“Educate 200 War and HIV/AIDS Orphaned Ugandan Girls” is a project that has given hope and a better future through education to more than 150 beneficiaries in northern Uganda, despite the hardships endured due to the absence of their biological parents who they lost either to HIV/AIDS or the 21 years long LRA rebel war.
Some of the beneficiaries due to the effort of the organization (platform for labour action), have managed to get full education scholarship for school fees and only need counseling and scholastic materials for the organization, most of these beneficiaries that require only scholastic materials are secondary going beneficiaries while one girl has managed to get free rehabilitation center from one of the NGO’s here in Lira,
School monitoring visits 11 school monitoring visits were this quarter made to PLA beneficiaries. 21 girls were visited at their respective schools that they enrolled in; the major reason for the visit was to monitor the girls’ school and class room progress. Most of the girls such as Atala , Aygiketty and Morine are steady improving in their performance in class as seen in their [progress reports and teachers comments at the schools.The girls were visited in their different schools of Lira parents, Lira Police primary school, Lango Quran primary school, Sir Samuel Joe primary school, Adyel primary school, railways primary school, Lira modern primary school, Lira primary school, Railways primary school, Lira Police primary school and secondary schools such as Menta secondary school, Amach complex secondary school and King James secondary school.
During the visits, the beneficiaries were talked to on a one on one basis while sharing their experience about life at and out of school and the difference in their livelihood since PLA’s support and how they feel about the support that they continue to get.
All the beneficiaries monitored got counseling services from the organization, some of the beneficiaries were able to share personal issues while the majority had mainly challenges at school psychological support was therefore provided to those children who seem to decline in performance to help them realize the importance of education and thus improve on their performances.
The teachers were too involved in the discussion to work together with PLA staff to ensure the improvement of the beneficiaries in both school and class work. The beneficiaries in schools also discussed their performances and came to better conclusion that they will seek help from their teachers and hold group discussions to help improve on their performances.
ReferralsThis quarter due to the referral system, we were able to access food and shelter for 7 children from child restoration centers an organization here in Lira, we have also managed to start rehabilitation for one of the beneficiaries Akullo from Adina rehabilitation center.
Home monitoring visits 3 home visits were made to 5 beneficiaries that were inclusive of Morine, Atai, Ejang, Nebila and Apio.
Additional Visits to beneficiaries such as Immaculate and Fauza were as a result of calls made from their neighbors complaining of the mistreatment of the girls by their guardians, this called for a meeting with the guardian of the girls who pledged to start treating the girls as their own however, hey reported their inability to support the girls financially because themselves cannot afford the basic necessity due to lack of money.Other beneficiaries such Atai and Morine we visit so as to encourage them to work had at school since they had joined secondary school late after all the students had reported due to challenges.
The girls have been able to improve their performance as evidenced by Morine who managed be in the 24th position out of 211 students in her form one class at King James secondary school, Also Ataiwas in the 48th position out of 119 students in her form two class at Amach Complex secondary school in Lira.
PLANNED ACTIVITIES PLA will continue to support the girls in providing them with physiological support, scholastic materials and school lunch. Monitoring visits to both the schools and homes will be carried out to analyze the progress of the girls in their performance at home and at school; this will ascertain what kind support the girls need most. More girls are going to be identified and introduced to the project to with the support from Global Giving donors and well wishers.
Akullo was born to the late Onyanga and Akello in Aromo sub county Lira district.Currently she stays with her uncle Mr. Otim and his wife Alobo in Barogole under Lira municipality in Lira district
Her parents died while she was in primary two at Lira central primary school, `After my parents dying all our property was taken by our relatives and according to my uncle the bank also took some things like land, My father was rich but after his death we began to suffer and had almost nothing`.
`My mother died when I was 2 years old, according to my uncle, my father also died of the same disease HIV/AIDS, my father refused to take his medication and because of that he died early and we are now suffering.` sadly narrated Akullo.
The uncle has a family of 9 people comprising of 2 adults and 7 children and they all stay in a 2 roomed house with some of the children sleeping in the sitting room, “I sometimes sleep on the chairs, the first person to get to the room is the one who sleeps on the mattress that’s placed on the floor since we have no beds”, shared Akullu.
Akullu is on good terms with her uncle but her aunty lobo does not like her, The aunt calls her names ”that am so stupid and because of that she doesn’t want me at her place since her children also don’t have school fees”.
According to Dolly one day she failed to fetch water since she didn’t feel well, and because of this her aunty beat her up so badly that she injured her knees and up to date she can’t move properly due to the beating.“After my aunty beat me up, she was taken to police by my uncle, but she was forgiven after sometime, she has also tried to change now”, explained Dolly.
After the injury, PLA took Dolly to Adina rehabilitation center in Lira, it provides rehabilitation services to mainly children in Lira district free of charge.We hope to see a change in Dolly in the coming months as her rehabilitation process had begun with the organization.
Like other beneficiaries, Dolly’s best time is when she is at school since she gets the freedom to play and also have lunch with her friends.
“I really appreciate the support that I get from the organization, I pray God blesses the people who send us scholastic materials and fees”, expressed Dolly.
NAMBAFU Nambafu is 18 years old. She grew up been taken care of by her parents in Nsambya who also took care of her school fees together with the siblings. Her mother sells dry fish and the father is a taxi driver. Her parents later separated and she dropped out of school after completing her Primary Seven. The parents also didn’t have enough funds to cater for the 3 children’s school fees.Before Nambafu was rescued from child labour, she was engaged in fish selling alongside Nsambya road. She was staying with her mother and working for her mother so that they earn a living, her mother also sells fish.The small business of selling fish is the overall source of livelihood for the family. Nambafu used to get ten thousand shillings which they used for buying food and other basic needs. She started selling fish after dropping out from school. She sold fish for four months, her mother was approached by PLA task force member who asked them to stop engaging her in child labour, she introduced the project of Stop Child Exploitation and introduced the idea of going back to school so that she is able to earn a living and improve on her living conditions. She accepted as well as the parents who advised her to do catering since she used to fry fish and they thought it was easy to get jobs from restaurants than cosmetology.She was then enrolled at Nile Vocational Institute in 2013 and completed in 2014. After completing school, she immediately got a job through a family friend in Nsambya hospital restaurant where she bakes chapattis, mandazi (donuts), cakes, cooks chicken, local food and international foods like Italian, Indian and Chinese, these are prepared when hired. She earns 150,000/= per month and also does outside catering on parties and ceremonies.Her living condition/livelihood has improved; she also takes care of her basic needs like, paying rent. She has also saved four hundred thousand shillings and her plan is to buy a plot of land.She also faces a few challenges like paying rent she costs 50,000/=, delay in salary payment and she is also overworked since she works from Monday to Monday.