Photo: Students are excited about new opportunities and advancements being made at our main campus boarding high school.
Today we are happy to share good reports from our programs in rural Uganda. Our 300 primary school students (ages 3-12) at our campus in Mairinya have been studying diligently since the new school semester began on February 5th — they are learning English, math, science, and 2 levels of literacy from 15 faithful new teachers that we recently hired. When the children are not studying, they enjoy playing games together such as soccer, running races and skipping, Ruddo, and Scrabble.
There was an urgent need for desks at the primary school, so our native team built 32 desks using timber milled from their own trees on the property, which is a very resourceful process. We are proud of our team for pulling together scarce resources to provide for the needs of our children. However, we are still in great need of 68 more desks which we hope to be able to purchase with your support.
Our other needs at the rural primary school are new math, English, science, and literacy textbooks, and to construct a dormitory for the boys. We also hope to purchase play facilities such as a swing set, play tunnels, dolls for the little girls, and other such items for recreation. In addition, our primary school students desperately need better access to clean water. The children travel on foot for over two miles looking for drinking water. And when they do arrive at a well, the wait can be several hours to get to the front of the line.
Our campus is located in a remote village and we do not have a water well at school. We collect water from a community water well which is over two miles from our school. The children often suffer from headaches due to lack of water in their diets. Therefore we are seeking to raise $6,500 in order to drill and install a clean water well on campus. We are hopeful that donations will be strong enough to meet all of these needs to meet the overwhelming demand for primary eduction in this remote rural region of Uganda.
Our 370 students (ages 13-18) enrolled in our high school on our main campus have been studying diligently as well since the new semester began on February 5th — they are learning math, English, geography, history, commerce, physics, chemistry, biology, fine art, economics, agriculture, computer studies, and their native language of Swahili. They are also preparing to take their national exams in October, which is a great honor and accomplishment as they have worked very hard during their high school education. We have registered students from both the “O” level (the first 4 years in Ugandan high school) and the “A” level (all 6 years of Ugandan high school). In preparation for the exams, the registered students are receiving tutoring, taking pre-tests, and putting in extra hours of study. When the students are not studying, they enjoy relaxing by being outside and playing games together.
Yet with all of this continued educational success, we still have a few more critical steps to take to elevate the high school to the level necessary to compete with the larger city-based boarding high schools. Thus we are seeking $12,000 for a set of 50 refurbished laptops to create an up-to-date computer lab for the students.
We are very happy to report that Metropolitan International University in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, has generously partnered with our high school to give eligible students an opportunity to attend the university who would otherwise have no means to do so. Metropolitan International will waive all the tuition fees for our students who finished high school with good grades. These qualifying students will only have to pay the administrative and registration fees which are approximately only $500 for the whole year, and they can take any course that pertains to the college degree they are interested in pursuing.
Our field director reports: “We had a number of students who had completed our high school but had no way of joining the universities because all the other universities asked for too much money. We are now sorting out the students who can take up this opportunity of joining the university. We have so far identified 45 students who we want to send there. This is a big opportunity for our students. It is when students are able to join into professional courses of their choices that they realize the meaning of education.”
In other good news, we made a great profit from our passion fruit harvest last year by selling 1,350 pounds of passion fruits at market. Each pound sold for $1.00, thus we profited $1,350 from that sale. We look forward to our next passion fruit harvest in December. And three weeks ago we were extremely thankful for a bountiful bean harvest — our team gathered and dried half a ton of beans which will supplement our children’s and staff’s diets. We are also looking forward to our corn harvest at the end of this month.
To round out the good news, our banana grove yields a biweekly harvest of 88 pounds of bananas. This is an immense blessing as it regularly supplements our children’s and staff’s diets, and it adds a delicious touch to certain warm meals that we serve them.
We are abundantly thankful for your generosity to enhance the education, health, and happiness of our high school students, our primary school students, our loving teachers, and our faithful native team.
Take a Closer Look: view more photos from this project and others