Project: Educate 200 War and HIV/AIDS Orphaned Ugandan Girls
Link to the website: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/aids-education-uganda/
Platform for Labour action with support from GlobalGiving is currently supporting 26 girls with school lunch, scholastic materials and psychosocial support in all aspects of their lives. The girls go to government owned primary schools including; Lira primary school, Lira Modern primary school, Lira police primary school, Elia Olet primary school, Starch Factory primary school, Lango Quran primary school, King James primary school, Railways primary school, Adyel primary school, Canon Lawrence primary school, Lira Parents’ primary school and Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school.
“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 100 beneficiaries in northern Uganda, despite the hardships endured due to the absence of their biological parents whom they lost either to HIV/AIDS or the 21 years Lords’ Resistance Army(LRA) rebel war.
Below is a detailed account of these project activities carried out in the months of April, May and June 2014.
Lunch fees payment
This quarter saw lunch fees payment of 810, 800 Uganda shillings were made to the different schools that PLA beneficiaries go to enable the beneficiaries have lunch while at school. As a result, the beneficiaries are able to concentrate in class and through our monitoring visits; their teachers are reporting regular school attendance.
Celebration of the day of the African child
This year the national day of the African Child was commemorated in Lira District at lira Golf course and PLA beneficiaries actively participated in the event under the theme; “ A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education in Uganda” . Our participation was a combination of exhibition of PLA publications and children’s performance during entertainment.
PLA also took part in organizing and participating in the Day of the African Child celebrations at Lira Golf course. PLA further facilitated 30 children (6male 24 female) create awareness to over 3500 stakeholders on child labour and education through 2 creative dances and 1 skit. PLA beneficiaries included ; Fibby, Sandra, Nebila , Lucky, Ketty and Enang who were actively involved in the celebrations as well as organizing their fellow pupils to commemorate the event. We were recognized as a key player in child protection and won 2 awards, one on Best Programming on Child Protection and another for the Day of African Child (best of the best) for the year 2014 Tumaini awards. The theme of
This year theme was also timely in a number of ways; firstly, it is linked to Uganda’s vision 2040 of “A transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years”.
Education is an empowerment and enlightenment tool that’s equipping Ugandan children to discover on their own, nurture, harness and propel Uganda to the desired future.
This year’s celebration was also integrating the launch of the Uganda child help Line (116), an outreach that links children in need of care and protection, to services and resources,” which includes counseling, rescue, withdrawal and rehabilitation, health and justice services.
There were 3 performances from PLA beneficiaries that were inclusive of a skit, and 2 creative dances. The beneficiaries were happy to join other children in this day’s celebrations and one Morine noted that, “I have never performed before many people, including the minister himself, I was scared and excited at the same time, but most of all glad that I was part of the celebrations”, concluded Morine, who is currently in primary seven at Sir Samuel Joe primary school.
Distributed scholastic materials
Distributed scholastic materials to 26 PLA beneficiaries at PLA Lira office.
The girls were appreciative of the things that they received from PLA and Global Giving and that the materials will help maintain proper records of their class work for the whole year.
One girl Sumaya mentioned that, “I have been lacking books with which I can write my class notes, am so glad that I now also have a book with which I will write my summaries,” she stated.
School monitoring visits
32 school visits were this quarter made to the different schools to monitor PLA beneficiaries’ attendance, performances in class. The teachers have been of great help to the beneficiaries by encouraging them to work hard as well as sharing with PLA staff the different challenges the children face.
During the visits, we were able to counsel the beneficiaries as well as encourage them to work hard, how to balance housework and school work, how to manage their school time, extensive reading, researching and consulting with their teachers.The girls believed that they would pass their examination although Ketty and Zaituno were sick during the examination period.
Kadija had performed exceptionally well and was 1st position out of 67 pupils in her primary seven at Lango Quran primary school.
Following our school monitoring visits, 4 home visits were also made to PLA beneficiaries; Sandra, Lyn, Patience, Sumaya and Harriet to further assess the challenges of these beneficiaries. The visits to the different homes were to meet and talk to the guardians to the girls to forge a way forward.
13-year old Kadija is a Mukiga (by tribe) born to the late Abdu and Sauda. She is currently under the care of 43-year old Rehema, her paternal aunt.
Since 1999, Kadija`s family has been living in Lira district though in 2007 and 2009. She lost her parents to HIV/AIDS, “After my parents died, my aunt took over taking care of me and her other children,” mentioned Kadija.
Kadija’s rural home is in a place called Kazinga near Kololo primary school in Kanungu district.
Kadija has grown up in a Muslim community and loves to pray and to study Arabic, this holiday she plans to continue going to the mosque to learn more Arabic,” It has become easy for me to read and write in Arabic, I can communicate to my friends at the mosque”, said Kadija.
She sets herself very high standards and wants to remain coming first in her class.She promises to work hard at her lessons and to concentrate in all her subjects.
She continues to aspire to become a nurse, she scored 81% in mathematics and this year she will be seating her primary leaving examinations.
Kadija remains grateful for the donors and PLA for their support to her education and further mentioned that, “I am one of the lucky girls that PLA selected among the many vulnerable girls in Lira, I am so happy for the support they give me”.
17 years old Sandra is currently in senior one at Lira Town College.She is one of the beneficiaries who has benefited from the project since 2008, she sat her Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in 2012 and was supposed to continue with secondary school last year in 2013 but due to limited funds she was unable to continue with school.Her guardian too could not pay her fees since he had no money. Sandra’s love for school, has this year made her go back in school again, “I sold food stuff that I had grown from the garden, I was therefore able to raise some money that has helped me in first term but I don’t think it will help me finalize even senior one, I have come to PLA to request you to once again support me in my education,” narrated Sandra. Sandra would not like to join vocational institution at this moment as she believes that if PLA went ahead and supported her complete secondary education, she is bound to achieve her dreams and enjoy her childhood and the right to education.
Her dream is to become a lawyer, “I have been able to perform well in all the subjects that can get me to become a lawyer, I got 99% in Literature, 59% in English Language, 95% in Religious Education and also 81% in French Language, if PLA supports with her fees at the school, I will be able to concentrate more and pass all the subjects including the science subjects like physics where this term I got 54%”, mentioned Sandra.
Compared to her performance in primary school, Sandra has improved and if she gets support she has potential to improve.This holiday Sandra received enough scholastic materials from PLA lira offices, she was so excited and mentioned that in the past term, she did not have enough books, but from the things (scholastic materials) that she had got from PLA, she believed that she will not lack anything to use in class.
During this month, Sandra was visited at her home in Ireda Chambers in Lira town, during the visit Sandra was able to share some of the challenges that she continues to face at home where she lives with her uncle and aunt.“My aunt has never stopped over working me and neither has she stopped abusing me, sometimes she makes me feel so bad but unfortunately I have nowhere else to go,” sadly narrated Sandra.
Attempts to talk to Sandra’s aunt have been futile her uncle has promised to continue to talk to her.
To continue with school Sandra will need Shs. 220,000/= in day school or Shs. 270,000/= to join boarding section in the school, Lira town college.
This quarter opened a wide door for our beneficiaries since they were exposed at the national platform on the day of the African Child and show cased their entertaining abilities. In addition, during the event, the beneficiaries were able to interact with and develop friendships with children from schools in and around lira which will help nurture and develop their academic prowess. Also the children were excited about the timely receipt of their scholaristic materials and their lunch fees which would enable them have meals in school and concentrate on school. This has been witnessed with improvement in their performance in their school work this term during the school monitoring visits.
LOCATION: LIRA DISTRICT, NORTHERN UGANDA
REPORT PERIOD: QUARTERLY REPORT FOR MONTHS APRIL, MAY AND JUNE 2014.
Platform for Labour action with support from Global Giving is currently supporting 26 girls with school lunch, scholastic materials and physiological support in all aspects of their lives. The girls go to government owed schools of Lira primary school, Lira Modern primary school, Lira police primary school, Elia Olet primary school, Starch Factory primary school, Lango Quran primary school, King James primary school, Railways primary school, Adyel primary school, Canon Lawrence primary school, Lira Parents’ primary school and Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school.
SCHOOL MONITORING VISITS
9 school visits were made to the schools of: Lira Modern Primary school, Sir Samuel Joe nursery, Lira parents’ primary school, Lango Quran Primary school and Adyel primary school, Railways primary school,
The visits were made to ensure that they had all resumed with their studies in their respective schools. During the visits, PLA staff advised the beneficiaries to study and work hard to become better citizens as well as have a better life in future.
During the visit, the girls also shared with PLA staff some of the activities that they were engaged in during the holidays. Most of the girls were as a norm in their villages visiting their grandparents as well as other relatives; other beneficiaries were also engaged in farming despite the dry season.
PRIMARY SEVEN RESULTS
This quarter we were able to receive primary leaving examination results of the 8 girls that sat their examinations last on 4th and 5th November 2013, the girls were inclusive of Awor Asha, Apolot Mercy, Akoli Frida, Aceng Dorcus, Apio Holga, Epilla Farida, Amodo Sandra and Akullu Elizabeth all belonging 5 different primary schools within Lira.
Though there was fear and tension from the girls on how good their performance would be, the girls managed to maintain first and second grades which means that the girls are ready to join another level; of school (secondary education).
Some of the results of the girls were also follows;
19 PLA beneficiaries were this quarter counseled and talked to by PLA staff and especially PLA program Assistant who pays them visits both at school and at home.
As the year began some of the beneficiaries had problems related to their guardians as some of the girls were to be taken as baby sitters while 2 of the girls were being forced into marriage at an early age. With intervention from PLA the girls are back to school with willingness to study hard.
PLA is to continue talking to both the guardians and the girls with more emphasis on the need for the girls’ education.
CALL FOR MORE SUPPORT
Due to the need to perform better and study without destruction, the schools that the beneficiaries go to have recommended that the girls especially the ones in primary seven and primary six to joining the boarding section, that way they will be able to read and study with enough support from the teachers at all that time.
They will also be able to make friends and spend time getting new ideas from both the friend and the teachers at all times as well as food which is the biggest challenge that most of the girls face in their homes
Despite the challenges faced by the beneficiaries due to increase in the costs of living, they have still managed to start school with interest to work hard.
This year the beneficiaries will need school lunch, scholastic materials and continuous counseling. 7 girls this year will also seat their primary leaving examinations and their schools demand they join the boarding sections so that they are able to benefit from the extra lessons.
PLA and the beneficiaries remain grateful to the support that is received through global giving; this support has given hope to a better future to many girls in the region.
This project continues to make a big difference in the lives of the girls that are gettingthe support and this has eased their access to education that has in turn built their self-esteem through their continuous counselling from Platform for Labour Action.
14 monitoring visits were made in this quarter both in school and the different homes that beneficiaries leave in. 20 girls were reached during the school visits well as 7 girls were reached during the home visits made. During the school visits the beneficiaries were encouraged to perform better and read hard for their end of year/promotional examinations.
HOLIDAY EVENT/PLAY DAY
This quarter an opportunity was provided for the beneficiaries to share games and play with fellow beneficiaries, find solutions to their problems as well as share experiences and interact. Other issues suchas their end of year performance are discussed and their expectations as wellas future aspirations are laid out and expressed for guidance. Among otherthings the beneficiaries were able to receive clothes, Sanitary pads, deodorants and shoes.
During the school and home monitoring visits the beneficiaries are talked and alsocounselled. During the visits, the beneficiaries are able to share personal issues. While in school thebeneficiariesare supported on how to perform better and also guided, the school teachershave been involved in the discussion to work together with PLA staff to ensurethe improvement of the beneficiaries in both school and class work.
CASE STORY OF ACAN ZAITUNZaitun is one of PLA beneficiaries who has benefited from the project since last year 2012, she sat her primary leaving examinations but due to continuous illness as a result of her HIV/AIDS status, she was unable to perform to her expectation. At the beginning of this year, Zaitun again fell sick being unable to continue with school and up to date, she is still recovering. She shared her dreams and future plans with the desire to continue with her studies and hopes to repeat primary seven so that she is able to perform better in her primary leaving examinations next year in 2014.
CAREER GUIDANCE IN SCHOOLS AND PLA BENEFICARIES
During the quarter we were able to reach 2 schools of Adyel primary school and Sir SamuelJoe Nursery and primary schools with different messages, the pupils and our beneficiaries of the mentioned school were reached also other topics on children’s rights, how to choose a career and the need to work hard to attain ones dream. Continuous career guidance was rendered to the beneficiaries during the holidays.
PRIMARY LEAVING PUPILS
8 girls this year sat their primary leaving examinations. PLA program Assistant was able to attend 2 different dedication prayers in the schools of Lira Police primary school and Lira primary school on behalf of the beneficiaries parents, the dedications prayers were encourage the beneficiaries and strengthen them duringtheir examinations.
Platform for labour Action continues to provide support to 27 girls with school lunch, scholastic materials and physiological support in all aspects of their lives, this with support from Global Giving.The beneficiaries go to government owned schools whose funding for school fees mainly comes from the Ugandan government, the schools that the girls go include: Elia Olet primary school, Lira Modern primary school, Lira police primary school, Lira primary school, Ojwina primary school, Starch Factory primary school, Lango Quran primary school, King James primary school, Railways primary school, Adyel primary school, Canon Lawrence primary school, Lira Parents’ primary school and Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school and secondary schools of Dara Christian high school, Savior secondary school and St Mary’s girls secondary school Aboke.
This project has made a difference in the lives of so many girls in northern Uganda and has eased access to education which has in turn built their self-esteem and performance through the continuous counselingand monitoring received from Platform for Labour Action.
In this quarter of July, August and September 2013, there were various activities that were carried out in the project as highlighted below.
10 monitoring visits were made to PLA beneficiaries, the School visited included; Sir Samuel Nursery and primary school, Railways primary school, Lango Quran primary school, Lira police primary school, Saviorssenior secondary primary, Adyel primary school, Lira modern primary school, Lira police primary school, Lira primary school and Starch Factory Primary school.
The purpose for these visits was to ensure that the beneficiaries’ problems affecting their performances are discussed and forwarded to PLA office for solution. During the visits, the beneficiaries were talked to on one on one basis while sharing their experience about life at and out of school. The children also shared their experiences and the change realized since PLA started supporting them.
All the beneficiaries that were talked to got counseling 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 andthus 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 at school. The beneficiaries in schools further 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.
In the coming quarter we will continue to monitor the beneficiaries both in school and in their homes where they stay with their guardians, counseling will also be carried on a one on one basis as well as in groups.
With 6 of the beneficiaries writing their final primary leaving examinations in the different schools, they will need prayers, guidance and encouragement which will be provided so that the beneficiaries are able to work hard and perform better. During the school break, the beneficiaries will also get to have a play day where they will receive clothes play different kinds of games ranging from football, handball, skipping etc and also get to share theirend of year experiences with PLA staff.
15 Years old Asha is now in primary seven at Lira police primary school with support from PLA. She is one of the girls who were identified last year 2012 by PLA as vulnerable orphaned girls affected by HIV/AIDS.
Asha faces many problems at home, but she is still interested in education and she performances well in class, she managed to score 77 in English subject. “Currently the major problem that I am facing is lack of food at home since my uncle Ebong has now been hospitalized for 2 months and one week, its hard for me and my younger brother to get food even the neighbors are now tired of us sadly narrated Asha”.
Asha lost both her parents to HIV/AIDS and she is now under the care of her also infected uncle Ebong who stays in Adyel division.
At home Asha has to move in the neighbor to pick leftover food for the rest of her family including her uncle.
During the visit at Asha's home, she explained that she is now the one taking care of the home since her uncle is still at the hospital.
“I dont know how what I will do this school term, since my uncle doesn't seem to get better,” sadly mentioned Asha
We have started searching for other relatives Asha could have through the area local councils hopefully they will be talked to start taking the responsibility of the Asha and her brother upbringing.
To Asha, she is grateful that despite all the hardships, she is able to go to school where she also receives lunch.
“At school everything is fine since I get to have my lunch and happily study, and so gratefully to PLA for this and I hope they never stop helping me even after I have finished my primary seven,” explained Asha.
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