Education & Training for Children in Uganda

 
$801
$19,959
Raised
Remaining
May 8, 2012

Project Update

Children supported by KICWA
Children supported by KICWA

International Childcare Trust has been working with Kitgum Concerned Women’s Association (KICWA) since 2008, supporting Education & Training for Children. This project aims to increase access to education for war-affected children and improve the livelihoods of their families in Kitgum District, northern Uganda.  International Childcare Trust has now secured funding for the next five years of the project, therefore will no longer need to continue fundraising efforts.  We would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who supported this vital work!

Here is a summary of achievements over the last year.

Educational Support

During the past year, KICWA supported 184 pupils (96 female, 88 male) in primary school and 20 children in pre-primary school (12 female, 8 male) with basic educational support and payment of school fees (nursery) in six sub counties.  Of the 184 pupils supported, nine pupils who were in Primary Seven have graduated to the next level; three have joined secondary school and six have joined vocational skills training institutions.  There were 33 pupils in Primary Six, who have all been promoted to Primary Seven and are waiting to sit for their Primary Level Examinations.  The remaining 142 pupils are all continuing with their education.  Of the 20 children under pre-primary support, 12 have graduated to primary level and eight are still being supported in nursery schools.  Scholastic support has included provision of books, pens, pencils, maths sets and sanitary pads to girls in upper primary school. 

The provision of educational support has relieved parents of the burden of providing school materials for their children, especially child mothers who face many difficulties in providing for their children.  According to most pupils in school, the main reason why many children drop out of school is due to lack of scholastic requirements.   The provision of scholastic support has enabled nine children to complete full primary education and the remaining 175 pupils remain on course to complete their primary education.  The support has also promoted enrollment, attendance and retention of pupils in school, especially for girls e.g. schoolgirls in puberty are provided with sanitary pads, improving their well-being while at school and therefore increasing attendance.

Livelihoods Support


At the beginning of the project, KICWA formed six groups of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in six sub-counties in the two districts of Kitgum and Lamwo.  The groups usually meet once a week to save and borrow from the money, which they save as a group.  Each member has been able to invest in businesses, through which they are now making a profit.  They are now able to support the basic needs within their households, including medical care, paying school fees for their children, and buying food. 

“I can now afford to take tea with bread despite the high price of sugar; something I never thought of.” Child mother part of a savings group

The VSLA has enabled the child mothers to pay for their children’s school fees, nutritional food, and medical care for their families. 

“Before I joined the VSLA, I used to experience domestic violence from my husband; I do not experience any problem with him.  He acknowledges my contribution of about 50% towards the family upkeep.” Group member

KICWA also supported two farmers’ groups with improved seeds (beans, groundnuts and sesame).  So far there has been a good harvest from these crops with the exception of sesame, which is yet to be harvested.  The groups have sold a proportion of the harvests earning around Sh500,000 (£145) per group, which they divided amongst the members.  The farmers also distributed part of the produce to each group member to be used as food and seeds for the current planting season.

The project also supported nine child mothers to take six-month courses in fashion, design and tailoring.  The women successfully completed their training and have been provided with start-up equipment (sewing machine and cloth).  With the skills acquired, the women have become self sufficient as they have already started earning an income from their newly established businesses.  This has enabled them to meet the basic needs of their families.

Mar 1, 2012

"I am so grateful for the support KICWA rendered towards my education"

Case Study: Josephine

Josephine is a 15-year old pupil at Ayuu Alali Primary School.  She is from Palabek Kal sub county in Lamwo District and is the fourth born in a family of eight children.  After she lost her father in 2003 and her mother started to struggle to support the family on her own, KICWA identified Josephine for support in 2009.

Through the project, Josephine was provided with books, pens, pencils, a maths set, school bag and school uniform, which significantly improved her attendance and performance at school.  During a follow up visit by a KICWA social worker, Josephine said:

“Before I was identified to become a beneficiary of KICWA project, I used to miss school because I had to go and dig in people’s garden in order to get money to buy scholastic materials.  But when KICWA came in, I started attending school regularly and my performance in class also improved.  The scholastic support I received eased my class work so much because before I used to combine all the subjects in one exercise book which made reading a problem.  But now I can read freely because each subject has its own exercise book and am not sent out of class because I haven’t got the basic school requirements including uniform.   I even have many friends now.  Before, many of my peers were dodging me for fear of borrowing from them items such as pens, rubber etc.  I am so grateful for the support KICWA rendered towards my education.”

It is extremely evident that lack of basic school materials excludes many children from school simply because their parents/guardians cannot afford to buy them.  Josephine completed ‘primary six’ in December 2011 and has now been promoted to ‘primary seven’ after performing so well, coming seventh best out of 38 in her class.  Josephine is extremely determined to continue with her education and hopes to go on to secondary education.  One day Josephine dreams of becoming a doctor.  She maintains that the suffering of many people within her community, especially the children and women, has nurtured this dream.

Dec 13, 2011

What challenges do pupils face in pursuit of their education?

Children with their new school materials
Children with their new school materials

This important project aims to increase access to education for war-affected children and improve the livelihoods of their families in Kitgum District, northern Uganda.

Educational Support

Over the past 6 months, KICWA supported 184 pupils (96 female, 88 male) in primary school and 20 children in pre-primary school (12 female, 8 male) with basic educational support and payment of school fees (nursery) in the sub counties of Lokung, Palebek Kal, Kitgum Matidi, Mucwini, Lagoro, and Padibe West.  The scholastic support included provision of books, pens, pencils, maths sets and sanitary pads to girls in upper primary school.  In addition, KICWA staff conducted a focus group discussion (FGD) with both children and teachers.  The topic of the FGD was ‘what challenges do pupils face in pursuit of their education’ – see findings below.

Findings of FGD

  • Interference from the parents who engage their children in manual labour during school hours;
  • School syllabuses are often not covered because there are few teachers coupled with the frequent absenteeism of teachers;
  • Inadequate follow-up by parents on how their children are performing;
  • Long distance to travel by children to school.  This means going without food for the whole day therefore less concentration in class; and
  • Pupil to teacher ratio (100:1), which does not promote effective learning.   
Sep 30, 2011

We now have football in school, I am so obsessed with playing that I think of never missing school!

Community awareness meeting
Community awareness meeting

Kitgum Concerned Women’s Association (KICWA) was formed in 1998 by a group of women volunteers who were concerned about the plight of formerly abducted children from Kitgum District in northern Uganda.  As the number of children returning from captivity has decreased due to the on-going peace process, KICWA is now focusing on the resettlement needs of these children and communities that have been displaced by the conflict.  Here is a selection of recent achievements:

Increased School Attendance

The holistic educational support provided to the schools and children has promoted enrolment, attendance, and consequently improved the performance of the children who would otherwise lack the opportunity to access education due to poverty.  This support included provision of school uniforms, books, pens/pencils, and mathematical sets that were provided to all the targeted children; and sports equipment (balls, sports uniforms etc) and stationery to six primary schools that are supported by the project.  The support has inspired the children to attend school on a regular basis since they now have the basic scholastic materials and can take part in sports activities:

“I was very excited about the support especially the football that made me not to miss school; because we now have football in school, I am so much obsessed with playing that I think of never missing school.” Pupil

“I used to successively miss classes because of lack of scholastic materials and household chores.  I was always forced to do casual work to raise money to buy books and pens for me and my siblings. However due to the support from KICWA, it helped me to promptly be in school and hence was able to pass to the next class.” Pupil

School Enrollment

The project has recently enrolled 20 children born in captivity in early childhood education.  The children were able to start learning while their parents (young mothers) were able to engage in income generating activities and household chores.  The project was able to pay for their school fees and other scholastic needs such as uniforms, books, and pens.

Improved School Performance

Educational support has led to the improvement of the children’s academic performance. Because of increased attendance and interest in studying, all children were able to progress to the next class.  Out of the 187 children supported in primary education 84% passed with high grades and progressed to the next class while 16% passed with low grades.  

Increased Community Responsibility

The project has improved the knowledge and awareness of the roles and responsibilities of key actors in the education of children in the community.  KICWA organized 18 dialogue meetings with teachers, parents, children and School Management Committees (SMCs) in the parishes to sensitize and create awareness on each actors’ roles and responsibilities in the education and development of children.  Through the interactive meetings the members became fully aware of their roles.

“I spare some time to find out what my child is doing in school and count books and pens given to her to avoid any loss.” Parent

Increased Community Awareness

The project has helped to increase knowledge and awareness of community members on the importance of education for girls and the impact of domestic violence and gender-based violence (GBV) on community development.  KICWA recently organized four dialogue and sensitization meetings in two parishes in Kitgum district.  The meetings attracted parents and other members of the community and were facilitated by community leaders, the police and members of the child protection committees.  The meetings were an eye opener to many community members.

I used to think that the issue of GBV was an attempt by the female folk to dominate the male folk, but after the meeting I now know that its related to the gender roles (social responsibilities attached to the respective sexes) that need to be shared between husband and wife; I will now go back home and help my wife to bathe my children.” Parent

 Vocational Training

The project has recently helped 10 child mothers to enroll in vocational skills training and provided them with tools to help them establish income generating activities.  The mothers have acquired various skills such as tailoring, hair dressing, sign language, and tanning, which have helped them to secure work and become less dependent on their parents.

 Improved Income Levels

The project has contributed to improvement in the income level and savings culture of the child mothers. This is evident by their improved ability to meet their children’s basic needs such as paying for their medical bills, clothing, food and other household related costs.  Most of the child mothers in the women’s groups are able to earn more than three dollars a day as all of them are actively engaged in income generating activities.  Similarly, the activities of village savings and loan schemes have improved the saving culture of the child mothers involved in the business activities.

“I now earn over 5,000shs ($2.5) daily from my small business and I have managed to accumulate savings of up to 750,000shs ($325) in the past six months.  The proceeds from the business has helped me to buy livestock such as pigs and goats which I shall sell in future at a higher price to buy a piece of land for my children.” Mother

Jul 11, 2011

I am now able to stand on my own...

A women
A women's savings and credit co-operative

Life after captivity - Nabulungi’s story

Nabulungi is from Madi Kiloc, a small village in northern Uganda.  On 3rd July 1998 she was abducted by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and spent six years in captivity.  During this time, as well as taking part in battles with local tribes, she was forced to become the wife of a commander with whom she had two children.  Having escaped and been rehabilitated, she was referred to International Childcare Trust's partner, KICWA, for reunification.  Nabulungi is one of hundreds of vulnerable women and children who have been supported by Education & Training for Communities in Uganda.

 “After reunification in the community life went from good to worse with constant insults and humiliation on me and my children.  I was discriminated from community services such as from water points and the market; I was called by humiliating names that always made me furious and aggressive.  There was no stable income which I could depend on to meet my children’s basic needs; I always did casual work in people’s gardens in order get some food and money.  The fate of my life improved when KICWA, in their follow up visit, identified the problems and came in for my rescue; through dialogue they sensitized my neighbours and friends; they supported my family by organising a cleansing ceremony.

“In 2008 KICWA identified me to benefit from livelihoods support so that I become liberated from a lack of income; I opened up a restaurant which gives me Shs20,000 (£5) every day; from the savings I managed to buy iron sheets and plan to build a shelter for my mother and my children; and I was also able to buy some livestock and birds which I will sell in the future for much higher prices.  With all these resources I am now able to stand on my own to meet the demands of my children and am able to buy food for my family.  I dream of seeing my children reach their highest level of education and want to build my own restaurant to minimize the cost of renting.”

 

Life after captivity - Nabulungi’s story

 

Nabulungi is from Madi Kiloc, a small village in northern Uganda.  On 3rd July 1998 she was abducted by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and spent six years in captivity.  During this time, as well as taking part in battles with local tribes, she was forced to become the wife of a commander with whom she had two children.  Having escaped and been rehabilitated, she was referred to ICT’s partner, KICWA, for reunification.

 

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“After reunification in the community life went from good to worse with constant insults and humiliation on me and my children.  I was discriminated from community services such as from water points and the market; I was called by humiliating names that always made me furious and aggressive.  There was no stable income which I could depend on to meet my children’s basic needs; I always did casual work in people’s gardens in order get some food and money.  The fate of my life improved when KICWA, in their follow up visit, identified the problems and came in for my rescue; through dialogue they sensitized my neighbours and friends; they supported my family by organising a cleansing ceremony.

 

“In 2008 KICWA identified me to benefit from livelihoods support so that I become liberated from a lack of income; I opened up a restaurant which gives me Shs20,000 (£5) every day; from the savings I managed to buy iron sheets and plan to build a shelter for my mother and my children; and I was also able to buy some livestock and birds which I will sell in the future for much higher prices.  With all these resources I am now able to stand on my own to meet the demands of my children and am able to buy food for my family.  I dream of seeing my children reach their highest level of education and want to build my own restaurant to minimize the cost of renting.”

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Meriel Flint

Fundraising & Marketing Manager
London, London United Kingdom

Where is this project located?

Map of Education & Training for Children in Uganda