NAMBAFU Nambafu is 18 years old. She grew up been taken care of by her parents in Nsambya who also took care of her school fees together with the siblings. Her mother sells dry fish and the father is a taxi driver. Her parents later separated and she dropped out of school after completing her Primary Seven. The parents also didn’t have enough funds to cater for the 3 children’s school fees.Before Nambafu was rescued from child labour, she was engaged in fish selling alongside Nsambya road. She was staying with her mother and working for her mother so that they earn a living, her mother also sells fish.The small business of selling fish is the overall source of livelihood for the family. Nambafu used to get ten thousand shillings which they used for buying food and other basic needs. She started selling fish after dropping out from school. She sold fish for four months, her mother was approached by PLA task force member who asked them to stop engaging her in child labour, she introduced the project of Stop Child Exploitation and introduced the idea of going back to school so that she is able to earn a living and improve on her living conditions. She accepted as well as the parents who advised her to do catering since she used to fry fish and they thought it was easy to get jobs from restaurants than cosmetology.She was then enrolled at Nile Vocational Institute in 2013 and completed in 2014. After completing school, she immediately got a job through a family friend in Nsambya hospital restaurant where she bakes chapattis, mandazi (donuts), cakes, cooks chicken, local food and international foods like Italian, Indian and Chinese, these are prepared when hired. She earns 150,000/= per month and also does outside catering on parties and ceremonies.Her living condition/livelihood has improved; she also takes care of her basic needs like, paying rent. She has also saved four hundred thousand shillings and her plan is to buy a plot of land.She also faces a few challenges like paying rent she costs 50,000/=, delay in salary payment and she is also overworked since she works from Monday to Monday.
Platform for labour Action continues to provide support to 26 girls with school lunch, scholastic materials and physiological support in all aspects of their lives, this with support from GlobalGiving. 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
This project has made a difference in the lives of so many girls in northern Uganda with access to education that has in turn built their self-esteem and performance through the continuous counseling and monitoring from Platform for Labour Action.
SCHOOL MONITORING VISITS 19 school monitoring visits were this quarter made to PLA beneficiaries. The girls were visited in their different schools of Lira parents, Lira Police primary school, Lango Quran primary school, Sir Samuel Joe primary school, Adyel primary school, railways primary school and Lira modern primary school among others.
The Girls have been at their good behavior and continue to perform to their best though they still face a challenges with some of their guardians not supporting their education, a case in point is Egwel who aunty attempt to take her scholastic materials and give them to her biological daughter, we were able to talk to the guardian who denied the all the allegations but agreed to continue supporting Lydia. GIRL GETS FULL SCHOLARSHIP One of the girls Morine managed to get full scholarship from King James secondary school. Morine will study at King James Secondary school Lira freely in the boarding section all fully sponsored for by the director of the school. After the primary seven vacation Morine had to more on to the next level of education, but lacked funding and because of this, her guardians’ only option left was to marry her off at an early age of 15years. This provoked us to try many more alternatives for Morine’s secondary education.
Early marriage is becoming common in northern Uganda especially when parents and guardians fail to cater for the children in school and also when they have so many children that they can not take care of, its looked as a way of making money for the rest of the other family members. Morine is now happy at her new school in senior one.
COUNSELING ALL the current PLA beneficiaries were this quarter counseled and talked to by PLA staff and especially PLA program Assistant and the administrative volunteer who was once PLA’s school beneficiary, He has also been sharing his experiences as a beneficiary of the project and what he did to make him successful today.
The girls have been encouraged to study hard because then it’s easy to get for them support for especially the different schools in Lira who especially provide support based on a student’s performance in either class or sports.
CALL FOR MORE SUPPORT Many girls are still out forced to marry at an early age, forced to work beyond their means, because there is no one to support for further education, some of the girls continue to visit the office of Platform for Labour action to get into the program, but Limited support is provided hence not all of them can benefit from it.
I therefore call all the well wishes to support these girls’s education; it will make their better future.
PLANNED ACTIVITIES PLA will continue to support the girls in providing them with physiological support, scholastic materials and school lunch. Monitoring visits to both the schools and homes will be carried out to analyze the progress of the girls in their performance at home and at school; this will ascertain what more support the girls will need.
More girls are going to be identified and introduced to the project to with the support from Global Giving donors and well wishers.
Morine’s journey through primary school has not been an easy one and it had become even worse when her PLE results were back and there was no clear indication of continuing with school. The 15-year old came close to an early marriage when the final help came from the director of King James secondary school who offered her full scholarship at his school.
Morine was born to the late Okello and the late Amony and she is now in care of her 40-year old paternal aunt g Anna.
Morine parents were both killed by the rebels in 2000, “after their death, my grandfather tried to cater for me but he became helpless until aunt Anna took me up, but she can also hardly help. It is the church that provides for us but it’s also fading away,” sadly mentioned Morine.
Morine has 2 siblings whom she doesn’t know where they are or who could be supporting them, she continues to be grateful to PLA for the support that they have renderer her in the past years of her school.
PLA started supporting Morine right from primary five to her completion of primary seven at Sir Samuel Joe primary school.
Morine held a number of responsibilities while at Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school and among this was her position as the head prefect at her school. Much as this position was competitive, she emerged the winner due to her discipline, performance in school and especially the leadership skills that she portrayed.
In her free time Morine loves to do a lot of things which are inclusive of time spent in church and playing handball. “I love playing hand ball and singing, I also teach Sunday school children at our church in Ogena Christian church,” happily narrated Morine
As the results were lanched, Morine’s quest for funds for her secondary education started, she made several visits to PLA office, which in turn also made several follow ups with the owner of Guru Nana an industry that produces shea butter, who had promised to sponsor at least 3 of PLA primary seven beneficiaries.
There was no response to Morine’s request and time went by as other now Senior one students reported to school.
This depressed Morine so much that lead her to thinking of suicide, that she attempt twice, on hearing this, it provoked another search for a donor to support Morine in School.
During the counseling session, Morine shared that one of the reasons as to why she wanted to commit suicide was because she saw no future ahead of her with education and to make matters worse her guardian wanted to marry her off just so that she could have less mouth to feed and also gain something out of it.
This story was therefore shared with the director of King James secondary who felt touched and rendered full support to Morine. The support is inclusive of school uniform, full fees till university, scholastic materials, out of school clothes and pocket money.
PLA shall continue to psychological support Morine especially during the school holidays.
“It has been a tough time for me and I thank you for standing by me”, slowly shared Morine as she made the final departure to her new home and school. Above is a picture showing PLA Administrative Volunteer after he had handed Morine some counter books and pens at King James Secondary School Lira
The administrative volunteer Odong was therefore able to take Morine to the school and she was left in the hands of the director of the school, who mentioned that Morine was now his daughter who he has vowed to take care of.