Summer always brings a lot of motivated and skilled volunteers to the Kasiisi Project in Western Uganda. This summer Kayla Bruce helped with our girls' sexual health program. The elementary school girls were visited by our nurse, Eve Basemera and Kayla Bruce, to discuss women's empowerment and "Life Skills." Life Skills reinforce messages such as: practicing communication, resisting negative peer pressure, asserting oneself, self esteem, etc.. The girls took notes and used these lessons to create songs, skits and dances which discussed women's empowerment and the life skills. On July 26th, 20 girls from each of the seven schools came to Kasiisi playground and presented their songs, skits and dances. The schools' productions were creative and informative; everyone enjoyed the presentations!
Additionally, this summer, five meetings were held with boys from a sample of our schools. The boys were given a short questionnaire to determine how much they knew about the topics that are covered throughout the course of the Girls' Program (growth and development in boys and girls, hygiene, STD and HIV/AIDs prevention, early pregnancy, etc.) and they had a discussion about Life Skills. We are hoping that this information can be used to design a small program for the boys to complement the girls' program.
The Girls Program was very active toward the end of Term 1 in Uganda. Half of the primary schools that are participating in the Girls’ Peer Education program will be conducting follow-up activities in their schools to reinforce the messages that were discussed in March’s Peer Education Workshop put on by the Kasiisi Project for 14 schools around Kibale National Park.
To introduce the follow up activities, we held a meeting with Headteachers and Senior Woman Teachers from the seven schools. The teachers decided that the first activity that all schools would participate in should be a tree/flower planting activity. We tied the activities back to the messages discussed at the Peer Education workshop by having the Girls’ Program Nurse, Eve, give a talk about early marriage/pregnancy. The girls then broke into groups; half painted signs of encouragement such as “too young to give birth” and “avoid bad peer groups,” while the other half fetched water and planted trees and flowers. The gardens that the girls have made will become “secret gardens” where they can talk with their peer educators about issues that they are facing or questions that they may have. The signs that they painted are displayed in each of their gardens.
Attached are some photos of the tree/flower planting activity at Rweterra Primary School in Western Uganda which is part of the Kasiisi Project Girls Program.
We would like to welcome Debi Hoege to the Kasiisi Project. Debi joined KFSP/The Kasiisi Project in January 2014 as the new Field Director. She has several years of project management experience and 18 months of experience directly in the Fort Portal, Uganda area. While at USAID Headquarters in Washington, Debi served as the principal point of contact for roughly 200 colleagues worldwide as she managed the strategy review process for President Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). In August 2012, she arrived in Fort Portal, Uganda to manage two research projects for the University of Notre Dame in collaboration with local organizations. During her time with KFSP/The Kasiisi Project, Debi will oversee all projects, but will focus specifically on the implementation of the Girls’ Program. She also hopes to improve her Rutooro (the local language in the Fort Portal area of Uganda) !
Additionally, we have had great news from the Project schools in Uganda concerning the government tests that the primary school children take their last year in primary school. This year, two more Kasiisi Project Schools have joined Kasiisi Primary School at the top of the Primary Leaving Exam League – Kigarama Primary School and Kiko Primary School scored averages of 12.4 and 13.0 respectively (lower scores are better). Kigarama Primary School had 57% of its students score Grade 1 passes (which is the highest grade pass), Kasiisi Primary School had 47% and Kiko Primary School had 45% of their students recieve grade 1 passes! The average Primary Leaving Exam scores in our 5 core project schools continue to improve and and in 3 of these schools girls outperformed boys! We are very proud of the teachers, students and parents for these great test results! We are hoping more of the students will be able to attend secondary school as the scores increase.
Attached to this report are a few photos from the Kasiisi Primary School Girls Guides Meeting last week. It was the first Girl Guides meeting of the year, so they were focusing on recruitment to fill the spots that last year’s P7 girls held. The girls seemed excited to be a part of the group and ended the meeting with one of their Girl Guides songs!
Stay tuned for many more updates from the field and please visit www.kasiisiproject.org for more information!
Looking for a place for your end of year charitable donations that will make a REAL difference to a young GIRL?
Here’s why you should consider sponsoring a Kasiisi Project student for secondary school.
Nelson Mandela said that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. Giving the gift of education to a Ugandan child who would otherwise be unable to attend secondary school certainly changes their world!
In Uganda less that 30% of children even finish primary school and fewer than half of those attend secondary school, let alone college. The Kasiisi Project Scholarship Program was started to help redress this situation, and in the past 15 years we have enrolled over 120 pupils in our programs. We have 3 students in medical school, 4 university graduates, 3 undergraduates (1 at Harvard) and one Masters Student. We have plumbers and nurses, lab technicians and agro-vets, teachers and electricians, caterers and beauticians. And over 90% have jobs.
Thanks to the hard work of the Kasiisi Scholarship Committee in Uganda who guide and care for our students and to the many generous sponsors who support our program it has been a wonderful success; one that has a far reaching impact on the welfare not only of our students, but of their extended families as well.
But we cannot do it without you. The Kasiisi Project can assists schools to graduate students well prepared for the post-primary academic world, but it takes your support to get them to the next stage, to help them attend secondary school and beyond.
If you give the gift of education to one GIRL you will help others that you may never be aware of. Cultural expectations mean that your student will use her wages to educate younger members of the family and will have better educated and healthier children herself.
To find out more about how we run our scholarship program check out our Scholarship Web Page and don’t miss the biographies of a selection of our students.
For more information or any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
GIRL RISING FILM:
The summer months always brings lots of fun and creative volunteers to the Kasiisi Project in Uganda. This year the Kasiisi Project was visited by Rich Lehrer of the Brookwood School in Massachusetts. Mr. Lehrer, Sven Holch and the Brookwood School were kind enough to pay the licensing fee to show GIRL RISING to our students in Uganda. This was the Ugandan permier of the film. Girl Rising, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins and produced by 10x10, has been showing in US cinemas and, “celebrates the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world”. The film was shown at four Kasiisi Project Schools in Uganda and generated many excellent discussions and positive feedback from teachers and students. The Kasiiis Project plans to join Brookwood School in participating in International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2013.
NEW PROJECT DIRECTOR:
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Emily Otali has been appointed as Kasiisi Project Field Director starting in September of 2014. Emily, who is currently Field Director for the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, has been deeply involved with the Kasiisi Project for many years. She is a member of the Board of Directors of our Ugandan partner the Kibale Forest Schools Program and currently serves as Chair of the Scholarship, Finance and Guesthouse committees. Emily will continue to have a part-time appointment with the Kibale Chimpanzee Project KCP strengthening our relationship with forest research and conservation.
Thanks to Ronan Donovan we have a great new brief introduction to the Kasiisi Project. Please see our linked promotional piece at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zZZLBhItek&feature=youtu.be
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