Going back to school is exciting but expensive! And it’s especially difficult if your family is unable to meet the costs of the essential items needed – stationery, books and uniform.
We’ve got 1,000 teenage girls in Uganda ready and enthused to be educated – but they urgently need a basic ‘back to school’ kit. Could you help us?
For the last six months, these girls have all been attending a Creative Learning Centre (CLC), having either already dropped out of school or been at a high risk of dropping out.
In Uganda, only a quarter of girls complete primary education and fewer than one in five advance to secondary school. As well as for financial reasons, this might also be due to violence and abuse, parents’ negative attitudes towards their daughters, pregnancy or disability.
At a CLC, the girls receive help with their numeracy and literacy in an environment conducive for creative learning – classes are multi-ability and mixed-age, with two teachers working together to give them maximum support. The girls also learn new lifeskills such as craft and IT.
As 1,000 girls get ready to step back into mainstream education, we want to give them the best start possible for their school year, so they can go on to even greater things. But they need your help.
Sarah is one girl now fulfilling her potential, thanks to the CLC.
Last year, her family went through a tough time. Her father became ill and was unable to work. Then, the cows they relied on for milk to sell were stolen. Her mother didn’t immediately find a good job, and resorted to brewing and selling alcohol, which did not pay well.
At the same time, Sarah was hoping to move onto study A-levels, having gained good exam results – but she knew her family situation meant she couldn’t go back to school immediately.
That’s when her neighbour told her about the local CLC. Sarah decided to check it out, and received a warm welcome from the teachers. She registered and attended regularly – not put off by the ten-kilometre (six-mile) journey each day from home to the centre!
During her six months there, Sarah learnt how to make tablecloths, hats, beaded bags and sweaters, and how to plait hair. She was treated with care and encouraged to learn and pursue further studies. She was also appointed class captain!
After the CLC, she joined a vocational school in her village where she is learning tailoring. She is very excited to be back in school – something she had always wanted – and at least it is something that her parents can afford on their limited income.
Sarah says, “I chose to do tailoring because not many people do that in my village and yet there is a high demand for tailormade clothes. After my course, I hope to save some money in order to follow my dream of becoming a nurse.”
It costs £50 to provide one CLC graduate like Sarah with a complete school starter pack, including stationery, writing pads, uniform and a bag.
The CLCs in Uganda are supported by the UK Government’s Department for International Development through its Girls’ Education Challenge, which aims to improve the lives of up to a million of the world’s poorest girls through education.