Provide Education for Underprivileged Children

by SHARE (NGO)
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Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
Provide Education for Underprivileged Children
The children enjoying class just before COVID
The children enjoying class just before COVID

 Dear friends and family of SHARE Project and the Hammerslag School,

As usual, we thank our donors for their continued support and recurring donations to keep our school running. However, along with the rest of the world, schools have been shut as of March due to COVID-19, sending all of our learners back home. Before this, donations had been used to gradually improve the school (e.g. plaster the classroom walls, purchase additional school desks and chairs, and construct a female and staff toilet). Most significantly, we were also able to pay off our final loan to the bank and pay full February salaries and house rent to our teachers, which was a huge relief.

Despite this progress, we have been under incredibly difficult times due to the virus. The sudden shut down of our country has trapped some of our staff who are not from Pallisa and were unable to return to their families. Therefore, we had to continue to house and feed them, along with the students who relied on meals at the school, which has been incredibly difficult due to a lack of funds and no work in the village.

Our partners, Good Neighbours have helped some, sponsoring pandemic food rations for 43 children to eat while at home. This was helpful for the first two months, but this support is now finished, and our children, as well as their families are in dire need.

As for learning, the government has switched to a new approach of teaching through radios and televisions, but this has been difficult, if not impossible for most of our rural and vulnerable children who do not have access to either. This has been a concern in preparing our students for their final PLE exams.

Currently, the virus is continuing to spread throughout Uganda, with our Prime Minister in quarantine after his aide tested positive. This is a huge worry because our children come from rural settings where there is no testing equipment and a lack of health care, and people are already dying. Although we are told to wear masks and wash our hands regularly, this is not possible for many who lack clean water, sanitation supplies, or are not able to afford to wear masks on a daily basis. Perhaps most upsetting is that there is a huge misconception about the illness in the community, with many calling it cholera. Due to limited access to outside information and with the majority not educated, disease awareness and prevention is of utmost importance to reducing COVID’s spread.

Beyond the virus, the biggest concern for people has been feeding their families. As you can imagine, most are struggling economically, and children and adults are both going without food. In addition, many live in crowded households with the entire family, including the elderly. Because the cities are shut down and the youth are out of work, they have returned as well to their rural homes, contributing to over-crowding. Other cultural practices such as eating together, shaking hands and embracing have made social distancing even more difficult.

Due to these challenges, we kindly ask for your additional support during these unprecedented times. Donations will go to feeding our children and larger community, raising awareness about the disease, as well supplying them with masks and sanitation materials to stay protected. We are also hoping to raise funds to print and deliver learning materials given by the government to help students learn at home and prepare for their coming exams. Now more than ever we need your support to overcome this terrible crisis. Any donation, big or small, will go a long way in keeping our community safe.

Much love and many thanks,

-Charles

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Completed electrical pole
Completed electrical pole

We have great news since our last report. Our pioneer candidates performed well in the 2019 Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). The Best Candidate received 15 aggregates, missing only 3 points to getting Division one. The second best got 19 aggregates, the next got 21, and four tied up in 22 aggregates and 25, 28 and 30 respectively. We sat 10 students and managed to beat the 3 government schools in the same sub-county. Nine of our Students sat PLE at Osonga Primary school and one of our students at Olok Primary school; as our school does not have an examination center.

We would like to thank all of the donors for their support and contribution to this great performance in our community who had lost hope for their children ever making it to a high school education. If such sacrifices were not made to this community and its children to build a school to go to, this goal could not have been realized. We thank the Hammerslag family and all their friends who believed in the idea of building classrooms where there was no school-- when children were studying under trees to be able to graduate to a high school education.

When we made our first ask for donations on GlobalGiving, a man called Quirois introduced us to the Hammerslag family, and from that time we got their support to begin construction of the school for the many vulnerable children in Pallisa. Our student population continues to grow each year because of your support.

A big thank you goes to Mother Loretta and her daughter Jenna for all the sacrifices made so far and they have continued despite their own family needs to stand with this rural community and help educate their children, including feeding and paying for the teacher’s salaries and purchasing scholastic materials that make learning possible.

Recently the government has extended electricity in the village where the school is located and we managed to pay for a low voltage power pole at the school compound. Further funds are needed to help install power in the classrooms to help our children read and revise their books at night in preparation for the 2020 PLE. A photo of the completed electrical pole has been included with this report. 

Considering this new opportunity, we invited an engineer to inspect the school, who advised us that we need to pay application survey fees and purchase the following supplies in order to install electricity throughout the compound: MK box, earth wire and rode, junction boxes, land cable, 50 kgs of salt, charcoal dirt, sockets, switches, clips, bulbs inside and outside the classroom for security. This will cost an estimated 1,000 USD, including labor.

We have also used the recent funds to pay our first installment of the school loan. Additionally, we have used part of the money to complete the plastering of the remaining classrooms and partitioning of the old school toilet to separate male and female use, as requested by the health authority at Pallisa District. Finally, we have secured a few scholastic materials to start the new school term 2020 and repaired teachers rented accommodation.

We request for more support to help feed the children, build a better kitchen, and also improve teachers pay, as we keep losing good teachers at the end of each year. At the moment we are only able to pay 100,000 UsH per month for a teacher, and 50,000 UsH for support staff, far below the proposed living wage for a teacher in the country.

We need funds to be able to complete the construction of the new school toilet, as the old one is shared by the entire school population, the students and staff, as well as some members of the community who do not have toilets in their homes. 

The school continues to struggle accommodating boarding children who sleep in the classrooms, and we worry a lot about their health. We ask any kind-hearted individual to consider switching to a recurring donation through GlobalGiving in order to sponsor these children, and help provide them with adequate, consistent care. Every amount counts. Most importantly, we must build a separate accommodation, starting with a girls dormitory this term. This can be completed with as little as 7,000 USD, including washrooms. We hope you will find it in your hearts to continue supporting our efforts. We thank you for reading our report.

Much Love,
Charles Olupot

Children learning in the classroom
Children learning in the classroom
One of our 2019 PLE candidates
One of our 2019 PLE candidates
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Hello again friends and donors,

The past few months have been busy at SHARE project and the Hammerslag School. Namely, recent funds have helped to partition one classroom to create a separate learning space for the primary two students. Your donations have also supported our year seven primary students in preparing for, and sitting the National PLE exams for admission to secondary school, which took place over November 4th and 5th. Ten students completed their exams, a few of whose headshots I have included with this report.  We are currently praying for successful results. In addition, we have purchased updated scholastic materials for our teachers, and built permanent blackboards for the primary and nursery classes (as pictured). Furthermore, construction has begun to improve the kitchen and food/firewood storage facilities, which are in poor condition and vulnerable to inclement weather. Recent heavy rain storms have left our food and firewood soaked, greatly affecting our ability to prepare meals for the children. 

Due to financial struggles, we have appealed to the bank for a small loan which has enabled us to start plastering all the classroom walls as you can see from the photos. This has been hugely important in creating a safe and healthy learning environment for the children, and one that meets building regulation codes. We have been able to construct a few more desks as well, but there are still many students (primarily in the lower classrooms) who sit on the floor, and teachers who do not have seats and tables to use. Moreover, the school toilets need better partitioning, as well as a second latrine to support our growing student population. And as usual, sustained donations are pivotal to pay our teachers the salary they deserve. We are still only able to support half of their required pay, which is a difficult and demoralizing situation. Although supporting our staff is a huge priority, this has been difficult due to the pressing need to get the school up to proper regulation so that we can maintain our education license and qualify for state funding. 

That said, at this time we are unable to access larger loans to support these needs, because contributions from parents and private donors are insufficient for us to keep up with loan payments. In fact, many parents of day students are unable to afford school fees. Attached is a photo of one mother with five children at our school. Pictured with her youngest child, she is a single mother, suffers from a disability and works long hours as a maid to support her family. This is the story of many in our community who face immense hardship and dream of a better life for their children. It is our hope that our school will provide the youth of Pallisa with a strong foundational education from which to grow. 

Therefore it is our humble request this holiday season that you find it in your hearts to pledge a recurring donation to the school. Even a small amount per month goes a long way in ensuring our teachers get paid, and our students are adequately cared for. Larger donations will help us complete the bigger projects such as improving the school kitchen, building a second latrine and constructing desks and chairs for all the students. No matter the amount, your donations will go a long way towards improving the children's learning conditions. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you once more for your consideration. Happiest of holidays to you and your families!

Much love,
Charles Olupot

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The past few months have been tough at SHARE Project and the Hammerslag School. Due to a lack of administrative support and a period without internet in Pallisa, we missed a very important due-dilligance report for GlobalGiving. By the time we resolved the issue and submitted the report, new and recurring donations had lapsed to the project. Thanks to the help of GlobalGiving's team, they were able to resolve the issue and fully reinmburse the school (a testiment to the organization for ensuring projects on its platform are properly vetted).  However, during this period we struggled to adequately care for and feed our boarding students, pay our teachers and staff a full salary, and to fund required state testing and other administrative costs. As a result, several boarding students were sent back to their guardians for a period of time. 

Despite the hardships, we have persevered and stayed in high spirits. We continued to teach, feed and house our rural and vulnerable population as best we could. In fact, the children start their end of term exams next week, which they have been studying hard for. And by the end of this year, our students will sit for the very first time at the national exam to join secondary education! 

When the recurring donations were reimbursed in late July, we were able to purchase food and living supplies for the boarding students, new scholastic materials, and to pay teachers their full salary. Some revenue went to the government as well to renew our training licence and operation permit (as is standard for all schools in Uganda). This is paid annually and requires a follow up with the Ministry of Education, which will take place in the next few weeks. Lastly, As pictured, we are working to complete the construction of desks for all the students. 

As these are the only new updates since the last report, I will finish by outlining our remaining needs/goals over the next quarter. Please consider giving as little as $10 recurring donation each month to support these efforts and ensure that we stay out of financial crisis; are able to feed, house and pay our staff the salaries they deserve. As always, we thank you for your generosity. 

Remainder of 2019 goals and financial needs:

  • Pay teachers and support staff the national average, every month. This works out to a need of only $1,250 USD per year!
  • Raise enough to cover the fees for the UNEB national exam for admission to secondary school. 20 students need to sit for the exam and it costs $10 per student ($200 total). Consider investing in the future of these hard working individuals by donating enough to cover the fees or one, or all of our students. 
  • Complete construction of the primary one classroom. As pictured, they are still learning in a temporary shade outside the main school building. This would cost just 2,000 USD total including flooring, plastering for the walls, and constructing a black board, tables and chairs. 
  • Raise money to cover healthcare costs of students suffering from sickle cell, malaria, HIV/Aids and other chronic illness. We have lost three kids in the past year to sickness, which could have been avoided with the proper access to healthcare, medications and also better awareness and counseling support to families in the community. 
  • Complete construction of a seperate female latrine.
  • Improve boarding conditions for students. Every child still needs a proper mattress, bedding and mosquito net.
  • Improve the school feeding program. We are barely getting by and need to improve the nutritional intake of our students on a daily basis. Even small recurring donations will help ensure the boarding children are fed three healthy meals per day. 
  • Maintain NGO office, wifi and other administrative costs (including licence, insurance and other fees necessary to keep the school legally registered in Uganda).
  • Find international volunteer programs to help run the school. We are actively applying to partnerships in the UK and Australia so that we can find some relief in our day to day operations. 

As usual, we thank you for your continued support and donations to help educate rural and vulnerable children in Uganda.

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One of our upper primary students
One of our upper primary students

Greetings friends and donors,

Since our last update at Share Project and the Hammerslag School, much of our efforts have continued as usual. The majority of our focus over the past few months has been to ensure the children receive adequate food, shelter and care at the school, and that our teachers are paid a fair and consistent wage each month. This has been difficult with the lack of recurring donations, however we remain positive that we will secure more partnerships in the future.

For now, Good Neighbors, a humanitarian NGO, has been our most reliable partner by sponsoring our boarding children with food and clothing supplies. To date, they sponsor 46 students, and in addition to providing basic living supplies to our orphaned and most vulnerable children, they have promised to buy the school a water tank to trap rainwater to solve our issues with providing clean/filtered water at the school. They have also started a program to provide sanitary towels to our female students and teachers, and sports uniforms to all the children. They also plan to assist in building a seperate latrine for the girls (however, this will require more land and space that we hope to fundraise for in the coming months).

We are worked diligently to enlist other organizations to donate supplies, complete the schools construction and to support continued programming.  Some of the organizations we have been in active conversation with or have submitted applications to include: Home of Good Hope, Peace Corps, Edinburgh Global Partnerships, Room to Read and Dubai Cares. Partnerships like these, and support from donors like you will be pivotal to maintaining or mission.

As for other updates at the school -- the children have started using the new classroom partition, installed to separate the nursery and primary one students. Children, teachers and parents are very happy about this new development and as a result the students’ population in the entire school has doubled in the last year. In the nursery alone the total population is over 100 children!

Since the start of 2019, the school has also attracted 10 newly qualified teachers from Kampala's teacher training college. Because there are no rooms for rent in the village, the new teachers are living at the school compound in spaces we have converted for use as a dormitory. We were able to install another solar light in these areas so that they have adequate light to prepare their lessons at night. We also purchased firewood, food and living supplies for the boarding students and teachers.

Another exciting development in our organization’s progress is our official registration as an NGO in Uganda. GlobalGiving donations have helped Share to pay the legal fees necessary to register in Uganda, Previously, we were operating as a Community Based Organization (CBO), which meant each year we had to process a new certificate; a costly and time consuming procedure. Now that we have internationally recognized NGO status, many more funding opportunities are available to us.

Finally, we remain in constant communication with beneficiaries (students, parents and community members) to ensure we are achieving desired outcomes. Although there is much to improve on, we have received powerful feedback from affected individuals who confirm that our programs are working and that students love the opportunity to learn. They have also stressed the importance of the school’s success in this extremely poor and rural of areas.

With that, I leave you with our most urgent needs that we hope to fulfill with any leftover funds:

  • School desk and chair construction: there is big shortage here, with some children seated on the desks and others on the floor. We need 100 desks and chairs, which will cost about 500 USD.
  • Textbooks to prepare for Uganda's national examinations. Our upper primary students are about to sit for their Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). 100 USD will purchase the necessary textbooks for them and future students to more adequately prepare.
  • Although Good Neighbors has agreed to help construct an extra latrine, we need funds to purchase more land and supplies to create a safe and healthy facility.
  • Money for flooring in the nursery and primary one classrooms. The floors are currently packed dirt and present health risks to the little ones.

We face many challenges, including limiting funding and external resources but we hope that our hard work and passionate efforts will contribute to long-term change in our community!

Students in the classroom
Students in the classroom
Children in the nursery, which needs desks
Children in the nursery, which needs desks
New teachers living at the school
New teachers living at the school
The children gather for a picture
The children gather for a picture
A water filter provided by Good Neighbors
A water filter provided by Good Neighbors
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Organization Information

SHARE (NGO)

Location: PALLISA - Uganda
Twitter: @olupot_charles
Project Leader:
SHARE NGO
PALLISA, Uganda
$53,346 raised of $95,000 goal
 
334 donations
$41,654 to go
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