Despite recent challenges, Uganda rural high school receives official accreditation

Photo: One of our high school students enjoying the new chemistry lab in our recently expanded facilities.

We are happy to report that our high school received full accreditation after receiving a center number from the Uganda National Examination Board. The center number will give our high school the official status to allow students to take their national exams on the school premises. Our full accreditation will also enable us to enroll more paying students (which will allow us to offer more scholarships), give our students confidence that our school will be successful, enable us to save money that would be spent by taking candidate students to other schools for their national exams, and our teachers will be able to go through training to learn how to give the national exams, which will give our school more positive exposure. It will also greatly help establish the children’s future as they will be able to study in a registered and licensed school, thus giving them peace of mind as they pursue their studies. We currently have 250 students enrolled in our high school, and they are flourishing in their studies of math, English, geography, history, commerce, physics, chemistry, biology, fine art, economics, and agriculture.

However, the pit latrine toilets on our high school campus were recently damaged by unusually heavy rain and severe flooding that started in April. We had recently repaired some minor problems with the toilets, and then the soil collapsed again and covered the whole pit to the point where it was unsafe to use the toilets. We are now planning to build 2 modern bathrooms to ensure the boys’ and girls’ privacy and health with 10 flushing toilets each. With your support we hope to raise approximately $20,000 to build these bathrooms in a new location as soon as possible. Our plumbing system and water tower will enable us to have running water with taps in the new bathrooms. The plumbing system will further bless our children as they will now have access to clean water at school, to more easily wash their hands after visiting the toilets, thus improving their hand-washing and sanitation.

06_2016PGUgandaPicFramePhoto inset: (Top-left): Our high school has received full accreditation; currently we have 250 students enrolled. (Top-right): Women in our Uganda crafts school learn to make beaded purses as part of their training. (Bottom-left): Women in our crafts school proudly display the handmade crafts they are learning to make. (Bottom-right): Providing an opportunity for education to at-risk girls is the first step in the prevention of trafficking.

In other good news, 50 women recently graduated from our 6-month ‘She Has Hope’ crafts school where they learned to make handmade necklaces, earrings, paper beads, beaded purses, and baskets. Now these women are qualified to move on to the next course of their training in a tailoring and sewing class. With your continued support we are seeking to purchase 50 new durable sewing machines which cost around $120 each. Revenue generated from sales of the women’s crafts allows them to enroll their daughters in school, and education is the first step in preventing their daughters from the lure of human trafficking.

If mothers are earning their own income and their girls are enrolled in school, it eliminates two of the major links in the trafficking cycle: one, the desperation of parents which leads them to believe a false offer of employment from a trafficker for their daughter. And two, the young girl lacking the promise of better employment opportunities when she is of age, due to a lack of education. If we can ensure that at-risk mothers have a way to provide for themselves financially and to purchase the necessary supplies to enroll their daughters in school, then we are breaking two of the major pathways to which young girls can often fall into trafficking situations in Uganda.

We look forward to reporting back about our progress with these programs. We are thankful for your generous support which makes these improvements and projects possible, blessing the lives of our students, teachers, and women and their daughters in our community.

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