such as desks and chairs, blackboards, pens, pencils and exercise books. Some labour is to be provided by parents of the students.
Uganda has a high percentage of children – almost 50% of the population is under 15 years of age. Due to HIV/AIDs and other illnesses, there are many orphans and grandparent-headed households. 70% of the population in the Nakalongo area are living below the poverty line. When money for food is scarce, education becomes far less of a priority and intergenerational poverty is almost assured. Whilst the children in Nakalongo are getting some education, the classrooms and equipment will provide an solid foundation for the future. Many girls are married off very early in life – an education helps keep them in school.