Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Elliot and I went to Mityana to visit two schools. One is a primary school and one is a secondary school. The primary school is a private school called Little Angles Primary School. It is part orphanage and part school. About 20 orphans (mostly from AIDS) sleep on seven beads in two rooms and a hallway. The school can only afford to feed the kids some maize porridge twice a day with some sugar cane for lunch. School is conducted in 8 tiny classrooms made out of a hodgepodge of wood, metal and reeds, which is an improvement over the tree they used to sit under for class (especially during the rainy season). As you can imagine the school is quite poor. Project Kesho was able to buy some much needed items such as bed nets, school supplies, soccer balls, and food. In the future, Project Kesho will be working to build a new bathroom, as the one they are using now is almost full, as well as try and upgrade the water source for the whole community. The water source now is open stream at the bottom of the hill and it is susceptible to diseases like cholera, as well as being a breeding ground for mosquitoes. For more on this school look here. The secondary school is also a private school and is called the Mityana College, Kikumbi. It was started by Emmanuel Ssenoga in the early 1990’s to improve the available local education choices as well as prepare students for university and for life after that. Uganda has the highest percentage of university degree holders in East Africa, which has unfortunately lead to the market being saturated with degree holders. Many people, degree holders, secondary school students, university students, have all told us that they know many people who have a degree but are struggling to find a job. Mr. Ssenoga is very concerned about this problem and is working to set up a counseling center in his school so that his graduates can avoid this problem. The school started with one student, but today it has 400 students, with a vision for many more. Mr. Ssenoga works fulltime in the local government as well as puts in many hours for the school. The school has built 4 large classrooms and is adding more. It is also attempting to upgrade the dorms for those students that board so that they can attract more students and raise their revenue. One main roadblock to the success of the school is that it is lacking text books and other reading books that are required for a secondary education. Project Kesho has secured some books in the States and will be facilitating their arrival in Uganda, as well looking to other organizations that specialize in library creation. Both of these schools are prime examples of African solutions to African problems. Project Kesho is very excited about partnering with these schools to improve their capicity to provide an education to their students.