Platform for Labour Action with support from GlobalGiving is implementation a project entitled “Educate 100 War and HIV/AIDS Orphaned Ugandan Girls”. This project was started as a response to the 21-year-old LRA war that left many children orphaned and destitute. There is a pressing need for rehabilitation and empowerment of female children through education. Lira district is no longer affected by war and the communities are in rehabilitation where there is need to better the future of female children through providing girl child education.
Platform for Labour Action through the GlobalGiving Donors is providing support to 73 girls with Education in Lira district 3 in primary three, 8 in primary four, 17 in primary five, 26 in primary six, 16 in primary seven and 3 in senior one. The project provides support to war and HIV/AIDS orphaned girls and those girls living with HIV/AIDS positive status with school fees, Lunch fees, counseling, scholastic materials such as books, pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers and school uniform and living materials including Toilet paper and mathematic sets and sanitary pads.
Through the home monitoring visits and school monitoring visits, PLA staff based at Lira field office monitor the schools where all these beneficiaries are studying. This is done through checking their conditions with their teachers during school time, their living conditions when at school and providing psychological support at school and during holidays at their homes.
In this quarter a number of activities were carried out that included payment of fees for term two, carrying out holiday’s event, counseling, school and home visits to the beneficiaries. Below are therefore the activities carried out in-depth in the three months of October, November and December 2017.
There were a number of 73 school monitoring visits that were held in the quarter and monitoring were done three times for each school; the visits were made to king James Secondary school, Lira primary school, Lira Army Primary school, Erute Primary school, Sir Samuel Joe Primary School, Ireda Primary School, Otim Tom primary school, Omito Primary School, V.H Public school, Lango Quran primary school, King James secondary school, Ireda Primary school, Lira primary school, , Adyel primary school, Railways primary school and Eliaoulet Primary School, King James primary school and Lira Modern primary school.
PLA Monitoring and Evaluation Officer based at Kampala secretariat also monitors the activities of the field office through visits to the schools to assess the beneficiaries’ conditions and monitor progress against the reported. The meetings and dialogues are held with the Head teachers of the schools where the children are placed, the teachers and the beneficiaries.
Head teacher King James comprehensive School Okello appreciated PLA so Much for the support PLA is giving to the needy children in the North.
He requested M and E and Administrative Associate to talk to the top management to improve on fees payment in time to help school also catch up with their term work Plan.
On discipline, he appreciated all the PLA beneficiaries that they are well disciplined and they like studies so much. He said that in their record at school, there is no any PLA beneficiary who was taken to displinary action in any indispline Action like escaping from school, dodging class, immoral behavior and other offense which conflict with the school rules and regulation.
He also requested PLA to increase number of beneficiaries in their schools since they have a lot of them at King James Comprehensive School and some of them do remain at school to work during holidays for school fees. Since the school cannot accommodate all of them to remain at school during holidays to work for fees.
M and E appreciated Head Teacher King James Comprehensive School so much to taking care of our children. He said that in case of any problem with their beneficiaries, the school should immediately inform the office for assistance since the office is ready to provide necessary assistant to these children.
The school monitoring visits are meant to keep in the know about the situation of the beneficiaries’ including their performance and behavior.
The school monitoring visits gives the organization the chance to meet the beneficiary’s teachers who spent most time with the girls.
The school teachers also play big roles in shaping the beneficiaries behavior and in enabling the girls to attend school especially when they get to understand vulnerability the children are through PLA staffs who are dealing with these children.
During the school visits the beneficiaries are also monitored to see if they are attending school daily as per their class teachers reports which some times report non attendances of some children. This helps the organization to follow up on these beneficiaries and ensure that they get back to school by reaching their home and hear from the guardians of the beneficiaries reasons as to why the girls are not going to school in time. It also helps organization to share with beneficiaries the challenges they facing from both schools and their home. These help organization to provide psychological support to girls. School monitoring visit also help organization to know beneficiaries are properly using their scholastic materials as this is given to them once in a year.
During school monitoring visits, head teachers and senior woman teachers repeated their request to the organization to make these girls to start sleeping at school or in boarding to enable them to concentrate well in class. The reason is being that these children missed night lesson and early morning lesson which is the major result of their poor performance especially those who are in primary four, primary five, primary six and primary seven.
They also said that during their counseling, session, they also found out that these children are over worked after school and also in the morning before they leave for school from the various places where they stays.
Most of the senior woman teachers said that they are getting a lot of complain from these girls on sexual abuse from different people who claims that they will improve their lives when they married them. their neighbors as well as even sons of their guardians who demand for sex from them seriously and gives them a lot of difficulties.
They advise these children to report such guardians to their senior women teachers, police, and local council one of their areas and to the office of Platform Foe Labour Action. Though these children fears to report their guardians with fear that their guardians will end up sending them away from their home.
Counseling sessions and Distribution of sanitary Pads
PLA Administrative Associate, Communication Volunteer and Internee were able to make a visit to PLA beneficiaries at their schools. They were able to distribute Pads and provide counselling to these children
All the girls were able to get counseling from the PLA staff this quarter as we were able to meet these children at school during school monitoring visits. There are number of 73 girls were counseled.
CHALLENGES FACED BY CHILDREN
- School beneficiaries are being forced by their guardians to get to early marriage and they are facing a lot of abuse from the children of their guardians
- Most of our beneficiaries are not in the boarding section and yet there are night lessons at school and their friends some time tend not to give them notes they attend in their absence this is also leading to their bad performance
- Children say their guardians neglect them and do not offer proper parental care to them.
- The Children lack self-confidence when they are among other pupils at school which affects their performance and self-expression when in class this is due to insult and mistreatment from their guardians.
ACTION TAKEN BY PLA
- Children are taken through counseling to strengthen their mind abilities and build resilience. This helps in building self-confidence.
- Guardians who were participating in early marriage of these children were cautioned and the law was used to set precedence and deter future occurrences.
- Regular visits to the schools are being made by the PLA staff at the Lira office to monitor the progress and performance of the children. Here the children are encouraged to work hard at school.
- The Girl beneficiaries are provided with sanitary pads to encourage them to stay in school and to give them decency.
In conclusion the progress report shows that most of them passed to the next class compare to Last year performance it means that, there is high improvement on the performance, life of our school beneficiaries since PLA staff are working closely with the teachers and also involve parents in the children`s lives.
Requesting Donor to support the beneficiaries who wish to Join Vocational schools and most of the children would like to join vocational schools and do courses like Tailoring, Electrical installation, Motor Vehicle Technician, Hair dressing and Needle works.