Project Title: EDUCATE 200 WAR AND HIV/AIDS ORPHANED UGANDAN GIRLS
LOCATION: LIRA DISTRICT NORTHERN UGANDA
REPORT PERIOD: JULY_ SEPTMBER 2010
Forty six (46 girls) are currently benefiting from the project and are placed in Ambalal primary school, V.H primary school, Wiobyek primary school, Railways primary school, Elia Olet Primary School Lira Police Primary School and Boke primary school all in Lira district in Northern Uganda. Lira district is no longer affected by war and the communities are in the resettlement and rehabilitation state. They require access to services such as health and education. Formerly displaced and orphaned children leave with guardians and some are child headed households.
In this period the field officer made visits to nine (9) schools where the girls are studying from namely; Ambalal primary school, Lira P7 primary school, V.H primary School, Railways Primary School , Police Primary School Elia Olet Primary School, Lango Quran Primary School, Ojwina Primary School and Boke Primary School. The children visited in the different schools include two (2) girls Acen Jennifer P.7 and Apio Susan P.7 at Ambalal primary school, three(3) girls in primary sevem at Boke primary school theses include Acam Molly, Apenyo Stella Monica and Amolo Stella, five (5) girls from Railways P.7 school theses included Acan Doreen and Akello Nancy primary seven , Akwero Loy primary four , Agoa Louis primary five and Ongom Louis primary two , at V.H primary school.Three children were visited and they included Akot Rebecca, and , Awor faith, and Akullu Daphine primary 5, Elia Olet P& school ;Ateng Rebecca primary four , Achola Brenda and Aguti Dorine primary six. Scholastic materials like books, pens, rulers among others have been given to the children to ensure that their school requirements are covered to improve on their performance at school.
Twenty three (23) children received counseling sessions. This ranged from self confidence during final exams, studying hard for exams and resting enough to wake up fresh for exams. Some children were also worried about their performance in school such as Acen Jennifer During the visit emphasis was place on offering guidance, confidence building and counseling to the girls who are to write their primary leaving examinations in November 2010.
Atali Sandra is in Primary six at Lira P7 School is one of the girls visited during this period.
She has one sister aged 18years old in senior three and a brother aged 15years in primary five. She lost her father while in the camp in 2005 and is currently under the care of her paternal uncle.
Sandra’s dream is to become a doctor after she completes school but she is not sure that she will make it since she faces a number of difficulties where she stays.
I thank Platform for Labour Action for enabling to remain in school. I would like Platform for Labour Action to contribute to my stay in the boarding section of school so that I can concentrate on my studies and realize my dream of becoming a doctor.
I would also love for the donors to come and visit my school so that I can be able to personally thank them’.
“I would like to join boarding section because life at home with my uncle and his wife is not good, I have to carry out household chores which include preparing breakfast, cleaning the house, washing dishes and helping my auntie’s children bathe as well as take them to school’ After this I prepare to go to school’. It is a long distance from home’.
‘My aunt tells me that it is very useless for me to go to school, but I have not given up’. One day my auntie took away my books and tore my school uniform and I missed school for one week’.
According to the teachers at Sandra’s school she has all the potential of performing better although she seems to be facing a problem at home. Her late coming to school has been noted. Sandra’s teacher said, “Atai Sandra comes to school late usually after the first lesson has ended and does not concentrate in class. “
PLATFORM FOR LABOUR ACTION QUARTERLY UPDATE TO GLOBAL GIVING APRIL -JUNE 2010
During the past three months we have carried out the following activities;
Children were supported by offering them scholastic materials, payment of their lunch fees and offering psychological help through guiding and counselling. Payment for meals of 45 girls was for $ 450. This was for the 2/12 months period. We also paid examination fees three girls in primary two, primary four and six totalling $3.5 dollars.
Monitoring visits to the schools where beneficiaries are was carried out to check on their academic performances; these include; Elia Olet Primary School, Boke P.7, Lango Koran P.7 school and King James SS, Lira P.7, V.H P.7, Railways P.7, Ireda P.7, Lira Police Primary School. Report cards were received for all the children. Overall the performance of the girls is still low this is due;
Mof the care takers of these children also lack basic needs and this leads them to looking at these children as a source of labour. They involve them in domestic chores which have interfered with their education. It affects their performance in class. Staffs of PLA have taken efforts to talk to the care givers.
The performance is also promising for some of the children for example Aguti Dorine in Primary six at Aduku Road Primary school scored aggregate 11 at the end of the first term of 2010. She has potential to score division one in her primary leaving examinations next year.
Children still lack information about HIV/AIDS. Some of the children supported under the program are HIV positive for example Rebecca Ateng. The youth counselor provides more care to Rebecca and the school is aware of her situation so she takes her medication while at school and home.
Stigma by other children once they realize or someone tells them that they are HIV Positive.
To address this PLA field staff will be sensitising teachers and children on HIV/AIDS, stigma and discrimination using drama, songs and video shows. The beneficiaries will also have activities during their holiday break such as sports.
Over all there is a high number of orphans and working children who are in the similar situation like the one for our beneficiaries.
Every day at least 3 care takers of the orphaned children come to our office requesting for assistance. When we refer them to other organizations they also indicate that they have closed.
• Some Children lack self confidence when among other pupils with both parents. Children living with both parents tend to dominate over the orphans who end up thinking they are worthless.
Other action taken by PLA
• Children were taken through counselling to calm them down.
• Regular visits are nowbeing made to monitor those missing classes and followed up to their homes.
• Scholastic materials as well as school fees were sent to school on time.
This report by Patform for Labour Action provides an update to Global Giving on the project entitled ‘Educate 200 War & HIV/AIDS-Orphaned Ugandan Girl’ located in Lira Northern Uganda. During the period January to March 2010, the youth counselor visited 47 children during their vacation and some of them expressed themselves through letters. The head office also made one monitoring visit to Lira district and were able to visit one school Elia Olet primary school which currently has three children( girls) and one of them is HIV positive. The children were counseled and advised to work harder to improve on their performance in school.
Rebecca Ateng says
‘’ She takes ARVs which she carries in her uniform pocket.
I stay with my grand mother . At times there is no food at home. Sometimes I depend on school food for the medication I take. I feel very weak when I take medication without food. I want to join the boarding section so that I can be able eat three meals a day. But the PLA program does not pay for boarding. When other children see me taking my medication, they tease me which makes me cry,’. When the boys see medicine in my pocket they also tease me and threaten to beat me''.
During the monitoring visit the PLA staff requested the teachers to exercise more care for Rebecca to address the stigma and discrimination in school. PLA also provided extra $10 to Rebecca for her meals.
Actions to be taken to improve
• In addition to the youth counselor we have recruited a field officer to visit the children regularly and build a personal relationship between the children and PLA staff and the care givers and to counsel care takers not to involve children in work that interferes with their education.
• The teachers have been advised to also take their responsibility to counsel children and take more care for children who are HIV positive to address stigma in school and discrimination.
Platform for Labour Action takes this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to our donors who have contributed to the education of the children under this program since 2004. Your contributions have enabled us to counsel 47 children during this quarter. Counseling of one child costed an average of $6.5