Jun 29, 2020

AAH Project Report - June 2020

Food distribution for community outreach
Food distribution for community outreach

With the onset of the pandemic, our focus has expanded to not only helping students recieve education, but ensuring they are able to access learning in their homes. We are please to provide the following updates since the pandemic swept the world of how our community in Uganda is managing through this crisis. Without continued support, we would not be able to ensure ongoing education for our students.

AAH staff have independently started radio shows, which is accessed by the community. The President’s district representative was invited to speak about ways to stay safe, and he also spoke about the importance of safety for women and girls. The radio show has also addressed gender-based violence, and poverty. Community members have expressed their appreciation for the radio show.

Schools: AAH Uganda has taken a strong lead in ensuring students are still able to learn and have access to their teachers and mentors.

  • Secondary school students were provided with a month’s worth of school work. With the lockdown extended, many schools are sending additional work to their students through their parents’ phones, and confirming receipt. If there is an issue with receiving the work, the schools are working to get the material to the students.
  • AAH has made copies of the lessons provided by the government and delivered them either to student homes, or to the nearest pickup point.
  • AJS provides class work and tests to upper primary students. Every two days, the students complete their work and it is picked up, then replaced with additional work. 
  • The University Coordinator has created a WhatsApp group for older students, so they can communicate with each other. Work is also shared in the app.
  • The Coordinators for University, Girls’ Programming, and Secondary School Coordinator have made calls to parents to touch base with students and ensure they are safe. Calls increased since the shutdown has been extended.  

Clinics: Our two clinics remain open. Health facilities and the entire country have been focused on curative rather than preventive measures, but is now prioritizing preventive measures by educating about hand washing and other practices to ensure safety.

Staff: AAH staff are still working and coordinating with students. Because student tuition is paid by parents via wire transfers, this ensures a steady flow of cash, which allows for almost all staff salaries to be made via wire transfers, so staff can be paid quickly and efficiently. 

Community Outreach

  • AAH will be providing food to the most needy children. These children are already identified, teachers and community members will identify others. 
  • AAH will provide food to the most vulnerable members of the community, including patients on HIV and diabetes,  orphans, and the elderly.

Looking to the Future

Our Team in Uganda has taken a critical look at current operations and made recommendations to enhance access, to ensure that beyond a pandemic, AAH can respond rapidly and safely to any issues the school may face. These include developing digital platform service for operations as well as e-learning and distance learning, enhancing solar lighting, transportation resources, food security, and enhancing health practices such as hand washing.

 We have provided funding to move forward with the solar energy project. This project will provide solar lighting for the Arlington Junior School, the library as well as both of our health clinics. 

Food distribution
Food distribution
Food distribution
Food distribution
food distribution
food distribution
Feb 27, 2020

Continuing to Empower Youth in Rural Uganda

AAH Graduates
AAH Graduates

Beyond celebrating AAH’s 15 years of commitment to empower youth through education in rural Uganda, we had many more reasons to celebrate the impact of our organization. We are glad to report that for the first time in the history of Arlington Academy of Hope, our primary students have scored 8 out of a possible 8 and total of 10 out of 10 subjects. In addition, Uganda’s Primary Leaving Examinations results showed that 142 students passing in Division 1, placing Bududa District in the top among the 6 rural districts of the Eastern Region. Each of the top 10 schools in Bududa was an AAH Outreach partner school.

But perhaps the biggest symbol of change was the number of graduates who had completed university or trade school. Before AAH began working in Bududa and Namisindwa, there was just a handful of graduates each year. Now, on this 15th anniversary, AAH was showcasing its 156 students who had completed University or Vocational schools, with many of them working and helping bring new change to their communities. 

We are continuing to support students in our schools. This past year, our Junior school enrollment was 400 (an increase of 50 students from 2018), with 215 (53%) of these students being girls, and the remaining 185 (47%) boys. In the Secondary program, a total of 379 students were enrolled, with 179 (51%) being girls, and the remaining 170 (49%) boys. To continue to support girls mentorship and empowerment, three major programs were established: a girls’ cycles in secondary schools, workshops with our She’s the First partners in Narobi, and sanitary pad distribution.

We continue to be inspired by our students and teachers, and continue to find new ways to support the important work they are doing.

Dec 2, 2019

Helping Students Beyond Our School.

After starting the Arlington Junior School and watching it provide quality education to rural children in Eastern Uganda for more than 15 years, the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) was frustrated that it could help only 50 new students per year.  Annually we received more than 400 applications for the 50 school slots.  We decided to help students in surrounding government schools with a ten point program for improving their educational offering and general condition of the schools.  AAH collected funding for schoolroom supplies, subsidized lunches and primary leaving exam preparation.  We were fortunate to partner with Marymount University in Arlington to provide teacher training for the teachers.  For several schools we were able to build new classrooms, kitchens and latrines and upgrade the schools' physical plants.  The assisted schools had to meet certain requirements to qulaify for the aid.  They must have an agreement from the parents that all the students will attend school 100% of the time.  The teachers must commit to 100% attendance.  English must be taught in every grade starting with Primary 1.  The parents must commit to provide a lunch for the students to the degree they can (AAH will subsidize the balance.)

We now assist 24 schools affecting close to 20,000 kids.  We are beginning to see that the primary leaving exam scores for these schools are rising.  Every school has improved, and a couple of schools have scores that are superior to Arlington Junior School!  One school's scores moved up 70% in the second year in the program.

As a whole, the schools in Bududa, Manafwa and Namasindwa Districts have now begun to move up in their annual primary school national standings.  We are very pleased with the results so far.

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