In 2011, I travelled to Katulikire for the first time. A met a group of students who sang for me for four hours, and I learned their names. Among them was Sandra. She was the youngest but full of self confidence. There were probably 15-20 children in the group, and at age four she was brave enough to sing a solo.
When I was there, I promised myself that we would ensure every child in the group received a net. After I left Uganda, we contniued to fundraise and were eventually able to provide nets to Bweyale Primary School, the public school Sandra was supposed to attend. Our volunteers looked for her, but she was not there. I worried that she had fallen ill or had never started school. We next returned to Katulikire Primary School, perhaps she instead attended this nearby school. Sandra was not there.
When I returned to Uganda in 2014, I visited St. Monica Primary School. The school costs students $17 a semester. Parents send their children to St. Monica to have class sizes of 20 instead of 120 at the nearby public schools. I visited St. Monica during my stay, and Sandra was there.
She has benefitted from our work in Uganda and now sleeps under a net. Sandra is not just staying healthy and in school, but she is studying very hard. She is the first ranked student in her second grade class. Pictured not in uniform because she came to school to study on her day off! She remains self-confident. I am sure that if she can stay in school, she will do great things. Children like Sandra are the future of Uganda.
Thank you for helping children like Sandra and making NETwork Against Malaria possible.
Sr. Camilla is originally from Gulu. When the Lord’s Resistance Army was pillaging and devastating Gulu area, the children began leaving their homes at night and commuting to Gulu town to sleep in the streets. It became dangerous for people to work in the fields. Food insecurity was widespread. Sr. Camilla began a food program to feed these children. She risked her safety to plant and harvest her own crops. She prepared the food daily for the children.
The rebels heard about her work. They told her to stop or face the consequences. She was stationed at a church just outside of Gulu. The rebels arrived intending to destroy the church. They would have to destroy her first. She was beaten so severely that she could not move for days, but they did not destroy the church. She continued to work with the children. The rebels arrived one day and took her away. She was beaten and abused for months. Finally, one day without explanation, they sent her home. The mother superior of her order sent her to Katulikire to help with the Internally Displaced Persons. There, she started a women’s group and built a school called St. Monica.
St. Monica strives serve the poorest of the poor but at the same time providing them with a strong education that is often unavailable in impoverished, rural areas. Sr. Camilla continues to take on the problems of the people. Housing a schizophrenic mother and her three children. Hiring women who are saving for their children’s education. Taking in children who would otherwise never be able to have a quality education.
St. Monica is close partner of NETwork’s. It is growing. It currently has classes through third grade expanding every year. We provide all of their students with nets, and they allow us to use their extra classrooms for net storage. Please help us help protect the students of St. Monica against malaria, help the school grow in accordance with the vision of Sr. Camilla.
And the 24,999 recipients before her.
After distributing nets to the children at Alerotingo and Kawiti Primary Schools we have successfully distributed over 25,000 ITN's to grade school children. We would like to extend our sincere gratitute on behalf of the 1st to the 25,000th child who has benefitted from your generosity. Both schools are extremely remote, even by Ugandan standards. They serve children who have fled their homes as refugees and internally displaced persons. We know that our efforts are encouraging the children to stay in school and keeping them healthy. The teachers have told us that the children are surprised that in all the world Americans would choose their school to receive ITNs.
Baby Jerome is learning to walk while recovering from malaria at Katulikire Health Center. Baby Jerome arrived at the health center somnolent, difficult to wake up. After a couple of treatments, he was greatly improved.
NETwork is fighting malaria in children under 5 by working through school children. Many adults do not know that malaria is carried by mosquitoes, so they don't know see the benefit of using nets that make sleeping less comfortable. School children are open and ready to learn. Children are taught in school about malaria, how it's spread, and how to prevent the illness. Children learn about the benefits of malaria nets and how to use them. They bring the nets home and teach their families. Mothers, who may have received nets in the past, begin to use their nets. They learn that malaria is a preventable, treatable illness. Not only do they bring baby Jerome to the health center where he receives treatment, they sleep under the net with their young children protecting them from malaria.
Please consider donating to NETwork on this "Bonus Day" where your donations are matched. Help us celebrate the Holidays in Uganda by promoting education and keeping our children healthy.
Trudy is a senior three student at Stella Maututina secondary school. I met her when she stayed at school over spring break to study. She came to celebrate Easter with myself and the group I stayed with in Uganda.
Trudy asked me about NETwork. "They gave me a net." Trudy had received an insecticide treated net as a student at Opok Primary School in 2012. She stayed healthy, and she stayed in school. She became a rare girl who has the opportunity for a high school education. She is not taking it for granted. She not only stayed in school over spring break, but continued to stay and study over summer break. The principal told me that she is greatly improving in her studies.
Her family hopes that Trudy will do well in school, so that she can be a leader and help the entire family. Her family is incredibly poor working as sustenance farmers in Opok.
Thank you for your investment in Trudy. It pays to invest in the health and education of young girls like her. They struggle so much to stay in school. When they succeed it benefits themselves, their families, and ultimately the entire village.
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