The project is currently supporting 5 beneficiaries: Atai Sandra p.7 at lira primary school, Ateng Rebecca p.5 at Elia Olet primary school, Awor faith p.7 at V.H Public school, Akot Rebecca p.7 at V.H Public school and Abeja Eunice in senior three at Savior secondary school. The beneficiaries are being supported with school lunch worth USD 225, scholastic material worth USD 425 and counseling. During the month of February, the field officer also started to identify new beneficiaries; she made visits to the community. In the selection process the field officer Lira has been supported by other people and organizations in Lira district like the Community Development officer, local leaders of the different areas in Lira district like Ojwina division and Adyel divisions. So far 35 girls have been identified. The selected children are the needy girls affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. All 35 new girls have received counseling and are ready to be placed in schools in the next quarter.
“When PLA started supporting me in primary 4, my life became better, I stopped missing class, since the school also stopped sending me away for not having books and unpaid fees. I appreciate what PLA has done for me and I pray that GOD richly blesses the people that support me in school,” mentioned Eunice
Eunice wants to become a nurse. “That’s why I am trying to perform better in biology; I want to be able to help the sick,” explained Eunice.
14 Years old faith is now in primary seven at V.H public school. In her last performance, Faith was in the 142nd position out of 217 pupils of her class. “Last year in third term, I was frequently absent from school, I would continously fall sick and I therefore missed a lot of lessons, that’s why my performance was poor”, narrated Faith.
In a chat with Faith’s mother Grace, she mentioned that she was very grateful for the support that PLA continues to provide to her daughter. She narrated, “I was left with 4 children by my late husband and they are all hard to take care of especially since they are all infected.”
THE RESULTS OF PLA beneficiaries who did final exams in 2011.
15 years old Aguti Dorine sat her Primary leaving Examinations at Aduku road primary school. Her performances have been good at school and it kept her hopes high of becoming a minister or an accountant one day. Dorine scored 18 aggregates: 4 in English, 4 in Science, 5 in SST and 5 in math. Dorine now studies at St Catherine secondary school in Lira. Dorine will continue to receive counseling from PLA in the holidays since she is already in school and being supported by her guardians.
17 years old Margret sat her O’level examinations in the year 2011 at Okwang secondary school. Margret has now been admitted at Dr Obote College in Boroboro and will be studying a combination of Physics, Economics, Math and Computer science. With continuous support from PLA Margret hopes to attain her dream becoming an engineer.
IDENITIFICATION OF NEW BENEFICARIES
STORY OF HOLGA APIO
14 years old Holga is in primary six at Lira police primary school. She stays in Ojwina division with her aunty Nakibule Betty who she has gotten used to as her mother. Holga’s father was killed during the LRA war in Lira district and her mother died of HIV/AIDS. She stays in Alito camp. Holga would like to become a doctor in future.“I love science and I want to make a difference in people’s lives while I discover different medicines,” happily mentioned Holga.
In her mid-term examinations, Holga scored 92% in science and she was in the 18th position out of 245 pupils of her class. I would like Platform for Labour Action to help me attain my dreams,” mentioned Holga. At lunch time Holga watches her friends eating as she stays in her class. “At times I decide to put my head on the desk because of hunger and yet the teacher wants us to look at him while he is teaching,” sadly mentioned Holga.
EMPOWER CHILD DOMESTIC WORKERS THROUGH EDUCATION: Progress Report #1
This quarter has been very exciting for PLA and especially for the 99 (68 girls and 31 boys) former child domestic workers now in school. Identifying appropriate children required many weeks of door-to-door house visits, hours of interviews, several community awareness sessions and ongoing mediation. Ultimately, in October and November 99 vulnerable child domestic workers were removed from exploitative conditions and placed at Nile Vocational Institute where they have begun a six-month course of their choice. Popular courses are motor vehicle mechanics with 30 children, catering with 9 children and hair dressing with 38 children, Tailoring 19 children computer 2 and Plumbing 1 child.
With the funds donated PLA staff members have periodically visited the students to monitor their progress, address issues, and provide counseling. During these visits, each child is asked about his/her experiences at school during a private counseling session. Overwhelmingly, the responses are positive.
“I love school because I have so much knowledge that I otherwise would not have had. The teachers are great. They really care about us.”
“When I finish school I will now be able to get a good job and help my family. I have learned to be disciplined and to be a more productive member of society.”
“I like school because I feel secure here. I know that I will eat.”
Thank you so much PLA
During these visits, we learned that many of the children lack basic necessities such as a change of clothing, shoes, mosquito nets, sanitary pads and soap. Many children have expressed concern that six months is not long enough to complete an entire course of study. In response to these issues, our team at PLA is working diligently to find donated clothes and inexpensive sanitary pads and mosquito nets. Money raised through GlobalGiving will enable us to buy more of these items and will allow children a longer course of study, thereby improving the likelihood that they find decent jobs in the future.
During the period October to December 2011, children spent a big part of the period doing exams as well being in Holidays. 3 children were sitting for their end of primary exams. We sent them Success cards as well as delivered words of encouragement. Therefore we took this chance to reflect on achievements for the year.
During the year (2011) we made 18 school visits and 7 home monitoring visits to the beneficiaries. We also provided group and individual counseling to all the beneficiaries worth USD 960. Lunch worth USD 1395 provided to the beneficiaries for the year.
PLA organized and facilitated a holiday event that brought together all the beneficiaries, Lira district officials and guardians. At this event, the officials encouraged the beneficiaries to perform better and thanked Platform for Labour Action for the support it is providing to the community of Lira; educating war and orphaned girl children. We distributed scholastic materials worth USD 1,020 which included rulers, exercise books (counter books, 96 paged books), pencils, rubbers, mathematical sets, graph books and files to the beneficiaries to the 31 beneficiaries.
Most of the home visits made were based on the way the beneficiaries were treated by their guardians at home. This is because most of the beneficiaries school and class performances are based on how they are treated at home by guardians.
As a result of this we were able to make seven home visits to Acen Jennifer and Apio Susan, Atai Sandra, Akullu Daphne, Awor Faith, Achola Brenda and Akot Rebecca As a result of the counseling sessions to the beneficiaries, they have improved in their class and schools performance for example Acio Lonna of Akia primary school, Akot Rebbecca of V.H public school, Aguti Dorine of Aduku road primary school etc Another example is of Akello Margret of Okwang secondary school who was able to receive school scholarship of 30,000 Uganda shillings (USD 15) as a result of her best school performance this year.
Lunch to the beneficiaries
The children this year were able receive lunch in their schools, which guaranteed their concentration in class, hence better performance at the end of the school term and in class.
“When I don’t eat anything especially at lunch, I fail to concentrate and I get what the teacher is saying and teaching because all that am thinking of is need for food,” mentioned Daphne Akullu during the school monitoring visit
A holiday activity was held in the month of February 2011, where 34 participants attended and of these 20 were beneficiaries, 4 district officials; district speaker, Assistant inspector of Police Lira District, Child and protection officer, Probation and welfare officer, 8 guardians and two PLA Staff; the field officer and youth community coordinator.
The main objective of the activity was to create a conducive environment where the beneficiaries could confide in the officers and PLA staff their fears and challenges, that way they would be supported and helped to overcome them. In the past years the beneficiaries were afraid to mention their challenges to just about any one due to fear of being abused and laugh at but now they freely express their fears with the intension of seeking a solution from one with experience.
“Before I even feared telling anyone that I was suffering at home but now I can freely run to PLA office in case something is disturbing me,” narrated Brenda
Children who finished primary school
3 beneficiaries were able to finalize final examinations in their respective levels of primary and secondary. 2 girls that are Atai Sandra and Dorine Aguti were able to seat their primary leaving examinations and 1 girl Margret Akello of Okwang secondary school was able to seat her Uganda certificate of education.
The examinations will see them to another level, for the 2 girls to secondary school (Uganda certificate of education) and to Margret, it will see her to “A level” (Uganda advanced certificate of education)
They will still need the support of the project in especially terms of career guidance.
6 beneficiaries, through the effort of the project will get the full support from their guardians in terms of school fees which include both lunch and extra charges required for by the schools in the year 2012. This resulted from the home visits and the counseling provided by the field officer.
Planned activities for 2012
We shall monitor the beneficiaries whose guardians have promised to provide and support their education in the different schools. Since it is a new year we shall provide uniforms, offer counseling support, continue providing school lunch and distribute scholastic materials.
Finally we shall identify more HIV positive and orphaned girls for support as well as update you, our donors, on the results of the candidates of Primary Leaving examination and Uganda certificate of education
We appreciate and thank you for your contribution for the 2011 which have enabled us achieve the above.