Florence is a 15 year old who was working as a domestic worker at Nsambya west –Makindye division where she was faced problems of nonpayment and mistreatment.. She was She was referred to Platform for Labour Action (PLA) by one of our trained taskforce member(Community Volunteer) who works as one of the Local leaders in Nsambya west. Florence dropped out of school while in Primary one after her father’s death, her poor mother who was unemployed could not further her education and decided to abandon her at her auntie’s place in Mityana ,under claims that she was not receiving any support from the child’s paternal family.An old Woman called Agnes offered to stay with Florence in Kampala – Kibuli since her auntie had failed to raise her school fees.Life was comfortable for all the three year she stayed with the old woman Agnes but it unfolded when the old woman’s daughter named Namukas gave birth and the old woman offered Florence to be taken to Nsambya west so as to help out the new mother with domestic chores as she did not have any one around her during her maternity period.
She spent there spent seven months of unfair treatment where she was often physically and verbally abused and yet not paid for her services, this was all done under the disguise that she was so vulnerable to escape, on learning about the child’s torture, PLA intervened rescued her from child labour and mistreatment offered temporary resettlement at one of our trained taskforce member’s place, penalized the employer who compensated the child 500,000/=. PLA enrolled her in a Hair Dressing course at Kyebando Vocational training Centre, this has enabled her realize the right to education, which will greatly improve her livelihoods and also enjoy her childhood.
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.
From Domestic work and Chapati Selling to becoming a Caterer.
Prepared by :Christine Tezikya
Minisa i is 15 years old. She was identified by Platform for Labour Action during the mapping exercise of exploited children under child labour in Makindye division, Kampala district. A former domestic worker and chapatti seller in Masajja- zone, Kampala district who dropped out of school after completing her primary seven (P.7) due to lack of school fees. Her parents are so old that they can’t support her to the extent that they depend on Minisa’s sibling. She stays with her brother who employs her, but receives her payment in kind in form of basic needs.
Minisa’s tasks involved waking up at 6:00am, do all the domestic chores and by 7:30am would be at the chapatti selling workplace. She worked for a period of 11 months without pay as the money was always sent to her parents in Mbale- Nakaloke village. While at work, she was over worked because she had to prepare dinner, wash utensils after selling chapatti then go to bed at around 11:00pm. She also faced a challenge of getting sanitary towels from her brother who did not see it as his duty to provide.
Minisa was withdrawn from child labour and placed at Kyebando Vocational Training Centre (KVTC) and enrolled on 4th April, 2014 to undergo a seven months training in Catering. She is now happy because she has skills in bakery like cake making , bread, donuts that she will use after school to care of herself and her parents.She is provided with living materials like tooth paste, soap, sanitary towels which were a challenge to obtain while at work. While at school, she also gets entrepreneurship skills that will help her in future business management. She further participates in Music Dance and Drama, sports like Netball during her free time hence enjoying a right to rest and play as a child.