Educate 200 War & HIV/AIDS-Orphaned Ugandan Girl

by Platform for Labour Action (PLA)
Vetted

In this quarter, the “Educate 200 War and HIV/AIDS Orphaned Ugandan Girls” Project provided scholastic materials and counseling and monitored the homes and schools of 37 female children adversely affected by the LRA war and HIV/AIDS. The beneficiaries, thirty-two of whom were newly enrolled, were supported with daily school lunches worth USD200. They were also received scholatic materials Worth USD 225, which included 88 counter books, 32 dozen books, 4 boxes of pens, 32 rulers, 30 erasers, 32 mathematical sets, 20 boxes of pencils and 4 dozen graph books.

PLA staff also visited the homes of four (4)girls, Apio Holga, Awor Faith, Ateng Rebecca and Atai Sandra, and made fifteen school-monitoring visits to Lira Modern Primary School, Sir Samuel Nursery and Primary school, Lira Parent’s Primary School, Railways Primary School, V.H. Public School, Lango Quran Primary school, Elia Olet primary school, Lira Police Primary School, Savior Secondary school, Ojwina Primary school, Adyel Primary School, Starch Factory Primary School and Ambalal primary school. The visits were made to monitor the beneficiaries’ academic progress, interact with their teachers and encourage participation in extracurricular activities at school, such as debates, wildlife club activities and different sports.

COUNSELLING SESSIONS

PLA staff spoke with and counseled the thirty-seven (37) beneficiaries. In turn, the girls shared their future dreams and discussed the importance of education, public etiquette, personal hygiene and sanitation. During these counseling sessions, the girls were assisted in processing their traumatic pasts and encouraged to focus on the bright future that lies ahead should they work hard to obtain their goals. 

PLAY DAY

On 25th August 2012, the beneficaries had a play day at Lira Golf Course. They played a number of games that ranged from netball, football, hide-and-seek, and volleyball, among others. At the end of each game, the beneficiaries took a rest and chatted with the PLA Program Assistant Lira about school, friends, guardians and general respect for one another.

 STORIES OF BENEFICIARIES

 EGWEL LYDIA’S STORY

 Lydia is a thirteen-year-old orphan girl currently in the care of her aunt Jane Olwach. In the past, Lydia’s uncle had not been in support of her education, leading to local leaders and her aunt intervening on her behalf.

“I love being in school,” Lydia confided, “and I used to escape to attend lessons without my uncle knowing. When he got to know I was in school, he sent me to go back to the village in Aboke. It’s when my aunty heard about the organization that she came and picked me to live with her while I continue going to school with the support PLA.”

 ACENG DORCUS’S STORY

 Fourteen-year-old Dorcus’s dream is to become a nurse; she says that when you lose a person to a disease, it makes you want to do something about it so that you don’t lose another. “I lost my mother because she failed to be guided to go to the hospital, that’s why I want to become a nurse, to help the sick,” explained Dorcus.

“I am happy and thankful that PLA choose me among the many other girls. With my aunt’s kind of business, I was rarely in school because I didn’t have the school requirements or money to pay at school; it made it hard to study and perform well. I pray that God blesses the hand that gives me the support,” said Dorcus.

 AWOR ASHA’S STORY

 Thirteen-year-old Asha is in primary six at Lira police primary school—a school not so far from her home. She lost her only remaining parent in 2010 to HIV/AIDS and is now under the care of her maternal uncle, Rashid Ebong.

 Asha became a beneficiary this year and she smiles on her way to school. “I love studying and learning new things, that’s why I like being in school,” narrated Asha.

“My dream is to become a doctor, I want to reduce on the number of people who die, like my uncle who may die soon because he is infected with AIDS,” she said. “I am very happy with what PLA has done for me, I had no hope of permanetly staying and eating in school, but now things are okay. I thank PLA for helping me.” 


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Platform for Labour Action through the Global Giving donors has opened doors of hope to a better future to over 45 girls: 5 old and 40 new, currently living in Lira district. The project provides support to war and HIV/AIDS orphaned girls in the form of school lunch, counselling and scholastic materials such as books, pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers and school uniforms.

SCHOOL VISITS

A total of 11 school monitoring visits were made to V.H Public school, Lango Quran primary school, Elia Olet primary school, Lira police primary school, Savor secondary school, Akia primary school, Jack and Jill primary school, Ojwina primary school, Adyel primary school, and Railways primary school. 

These monitoring visits give PLA a chance to interact with the beneficiaries` teachers to assess academic and social progress, and monitor the beneficiaries’ lunch and use of their scholastic materials.

HOME VISITS

3 homes visits were made to Ateng Rebecca, Awor Faith and Atai Sandra during school holidays. They were undertaken by the PLA Lira field officer to monitor the beneficiaries` living conditions and counsel them.

The visit to Sandra was to see if her aunt was treating her better and not overloading her with household chores. Unfortunately, the situation hadn’t changed.

Other visits were to Awor Faith and Ateng Rebecca to ensure that they were effectively taking their medication and were on proper balance diet as required due to their status. Rebecca was connected to another organization called Cosbel by the field officer; Cosbel has started supporting Rebecca with food and other basic needs such as clothing.

COUNSELLING

A total of 45 girls were counselled: they shared their future dreams, discussed the need to move past the effects of conflict and loss of parents, and the need to work hard. The girls were glad for the meeting, as many needed the help of the organization.

LUNCH AND BOARDING FEES 

During the quarter USD 125 Atai Sandra was facilitated with boarding fees and USD 20 worth of uniform. Lunch fees worth USD 695 was made for the whole year 2012 for beneficiaries Ateng Rebecca of Elia Olet primary school, primary seven pupils Akot Rebecca and Awor Faith of V.H Public school and Abeja Eunice senior three of Savior secondary school. 

 MONITORING VISITS

50 girls were met during the monitoring visit to interface with the guardians and discuss the challenges they face as they support the orphans. All the girls were counselled and encouraged to have hope for a better future. The girls’ ages ranged from 11 to 16 and classes from P.5 to P.7. 

STORIES OF NEWLY IDENIFIED BENEFICARIES

AWOR ASHA

Asha is a13-year old orphan who is under the care of her uncle Ebong Rashid. “My father died before my mother had given birth to me and then my mother died in 2010 leaving me in the care of my sick uncle Ebong Rashid”, narrated Asha.

“At school the teachers know my condition so they let me seat examinations but I don’t get my reports at the end of each term,” said Asha. Asha has only one sibling, a 14 years old Emmanuel. “I would like to become a doctor so that I am able to diagnose patients rightly,” explained Asha.

Asha is in  primary six at Lira police primary school and her farvorite subject is Science. “I want PLA to support me in school and at home, because I’m sure that the condition that my uncle is in will not change and our relatives don’t want to help,” sadly said Asha.

OUNI FIONA

Ouni Fiona is another 14-year old orphan girl. Father and mother died in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Since then, they have been living without an adult to cater for them. She has 5 siblings. The eldest dropped out of school while the rest are being supported by an organisation called children of Peace Lira. Fiona is now left with the responsibility of taking care of other children as her oldest brother left to look for a job in Western Uganda.

Fiona is a good student and was in 34th position out of 284 pupils in her class. Her best subjects are English and social studies. “I want to become a lawyer, so I can put all the guilty people in jail, like the people who mistreat children,” said Fiona.

Upcoming events

Holiday get together since school will be closing and we shall provide scholastic materials for the new beneficiaries. 


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The project is currently supporting 5 beneficiaries: Atai Sandra p.7 at lira primary school, Ateng Rebecca p.5 at Elia Olet primary school, Awor faith p.7 at V.H Public school, Akot Rebecca p.7 at V.H Public school and Abeja Eunice in senior three at Savior secondary school. The beneficiaries are being supported with school lunch worth USD 225, scholastic material worth USD 425 and counseling. During the month of February, the field officer also started to identify new beneficiaries; she made   visits to the community. In the selection process the field officer Lira has been supported by other people and organizations in Lira district like the Community Development officer, local leaders of the different areas in Lira district like Ojwina division and Adyel divisions. So far 35 girls have been identified. The selected children are the needy girls affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. All 35 new girls have received counseling and are ready to be placed in schools in the next quarter.

ABEJA EUNICE

“When PLA started supporting me in primary 4, my life became better, I stopped missing class, since the school also stopped sending me away for not having books and unpaid fees. I appreciate what PLA has done for me and I pray that GOD richly blesses the people that support me in school,” mentioned Eunice

Eunice wants to become a nurse. “That’s why I am trying to perform better in biology; I want to be able to help the sick,” explained Eunice.

 AWOR FAITH

14 Years old faith is now in primary seven at V.H public school. In her last performance, Faith was in the 142nd position out of 217 pupils of her class. “Last year in third term, I  was frequently absent from school, I would continously fall sick and  I therefore missed a lot of lessons, that’s why my performance was poor”, narrated Faith.

In a chat with Faith’s mother Grace, she mentioned that she was very grateful for the support that PLA continues to provide to her daughter. She narrated, “I was left with 4 children by my late husband and they are all hard to take care of especially since they are all infected.”

THE RESULTS OF PLA beneficiaries who did final exams in 2011.

AGUTI DORINE

15 years old Aguti Dorine sat her Primary leaving Examinations at Aduku road primary school. Her performances have been good at school and it kept her hopes high of becoming a minister or an accountant one day. Dorine scored 18 aggregates: 4 in English, 4 in Science, 5 in SST and 5 in math. Dorine now studies at St Catherine secondary school in Lira. Dorine will continue to receive counseling from PLA in the holidays since she is already in school and being supported by her guardians.

AKELLO MARGRET

17 years old Margret sat her O’level examinations in the year 2011 at Okwang secondary school.  Margret has now been admitted at Dr Obote College in Boroboro and will be studying a combination of Physics, Economics, Math and Computer science. With continuous support from PLA Margret hopes to attain her dream becoming an engineer.

 IDENITIFICATION OF NEW BENEFICARIES

STORY OF HOLGA APIO

 14 years old Holga is in primary six at Lira police primary school. She stays in Ojwina division with her aunty Nakibule Betty who she has gotten used to as her mother. Holga’s father was killed during the LRA war in Lira district and her mother died of HIV/AIDS. She stays in Alito camp. Holga would like to become a doctor in future.“I love science and I want to make a difference in people’s lives while I discover different medicines,” happily mentioned Holga.

In her mid-term examinations, Holga scored 92% in science and she was in the 18th position out of 245 pupils of her class. I would like Platform for Labour Action to help me attain my dreams,” mentioned Holga. At lunch time Holga watches her friends eating as she stays in her class. “At times I decide to put my head on the desk because of hunger and yet the teacher wants us to look at him while he is teaching,” sadly mentioned Holga. 


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During the period October to December 2011, children spent a big part of the period doing exams as well being in Holidays. 3 children were sitting for their end of primary exams. We sent them Success cards as well as delivered words of encouragement. Therefore we took this chance to reflect on achievements for the year. 

During the year (2011) we made 18 school visits and 7 home monitoring visits to the beneficiaries. We also provided group and individual counseling to all the beneficiaries worth USD 960. Lunch worth USD 1395 provided to the beneficiaries for the year.

 PLA organized and facilitated a holiday event that brought together all the beneficiaries, Lira district officials and guardians.  At this event, the officials encouraged the beneficiaries to perform better and thanked Platform for Labour Action for the support it is providing to the community of Lira; educating war and orphaned girl children.  We distributed scholastic materials worth USD 1,020 which included rulers, exercise books (counter books, 96 paged books), pencils, rubbers, mathematical sets, graph books and files to the beneficiaries to the 31 beneficiaries.

 Most of the home visits made were based on the way the beneficiaries were treated by their guardians at home. This is because most of the beneficiaries school and class performances are based on how they are treated at home by guardians.

 As a result of this we were able to make seven home visits to Acen Jennifer and Apio Susan, Atai Sandra, Akullu Daphne, Awor Faith, Achola Brenda and Akot Rebecca As a result of the counseling sessions to the beneficiaries, they have  improved in their class and schools performance for example Acio Lonna of Akia primary school, Akot Rebbecca of V.H public school, Aguti Dorine of Aduku road primary school etc  Another example is of Akello Margret of Okwang secondary school who was able to receive school scholarship of 30,000 Uganda shillings (USD 15) as a result of her best school performance this year.

 Lunch to the beneficiaries

 The children this year were able receive lunch in their schools, which guaranteed their concentration in class, hence better performance at the end of the school term and in class.

 “When I don’t eat anything especially at lunch, I fail to concentrate and I get what the teacher is saying and teaching because all that am thinking of is need for food,” mentioned Daphne Akullu during the school monitoring visit

Holiday Event

A holiday activity was held in the month of February 2011, where 34 participants attended and of these 20 were beneficiaries, 4 district officials; district speaker, Assistant inspector of Police Lira District, Child and protection officer, Probation and welfare officer, 8 guardians and two PLA Staff; the field officer and youth community coordinator.

 The main objective of the activity was to create a conducive environment where the beneficiaries could confide in the officers and PLA staff their fears and challenges, that way they would be supported and helped to overcome them. In the past years the beneficiaries were afraid to mention their challenges to just about any one due to fear of being abused and laugh at but now they freely express their fears with the intension of seeking a solution from one with experience.

Before I even feared telling anyone that I was suffering at home but now I can freely run to PLA office in case something is disturbing me,” narrated Brenda

Children who finished primary school

3 beneficiaries were able to finalize final examinations in their respective levels of primary and secondary. 2 girls that are Atai Sandra and Dorine Aguti were able to seat their primary leaving examinations and 1 girl Margret Akello of Okwang secondary school was able to seat her Uganda certificate of education.

The examinations will see them to another level, for the 2 girls to secondary school (Uganda certificate of education) and to Margret, it will see her to “A level” (Uganda advanced certificate of education)

They will still need the support of the project in especially terms of career guidance.

6 beneficiaries, through the effort of the project will get the full support from their guardians in terms of school fees which include both lunch and extra charges required for by the schools in the year 2012. This resulted from the home visits and the counseling provided by the field officer.

Planned activities for 2012

We shall monitor the beneficiaries whose guardians have promised to provide and support their education in the different schools. Since it is a new year we shall provide uniforms, offer counseling support, continue providing school lunch and distribute scholastic materials.

 Finally we shall identify more HIV positive and orphaned girls for support as well as update you, our donors, on the results of the candidates of Primary Leaving examination and Uganda certificate of education

 We appreciate and thank you for your contribution for the 2011 which have enabled us achieve the above.

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During the quarter (July, August and September) we made four (4) Home visits, seven (7) school visits and provided counselling support to 26 orphaned girls supported by the project.  We spoke to 26 girls on both their performance in school and personal life.  Overall there has been improvement in the academic performance of the girl at school. Some of the girls have joined child rights clubs in their schools and have started creating awareness amongst fellow children on mainly rights to education For example Akaki Gertrude has sensitized children at Elia Olet primary school through poems and Music dance and drama, only a few children knew about their rights and the responsibilities attached to them but since the last Holiday event, we have constantly told the other children about their rights, mentioned Akaki Gertrude. In the next Quarter the beneficiaries are going to sensitise and talk to the beneficiaries more about HIV/AIDS club since this club was also formed among the beneficiaries with currently 9 members in it. This club will the beneficiaries be more aware of HIV/AIDS and how to cope with and sensitise others. PLA will encourage the girls join other clubs such as debate clubs in their schools so that they are able to present themselves with confidence in public and before a big number of people.

Home Visits

 “During the holidays, I was going to school because i am a primary seven candidates we had to finalize the primary school syllabus”, said Dorine.

I was also able to attend a one week youth camp that was supported by our church, the theme for the camp was taken from the book of Jeremiah 8:4-8 which says, if someone falls doesn’t he/she rise up again.” Excitedly mentioned Dorine

School visits

During the holidays I played a lot with my friends, revised my books and also helped guardians in the gardens,” mentioned Faith. “Faith is HIV/AIDS positive and needs all the support that she can get especially at school, at home and from PLA,” mentioned her Mathematics teacher Acan Betty.

 

 “Platform for labour action has totally changed my life, until this year I never thought that I would ever seat senior four,” happily mentions Margret.

 

On top of the support that PLA has been giving Margret that is scholastic materials, school lunch and counselling her school, Okwang Secondary school has also continued to give her a bursary of 30,000 Uganda shillings(USD 12) for her class performance and involvement in school sports every school term.

 

During my vacation I intend to help my mother at the produce line to sell food stuff, so that my three siblings can have a better life,” mentioned Margret.

 

5 beneficiaries will be writing their final end of year examinations, 3 (three) will be writing their Uganda Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE), Two (2) will be writing their Uganda certificate of education.

 They are all motivated to work hard and perform better. Some of them have bigger ambitions like Margret who said, “I want to become an engineer in future, am trying to perform to my best in my science subjects so that am able to attain my dream.

The upcoming events for the next period are: school and home visits, counselling support for children and families and continued support for lunch during school time. We shall send the candidates encouraging messages of good luck in their examination


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Organization Information

Platform for Labour Action (PLA)

Location: Kampala, Uganda - Uganda
Website: http:/​/​www.pla-uganda.org
Project Leader:
Lilian Keene-Mugerwa
Executive Director
Kampala, Uganda
$49,171 raised of $56,200 goal
 
 
571 donations
$7,029 to go
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