St Martins School, at the heart of Kibagare, is a safe haven for more than 1000 students from the Kibagare slum. The population here lives on less than $2.00 a day and most are poor. The school not only provides education, but also provide regular meals, space to play, access to computers, and a child-friendly environment. Our focus has been on education and technology but we are keen on empowering the families of the children that we support with the knowledge and skills to be self-reliant.
15,000 adults living in the slum have no means to make ends meet due to Covid-19 and the lack of employment opportunities here in the slum. This has led to increased cases of domestic violence, child neglect and abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction; all of these things are having an adverse effect on children we support and in their education. In some cases, children dropping out of school due to the lack of parental care at home.
The center we are building will enable us as, a school, to provide a centralized place to deliver training to the parents of our children, and equip them with entrepreneurial skills such as bead-making and basket and mat weaving. The hall will provide ample and affordable space for parents to hold meetings, form support groups, and offer each other psychosocial support to help them cope with day-to-day issues in the slum. Fundraising will reduce rental costs, savings used to benefit the groups.
We hope to train as many women and men as possible on entrepreneurial skills, and reduce childhood trauma and exposure. We hope to create self-reliant families that will be able to support themselves using the skills they learn and empower them to forge meaningful relationships through the support groups.