Out of a population of approximately 31 million, Uganda's HIV/AIDS pandemic has resulted in over 1.1 million orphaned children who have lost one or both parents. In addition to the trauma of losing a parent, orphans go without many of the basic human needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education. While the African extended family has traditionally stepped in to support orphans, the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic has overburdened this traditional safety net.
A girl who attends primary school reduces her chances of getting HIV by 50%; if she attends secondary school, by 75%. We learned early on that children who are sick and hungry cannot learn. In addition to a quality free education we provide mentorship, love, safety, clean water, medicine, nutritious meals, and counseling to all of our students. We have a program for their caretakers that encourages them to send students to school rather than keeping them home to fetch water and care for them.
In 2015 your Nyaka Secondary and Vocational School, designed especially for Nyaka and Kutamba graduates, opened and the very first class of students from Nyaka began attending university. They will graduate in 2018. This year, you will also be supporting over 800 students, from young nursery students to passionate university students. About half of these students will be female, and YOU will have equipped them with empowering knowledge and skills to better their lives.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
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Twesigye Jackson Kaguri is a 2012 CNN Hero