With support from GlobalGiving, Platform for labour Action is implementing a project “Educate 200 war and HIV/AIDS orphaned ugandan girls”, with 37 girls being supported with school lunch worth USD 555 every child receiving lunch worth USD 15, scholastic materials US 194 and physiological support in all aspects of their lives. The girls go to government owed schools in Lira district, Northern Uganda.
The year 2012 has ended with hope and more progress for our beneficiaries and the project, 11 beneficiaries successfully sat their primary leaving examinations and await confirmation by end of January 2013 about their results, this will determine whether they get to join secondary school this year 2013 or redo primary seven for better results.
Most of the time this year was spent in interacting with the beneficaries and the people that surround them in their day to day life such as their guardians and teachers, because of this, other parties’ especailly the schools got on board to encourage the girls to concentrate in achieving their dreams.
Generally most of the girls self esteem have improved and they can now express themselves before fellow pupils, their class performance also improved compared to their pervious experience where they feared to particpate in class.
In the months of October, November and December, the beneficaries spent more of their time writing their end of year examinations and preparing for the school hoildays. During this period the organisation sent each of the beneficaries success cards to encourage and strengthen them during their examinations.
BENEFICARIES WHO FINALISED PRIMARY SCHOOL
11 beneficiaries finalized final Primary Leaving examinations. The were; Amule Doreen, Ouni Fiona, Odyek Rachel, Sitina Amuge, Atai Sandra, Akot Rebecca, Awor Faith, Acan Zaitun, Awio Cindrella, Rita Nadudu and Ocida Harriet.
With the examinations that the girls wrote, they will be able to get to another level of education that will eventually see them attain their future dreams.
This year 41 school visits were made to: Lira primary school, Lira Modern Primary school, Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school, Lira Police primary school, Ambalal primary school, Lira parents’ primary school, Lango Quran Primary school, Starch Factory primary school, Adyel primary school V.H Public school and Railways primary school.
During these visits PLA Program Assistant Lira Susan Ejang discussed the beneficiaries’ welfare with the teachers and school administration and asked them to contact the PLA Lira office in case of emergencies.
The school visits helped us this year to keep track of the girls performance in both school and class, this therefore gave the school teachers a starting point in supporting the girls perform better in their academics, which turned out to be encouraging as most of the beneficaries were promoted to the next class.
HOME MONITORING VISITS
18 home monitoring visits were made in this year to different girls including Akello Susan primary 5 Starch Factory primary school, Ocida Harriet primary 7 Modern Primary school, Atai Sandra p.7 Lira primary school, Ateng Rebbeca primary 5 Elia Olet Primary school, Ajwamg Monica primary 5 of Adyel Primary school, Awor Asha primary 5 of Lira police primary school, Ayugi Ketty primary 5 Lira modern primary school, Nebila Kabdija primary 5 of Lango Quran primary school, Awor Faith primary 7 of VH Public school, Rebbeca Akot primary 7 of VH Public school and Racheal Odyek primary 7 of Ambalal primary school, Acen Jeniffer and Apio Susan Senior 1 of Almond college school Lira.
The visits were made to monitor the girls conditions while at home and to discuss their dreams with the guardians and how they can help the beneficiaries become better citizens.
The visits made to the beneficaries got the guardians on board to support the girls in their education by encouraging them to read their books while at home, as they carried out their house chores and had time to play with their friends too.
The girls also shared with PLA program assistant some of the activities that they hoped to carry out during the holidays, such as helping their guardians in the gardens and house hold chores.
PLANNED ACTIVITIES FOR 2013
In the year 2013, we plan to continue offering counseling support, providing school lunch and distributing scholastic materials to our beneficaries.
We shall also continue to conduct both school and home monitoring visits to keep an eye on the beneficiaries’ education and social progress.
On behalf of the organisation and the beneficaries, I would like to express our utmost appreciation for your contributions to this project in 2012 and hope for better as we work towards educating war and HIV/AIDS orphaned girls in Northern Uganda.
Ms. Betty Akingol aged 15 years old is a former graduate from Nile Vocational Institute Jinja who was identified in 2011 by PLA working as a domestic worker at Nsambya police barracks. Betty a former child domestic worker has three siblings with both parents but separated. Her mother is a farmer / peasant staying in Karamoja while her father stays in Jinja and works as a policeman. Betty attended school up to Primary two but since her mother could not afford supporting her, she was brought to work at Nsambya police barracks as a child domestic worker.
Fortunately, during the mapping of the child domestic workers in the area, Betty was one of the identified children who needed PLA's support. With the help of a task force member, Betty was withdrawn and placed at Nile Vocational Institute where she took a six months course in hair dressing. After completion, Betty got a job at a task force member's saloon in Nsambya police barracks where she is currently gainfully employed. On a good day she earns 2 USD and when the saloon is not so busy she is paid around 1 USD.
During one of the recent monitoring visits done by PLA team, Betty was found busy and happy at her work place and extended her sincere thanks to PLA - (I thank PLA for with drawing me from Child domestic work, from the skills that I gained, I am now employed and in position to cater for my living materials like pads, cosmetics and clothing's.) Currently Betty is faced with the challenge of the saloon where she is employed not being so busy , and if a day goes by without her attending to a customer then she will not get paid since she is paid on Commission, which is calculated per customer worked on. Betty is looking for a better job that can pay her better so that she can be able to help out her siblings in the village as well. The one dollar she earns helps her in catering for her living materials as a young girl like buying pads, cosmetics and clothing's which she was not able to do before acquiring the hair dressing skills.
In this quarter, the “Educate 200 War and HIV/AIDS Orphaned Ugandan Girls” Project provided scholastic materials and counseling and monitored the homes and schools of 37 female children adversely affected by the LRA war and HIV/AIDS. The beneficiaries, thirty-two of whom were newly enrolled, were supported with daily school lunches worth USD200. They were also received scholatic materials Worth USD 225, which included 88 counter books, 32 dozen books, 4 boxes of pens, 32 rulers, 30 erasers, 32 mathematical sets, 20 boxes of pencils and 4 dozen graph books.
PLA staff also visited the homes of four (4)girls, Apio Holga, Awor Faith, Ateng Rebecca and Atai Sandra, and made fifteen school-monitoring visits to Lira Modern Primary School, Sir Samuel Nursery and Primary school, Lira Parent’s Primary School, Railways Primary School, V.H. Public School, Lango Quran Primary school, Elia Olet primary school, Lira Police Primary School, Savior Secondary school, Ojwina Primary school, Adyel Primary School, Starch Factory Primary School and Ambalal primary school. The visits were made to monitor the beneficiaries’ academic progress, interact with their teachers and encourage participation in extracurricular activities at school, such as debates, wildlife club activities and different sports.
PLA staff spoke with and counseled the thirty-seven (37) beneficiaries. In turn, the girls shared their future dreams and discussed the importance of education, public etiquette, personal hygiene and sanitation. During these counseling sessions, the girls were assisted in processing their traumatic pasts and encouraged to focus on the bright future that lies ahead should they work hard to obtain their goals.
On 25th August 2012, the beneficaries had a play day at Lira Golf Course. They played a number of games that ranged from netball, football, hide-and-seek, and volleyball, among others. At the end of each game, the beneficiaries took a rest and chatted with the PLA Program Assistant Lira about school, friends, guardians and general respect for one another.
STORIES OF BENEFICIARIES
EGWEL LYDIA’S STORY
Lydia is a thirteen-year-old orphan girl currently in the care of her aunt Jane Olwach. In the past, Lydia’s uncle had not been in support of her education, leading to local leaders and her aunt intervening on her behalf.
“I love being in school,” Lydia confided, “and I used to escape to attend lessons without my uncle knowing. When he got to know I was in school, he sent me to go back to the village in Aboke. It’s when my aunty heard about the organization that she came and picked me to live with her while I continue going to school with the support PLA.”
ACENG DORCUS’S STORY
Fourteen-year-old Dorcus’s dream is to become a nurse; she says that when you lose a person to a disease, it makes you want to do something about it so that you don’t lose another. “I lost my mother because she failed to be guided to go to the hospital, that’s why I want to become a nurse, to help the sick,” explained Dorcus.
“I am happy and thankful that PLA choose me among the many other girls. With my aunt’s kind of business, I was rarely in school because I didn’t have the school requirements or money to pay at school; it made it hard to study and perform well. I pray that God blesses the hand that gives me the support,” said Dorcus.
AWOR ASHA’S STORY
Thirteen-year-old Asha is in primary six at Lira police primary school—a school not so far from her home. She lost her only remaining parent in 2010 to HIV/AIDS and is now under the care of her maternal uncle, Rashid Ebong.
Asha became a beneficiary this year and she smiles on her way to school. “I love studying and learning new things, that’s why I like being in school,” narrated Asha.
“My dream is to become a doctor, I want to reduce on the number of people who die, like my uncle who may die soon because he is infected with AIDS,” she said. “I am very happy with what PLA has done for me, I had no hope of permanetly staying and eating in school, but now things are okay. I thank PLA for helping me.”