On October 25th, 2022 11 girls (ages 7-10 yrs) were killed in a dormitory fire at Uganda's Salama Primary School for the Blind. The first priority for funds will be purchasing fire extinguishers to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again. Next, a memorial garden including name plaques, fragrant/soft plants, seating, and musical features will be created to foster community healing. Once this project is fully funded we will install a large rain tank for safety, hygiene, and hydration needs.
We want to honor and remember the girls who were lost and help the remaining students feel safe and want to continue their education. One reason so many died was a lack of fire extinguishers, which is especially dangerous since Salama is off the grid with no running water. A lack of water also limits gardening and interferes with needs for sanitation and hydration. The students at Salama face barriers to education about nature and music related to them being blind.
A memorial garden with comforting smells, textures, and sounds will promote healing. Access to fire extinguishers and a rain tank will improve fire readiness and also provide water for the garden, hygiene, and consumption (if boiled/filtered). Some of the extinguishers will go to the nearby secondary school for the blind. The garden will provide an educational tool to use the students' remaining senses to teach about nature and music, providing knowledge they might use in careers as adults.
The garden will provide a comforting space for the lost girls' families, classmates, and teachers to mourn and to continue to feel the beauty that the girls' lives added to the world. It will also help the community in feeling that the school is a safe place, which will encourage families to continue to send their children to Salama (the alternative being depriving their blind children of an education). The rain tank and fire extinguishers will address ongoing needs for water and safety.