Platform for labour Action continues to provide support to 27 girls with school lunch, scholastic materials and psychosocial support in all aspects of their lives with support from Global Giving. 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, 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 and the secondary school of Lira Town college.
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 enabled improved school performance through the continuous counseling and monitoring provided from Platform for Labour Action.
In this quarter of April, May and June 2014 there were various activities that were carried out in the project as highlighted below.
Lunch fees payment
This quarter, lunch fees payment of 810,800 were made to the different schools that PLA beneficiaries go to enable them access meals 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 by the children.
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.
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; Fibby,Sandra, Nebila , Lucky, Ketty and Morine were actively involved in the celebrations aas 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 the DAC celebration was ‘A child- friendly, quality, free and compulsory Education in Uganda’.
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.
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 School going beneficiaries at PLA Lira The girls were appreciative of the materials received from PLA and Global Giving and that the materials will help maintain proper records of their class work for the whole year and hence enable revision of their notes.
One girl Sumaya mentioned that, “I have been lacking books with in which ton write my class notes,I am so glad that I also have a book in which to write my summaries,” she stated.
School monitoring visits
32 school visits were made this quarter to the different schools to monitor PLA beneficiaries’ attendance, performances in class. The teachers have been of great help to the beneficiaries through encouraging them to work hard as well as sharing with PLA staff the different challenges of the beneficiaries.
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. Most of the girls believed that they would pass their examination except for the 2 girls; Ketty and Zaitun who were sick during the examination period.
One of the girls Nebila had performed well and was in the 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.
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 school in and around lira which we 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 concentrate more in school. This has been witnessed with improvement in their performance in their school work this term during the school monitoring visits.
14-year old Morine was born to the late Alfred and the late Collin and she is now in care of her 37-year old paternal aunt 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 but currently she doesn’t know where they are and who is supporting them, she continues to be grateful to PLA for the support that they have renderer her in the past years of her school, which was since her primary five. Morine is the headprefect at her school in Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school, this position was given to her due to the discipline, and her performance in school and especially the leadership skills that she portrayed.
During 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.Morine currently in primary seven at Sir Samuel Joe nursery and primary school
“I was the 1st out of 64 pupils in my class and though math is my best subject I don’t understand it from the school where I am but when my friends show me how a calculation is done,” said Morine
“I promise to perform better now that I will seat my Primary Leaving examinations this year”. Mentioned Morine.
Morine has been promised scholarship by one of the Indian business man in Lira, owner of Guru Nana an industry that produces shea butter.
As a gesture to give back to the communities in Lira, the industry supports education of the vulnerable children and this year Morine has been promised such a chance when she performs well in her primary Leaving Examinations at the end of this year.
“I am grateful to PLA for opening the door to education for me, I continue to appreciate global giving for the support that is sent through Platform for Labour Action”. Said Morine
Ms. Joan Nabbosa is 16 years old. She was referred to Platform for Labour Action (PLA) by Chandiru Zuena one of PLA’s trained peer domestic work coordinator following information received that the employers were shifting to another house without settling Joan’s wages. Joan is a former child domestic worker who dropped out of school in Primary six due to lack of school fees. Her parents passed away when she was still young. Due to lack of employment, a friend advised her to search for a job. It’s from then that her friend brought her from Gomba – butambala and got her a job in Ntinda in February 2013 as a domestic worker. During her first day of work, a meeting was held with the employer to which it was agreed that she will earn 40,000/= per month.
Her tasks involved taking care of 2 children as well as domestic chores. She worked for a period of one year and was only paid for one month. While working, she always faced mistreatment from her employer. The matter was brought to the attention of PLA to which we intervened and rescued her from this situation. Her arrears amounting to 520,000/= Uganda shillings including exploitation compensation of 50,000/= were settled by the employer. She was later resettled back to her auntie’s home by PLA in Wakaliga. Joan aspires to study a hair dressing course so that she is in position to earn a living. She will be considered for the vocational training course. Joan thanked PLA for securing her money because she was worried that she will never get it.
“Thank you for rescuing me from the lady who mistreated me yet I took good care of her children and house.” God bless you - Nabossa Joan’s words.