Our partners started a primary school for poor and destitute children in the village of Nakalongo in the west of Uganda. From small beginnings the school now has 700 students. What the school doesn’t have is any buildings! They have a couple of thatched shade areas and that is it. Our partners are determined to build seven classrooms and a staff room for their school, and we are partnering with them in stage one – three classrooms.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
This school is the only chance the children have to get an education. The area is poor and their parents (where the students have them) cannot afford to send them to another town to attend the school there. Our partners have therefore created a small local school to give the children a basic primary education. We are not being asked to provide desks and chairs – the local community will ensure this is taken care of. All we are being asked to provide is the basic structure – something that is simply beyond their financial means.
The budget provides for the first stage of the school build – classrooms 1 through to 3. It includes all construction materials, and some technical labour, but the rest of the 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 a large number of 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. While the children in Nakalongo are getting an education, it is outside, so when it rains school is cancelled, and when it is really hot, they sit in the sun.