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Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School

by Outreach Uganda
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Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
Help Keep 15 Aspiring Ugandan Girls in School
6th Grader, Beatrice, Receiving Exam Award
6th Grader, Beatrice, Receiving Exam Award

We're happy to report that five of our 6th grade students achieved the coveted "First Grade" ranking on their national exams that they took earlier this year. These are required standardized exams that every 6th grader in Uganda must successfully complete. As a student, your success on this exam determines whether you can continue on with your schooling to 7th grade and beyond. It also determines if you can enroll in a secondary school which has higher academic quality.

And out of those five students from our community's local Cubu Parents Primary School, 3 of these 5 students were girls!  We are also thrilled that these 5 students achieved the highest scores in our sub-county called Gem.  Kudos to our school's teaching staff, and kudos to our supportive parents and community members who stand behind these students, kudos to our Girls' Education Initiative program and its staff, and especially kudos to the students for the hard work they put in during this very difficult past year.

And now we get to the part where we want to give YOU, as donors to this project a big thanks. That's because with your support, we are able to assure the top performing girls, that they will receive scholarship support to continue on with their education in 7th grade during the upcoming year.  We know this because until we get specific scholarship supporters located, this GlobalGiving project will provide the needed temporary funding for their school fees.

We've included photos of two of the three girls receiving their awards from the sub-county along with their parent who accompanied them on Monday.  One of the girls in the white shirt, Beatrice, already has funding for her scholarship. But the other girl in red, Gifty, does not yet have a scholarship supporter.  So we thank you, as a donor to this important project, for putting her mind at ease by enabling us to assure her that she will still receive funding to continue on into 7th grade.

On a side note, the students and parents are excited about their award of a mattress, because this is a required item for them to join the boarding section in 7th grade. And they are very expensive to buy for families with little income.

On behalf of everyone at Outreach Uganda, and the teachers at the community school in Agwata, we sincerely thank you for making a difference and giving the gift of education to girls like Gifty.

Gifty and her parent receiving award of a mattress
Gifty and her parent receiving award of a mattress

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Adira, now in 10th grade thanks to you!
Adira, now in 10th grade thanks to you!

Girls like Adira are so thankful for your support in providing contributions so they can stay in school.  When Adira started 7th grade, she had a sponsor.  And through unfortunate circumstances, her sponsor had to stop sponsoring in 2019.  Adira was able to remain in school. the remainder of 2019 and all of 2020 because of your contributions that we used towards her school fees during this time.  Now, as the 2021 school year is starting, we have found another sponsor for her!  

The above circumstance is exactly why we started this project. To help girls like Adira to continue their education uninterrupted even in situations where we are unable to find an ongoing sponsor at the needed critical time. We are very grateful for your support to this key project that has now helped over 25 girls stay in school since the project first began!

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6th Grade Girls: Back to School Being Safe w/Masks
6th Grade Girls: Back to School Being Safe w/Masks

We're excited that our Agwata school 6th graders have been back in school since October!

In October, the Ugandan government allowed students in "candidate classes" to go back to school and begin a time of intensive study for their year-end national exams which are now scheduled for late March 2021.

"Candidate classes" means that 6th, 10th and 12th grade students as well as university and vocational students in their final year can go back to classes. We hope that within the next month or two more if not all students will be back in school.  It is extremely difficult for young students especially, to study from printed materials at home.

Currently, there are 44 6th graders boarding at the Agwata school. Twenty-five of these students are girls. They are studying hard to make up for five missed months of school. We also have quite a few sponsored students in 10th and 12th grade and even university that are back in school now.

This is hugely good and everyone is glad to see girls back in school. We are concerned that when they are out of school, they may become overburdened with farming and housework and loose their focus. Or worse, go astray and become pregnant.  At least with our 6th graders, this has not been the case. All but one returned back to school.

That is why, as we mentioned in our prior letters to you, we have been meeting with the girls periodically to help keep them motivated and focused on schooling and their goals in life.  We will continue to do this until everyone is back in school.

We thank you for your continued interest and support of our project during these difficult times. It makes a huge differene! Your support helps us make sure more girls stay in school and remain focused on their goals.

We are very grateful!

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Meeting with 58 Uganda Girls in mid-July
Meeting with 58 Uganda Girls in mid-July

Uganda's lockdown, with no school in session, has continued longer than we had hoped. As of today, schools are still closed. The government still prohibits gatherings larger than 5 people. Students have received study materials in June and are supposed to be studying at home.

In light of these circumstances, our Uganda staff requested special permission from the district to conduct special occasional meetings with the girls in our parish (like a county). We began meeting with them in mid-July to stress the continued importance of school and studying while at home, to encourage them to focus on their goals, and to receive feedback from them on the issues they face at home during the lockdown.

Fifty--eight girls attended the first meeting. We've included a photo of that meeting in this report. The biggest issue they reported was being overworked at home doing farming as well as caring for younger siblings. In two cases, the mother had permanently left the home. The girls were excited about the meeting and all agreed the meetings should continue.

Our staff met the next week with the mothers to provide encouragement, and give feedback from the girls meeting. Staff also met with district education officials to brief them on the status of our girls and encourage the district to promote similar meetings throughout the district.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and have also scheduled our primary school's teachers to meet with 6th grade students individually at their homes to help with the students' home learning, answer questions etc.

We believe our girls are doing the best possible under the circumstances. In the next month, we will discuss more with district education officials to see if we can help with girls' meetings at other nearby schools in our district.

We thank you for your continued support of keeping girls motivated about their schooling and for giving us the means to assist especially those girls who do not yet have sponsors.

We would very much appreciate if you can share about this project with your friends, family and co-workers who feel strongly about girls' education.

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Happy School Girls: You Help Support Scovia at rt
Happy School Girls: You Help Support Scovia at rt

i was in Uganda from mid-February to mid-March and want to update you about the status of our older girls in school, the very girls this project is helping to support!  The good news is the Uganda school year got off to a good start in February.  I, along with two other volunteers visited many of the secondary students at the schools where they board.  I've included a photo of one visit at the very end of February.  This gave us the opportunity to talk with the girls one on one to see how they liked school as well as to provide encouragement to the girls.

Four days after I  flew back to the U.S.,.Uganda's president sent all students home from school for 30 days as well as undertook other measures, all aimed at stopping the coronavirus from spreading within Uganda.  As of April 8th, there are 53 reported coronaivrus cases in Uganda with zero deaths reported. We hope that containment efforts continue to be successful.

According to Uganda school officials, they currently expect the school year to progress with students returning to school at some point and making up for missed school days by shortening or eliminating the two three-week term breaks and/or extending the school year into December.  We are operating under this understanding that students are just home for an earlier break than normal but will go back in May (or maybe June) depending on what happens.

In the meantime, we are helping the northern Agwata community where many of our students live. The clinic is making preparations to better withstand any health issues the community might face during the upcoming rainy season (May and June). So whether it might be increased cases of malaria, pneumonia or coronavirus, we are helping the community's clinic workers prepare to the extent we have funds available for this. This in turn will better support our students who are home on break and who depend on the local clinic for their health care.

We appreciate your continued support of keeping older secondary (7th to 12th grade) girls in school until we locate additional sponsorship and scholarship supporters for them. We also appreciate your continued support during this time as the whole world waits for the coronavirus crisis to pass so that we can return to a new normal. And especially importantly, so that our girls can return to school!

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Organization Information

Outreach Uganda

Location: Highlands Ranch, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @outreachuganda
Project Leader:
Carol Davis
Highlands Ranch, CO United States
$17,036 raised of $20,000 goal
 
269 donations
$2,964 to go
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