Global Backpack Project

Global Backpack Project's mission is to encourage a desire for learning by helping children feel prepared for school. With the help of local communities and partner organizations, we seek to make a difference in the lives of children, just as they seek to make a difference for themselves and their communities.
Nov 4, 2014

Celebrating the end of the 2014 school year

Sports Day at Bwetyaaba Primary School
Sports Day at Bwetyaaba Primary School

Greetings, 

No matter where they are or where they're from, children love to play and participate in sports. This is no different at Bwetyaaba Primary School. This past October, the students competed in a sporting event, representing their house names (students were placed in different groups). Activities included pealing/cooking bananas known locally as matooke, dancing with used bicycle tires on their waist without them falling off, and the more commonly known and universal, short and long races. As Stephen Ssemutumba, Executive Director of BUVAD, GBP's partner in Uganda, shared, "It was really a marvelous day. The children were very happy."  What a wonderful way to bring a close to the school year.

The school year in Uganda will be ending in November and the new school year will begin February 2015. With the generous donations we have received from our supporters, we will be able to send resources to the Bwetyaaba Primary School so that when students go back to school next year, they will be prepared and ready for school.  Stephen Ssemutumba expressed gratitude and said that, upon hearing the news, the children were very excited and that the headmistress of Bwetyaaba Primary School extended her sincere gratidute to GBP for its continued support. At the risk of sounding a little cliché, it really does take a village! We thank you for your continued support and for helping to make a difference in a child's life. 

With gratitude, 

The GBP Team 

Links:

Oct 7, 2014

The School Year is in Full Swing

Greetings, 

Fall is here and school is in full swing. More than 48,000 students are enrolled in Portland's Public Schools; 4,200 of whom are kindergarteners, the class of 2027, the next generation. It's so important that these kids feel prepared as they began their educational journey. That's where we try and help. In Multnomah County, 23% of children under 18 live in poverty. Families and children face numerous hardships and lack many essentials. Providing a backpack with school supplies can be a bright light in what can sometimes be a dark place. With your generous support, we delivered more than 600 backpacks and school supplies to vulnerable and homeless children in our community this past September. With the help of our partners, Neighborhood House, Portland Family Homeless Solutions, New Avenues for Youth, and Second Step Housing, kids started the 2014-2015 school year equipped for a successul year. 

Here is what our partners and families had to say:

"[The backpacks] are amazing!! Thank you so much for bringing them by. Our youth are going to love them!" 

"Having a backpack and the correct school supplies are such an important part of the first day of school, and your donation helped start the children in our program off on the right foot."

"Thank you so much for all the help, you have no idea how this helps."

We provide backpacks and school supplies to children in need year-round. Thank you for helping us to make this possible. Thank you for making a difference in the life of a child. 

Aug 4, 2014

The State of Education in Uganda

Spelling Bee Uganda
Spelling Bee Uganda

Thank you for your continued support of girls and boys at the Bwetyaaba Primary School. It is making an indelible difference in the life of hundreds of children eager to learn.  

A 2013 report published by the World Bank indicated that "Uganda has made strong progress on poverty reduction, school enrollment and child survival, but the quality of health and education services has not kept pace.

Some of the challenges schools are facing include teacher absenteeism, lack of basic infrastructure, and limited access to textbooks. Only 40% of primary classrooms had teachers present - this is in part due to teachers not being paid and taking on other employment to make ends meet. Computers are practically non-existent in the classroom and many schools lack access to viable electricity. Textbooks are also missing in the classrooms, roughly "14% of Primary 4 classes surveyed used textbooks during English and Mathematics classes."

Despite the challenges, children are eager to attend school and learn. In an article published by the BBC News titled Tackling Uganda's lack of school places, "...There's no shortage of energy or ambition among the children. In spartan classrooms, they describe what they want for their future. There are would-be doctors, lawyers and engineers.

There are many efforts being launched to promote and support education in Uganda. Recently, through a partnership between USAID-Uganda, the Ministry of Education and Sports, and Peace Corps Uganda, the first ever Language Spelling Bee competition was introduced in "6 different languages in districts throughout the country." All primary schools were invited to participate. A great way to get communities involved in boosting education! 

We look forward to sharing more information about our project as well as the latest on education in Uganda. 

And be sure to check out our upcoming fundraiser, the 3rd Annual Backpack Run, benefiting homeless and vulnerable children by providing backpacks and school supplies. 

Backpack Run 2013
Backpack Run 2013
 
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