Project #15451

Support Education for Youth in Rural Uganda

by Even Ground
Brenda at  her grandma
Brenda at her grandma's place

Dear Global Giving Team,

Our biggest news is the decision by FINIDP to start offering short-term scholarships to a few needy students using a fraction of the general operating funds already granted from Even Ground. The plan is to target a few academically promising but needy students who are in candidate (Certificate Awarding) classes but are struggling to stay in school because of tuition and other school dues.

Our first beneficiary is Shafik Kaweesi, a male aged 19 years, currently in Senior Six (Form 6) at Crested Senior Secondary School, in Kampala. To Shafiki primary education was smooth with no big school fees challenges but life changed drastically when his Dad lost a job. According to Shafiki, the education journey at first was not the worst not until his father, divorced the mum. Shafiki noted that this seemed as something to reckon with but later turned up to be a huddle in his way of life. Shafiki said: “when mum left home life completely changed as my father continuously lived a life of hardships”. “Dad deserted us; we were left alone in the house for about three years”. “In these years, my brothers and sisters had to take care of me but they were also in secondary school and couldn’t help much”. “From Primary Five, I have been to different schools because school fees debts have been accumulating”. I am currently in Form Six, but with lots of financial problems and inconsistency at school yet in a candidate class one needs maximum concentration to achieve good grades. FINIDP has so far paid started by paying Shafiki’s outstanding tuition fees and examination fees for his Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) exams due in December 2016. On May 20, 2016 we paid Shafiki’s 2nd term tuition fees and he is currently attending school without any interruption related to school fees burden.

Our 2nd beneficiary is a 19 year old female, Janet Brenda Nalwoga, who is also in Senior Six (Form 6) at Masajja Secondary School, Kamapala. Brenda, as she is popularly known, is a girl who has tested the wrath of parentless life since her parents separated and the responsibility of her welfare and education was left to her struggling grandmother. Unfortunately the grandmother is not gainfully employed and worse still she has other dependants. As a consequence, Brenda has had intermittent stay at school since her primary level education, something which has adversely affected her academic grades. Much as Brenda has managed to make it to Form Six, she is at the risk of failing to do her final exams if school dues are not cleared in time. As a result, FINIDP has adopted her as a befitting child to receive school fees for 2nd and 3rd terms so that she can do her UACE exams.

The purpose of the scholarships to both Shafijki and Brenda is to help the two needy students complete their UACE, which is a pre-requisite to Vocational Training or College or University Education Institution in Uganda.

We are in the process of recruiting a 3rd beneficiary - we will give details in due course.

FINIDP is grateful to Even Ground for the continued support and to the Global Giving Team for making all this possible.

Justine at graduation with her mother
Justine at graduation with her mother

The Uganda Education Project team, in collaboration with our local partner and our parent organization Even Ground, is thrilled to share another great achievement from one of our students! Thank you to each of you, our dedicated sponsors who make our work possible.

Recently, Justine graduated with a Bachelor of Microfinance degree from Kyambogo University.  See attached photos which were taken on the graduation day. Justine is currently searching for a job; we will be sure to keep you all posted on her next steps. Justine has been one of our scholars for many years, including primary, secondary and university study. We are thrilled for her accomplishments to date and know she has a bright future ahead of her.

As we seek to expand our support for our scholars, we have a plan to provide start up capital to support students who graduated from vocational training institutes, but have not yet been employed. This in our view will help them to become job creators as opposed to being job seekers.

On behalf of our scholars, thank you for your continued support!

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy New Year!

As we look back on 2015, we at the Uganda Education Project of Even Ground have a lot to be thankful for. The major achievements during 2015 have been the fact that two scholars, Justine and Emmanuel completed University education; Emmanuel graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from Ndejje University on October 16, 2015 while Justine will graduate from Kyambogo University with a degree in Micro Finance in January 2016. Thank you to all of our donors who have made this possible and truly made an impact on the lives of our scholars. 

Inability to serve the ever increasing number of needy orphans yearning for basic education because of limited funds has been a major challenge of the year. In the future we intend to intensify networking and partnership identification for purposes of getting more financiers and well-wishers to our education project, but we will continue to rely on the generosity of you, our donors. 

The key lesson learned is that the best way to create impact in terms of provision of scholarships to needy students is by establishing an education institution integrating cost-sharing students with needy students for sustainability reasons rather than relying on grants which can only benefit a few orphans out of the many in need. However, the challenge in this is that it also requires a lot initial investment capital, but starting small it can be done. Stay tuned for more on our plans to build the Uganda Education Project! 

The fact that students were able to finish an education cycle is something that was not taken lightly by the scholars and their families. The flexible and systematic release of funds by Even Ground helped us to effectively carry out project activities.

Happy 2016!

Julius Graduates!
Julius Graduates!

With fall approaching we are particularly thankful this time of year, and wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing accomplishments of our scholars over the past year as part of the Uganda Education Project of Even Ground. Thank you to all of our donors who make our work possible; without your generous support we would not be able to continue to provide educational opportunities to these very deserving youth. Your gift gives them a chance at a new path!

Most notably this year, Julius graduated with a degree in automechanic engineering from Kyambogo University. This is an incredible accomplishment made possible through your support. Today, Julius is putting his knowledge to work as a mechanic at a local garage. He is eager to give back to his community, and specifically help other youth struggling to get through their education.

Our two remaining scholars, Justine and Emmanuel, completed their university first degree studies in June 2015; they will graduate in January 2016. Currently, they are searching for jobs and looking forward to graduation! We will share the details of their graduation ceremonies in our next report; stay tuned!

As we close out the existing scholarships, we are excited to turn to our next goal: enrolling a new cohort of students to provide scholarships for their secondary education. Through the help of our local partner, we have identified a group of students who will not be able to continue their education without financial support. We need your help to fund a grant to enable them to break the cycle of poverty and HIV/AIDS through education. Please donate today and share our story.

If you are in the New York area, our parent organization, Even Ground, has its fifth annual gala on Wednesday, October 7th. Please look at our Facebook page for more details and ticket information.

With your continued support we will continue to help youths by providing them access to a brighter future. THANK YOU.

Eva: The newest midwife at Kisubi Hospital
Eva: The newest midwife at Kisubi Hospital

Thanks to each of you, our loyal donors, we are thrilled to share a success story of one of our scholars.

Today, Eva lives a self-sustaining life after considerable challenges were put in her way. Eva, one of the 24 students sponsored by Even Ground, dedicated herself to her studies for over six years and has achieved a medical career at Kisubi Hospital, just a few miles near Entebbe International Airport.

Eva was given the sponsorship in 2007 after finished primary school. She had no hope of continuing with her education after both her parents passed away and the aunt who was helping had also lost a job.

She was offered a scholarship through Even Ground, and successfully completed her four years of high school. When it came to time for her national proficiency exams, they were cancelled due to the closure of the examination center. All of the students scheduled for the exam were impacted; Eva was devastated thinking all of her hard work was for nothing.

Thanks to the support of our local partner, Eva was ultimately able to repeat the course and sit for the national exam. Eva persevered, and achieved a high enough grade that allowed her to join a Nursing and Midwifery College where she graduated last year in November as a Mid-wife.

In May 2015 Eva’s hard work and discipline paid off and she secured a job at Kisubi Hospital where she is working as a midwife. On getting this job she happily called our local partner and shared the good news. She is thankful for the support that has helped her reach a self-sustaining, independent life. She promised to always be involved in our program activities including fundraising, counseling and career guidance.

In the pictures, you can see Eva, her supervisor, and our Program Manager, Dan.

Even Ground project still has two other students Justine and Emma who will finishing their final exams in this summer, the two will be graduating from university with degrees one in Micro Finance and the other in Accounting and Finance.

We look forward to continuing the Uganda Education project and starting a new cohort of students. Your help today will enable us to reach this goal.

Thank you for your continued support!

Eva and her support team
Eva and her support team

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Organization Information

Even Ground

Location: Buffalo Grove, Illinois - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Meredith Wallace
Uganda project director
Buffalo Grove, Illinois United States

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