BY ANDREW DUBOCK
Following on from our four-year girls’ catch-up education programme in Kampala, Viva and its Uganda-based partner network CRANE have secured a new seven-year contract with the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID) to continue to build on and increase this crucial work.
By 2024, it will directly benefit almost 10,000 girls, and indirectly affect 21,000 further children.
The programme will improve girls’ numeracy, literacy, IT skills and competency-based learning, and build their resilience and confidence through psychosocial support.
We will promote collaboration between parents, schools and communities to create safer learning environments for children, working closely with heads of mainstream schools to make them strong, creative, holistic, inclusive and protective.
In partnership with a local higher education institute, we are also offering an innovative teacher training qualification for 30 young women who have been though the first Viva/CRANE education programme.
As girls they had dropped out of secondary school and had lost all hope of ever finishing school, but with our support, have returned to mainstream school, and passed their exams. Now, they will join this new child development course and then convert it to a teaching qualification over a three year-period.
More than 3,600 girls, who had dropped out of school across Kampala, received crucial catch-up education in 22 Creative Learning Centres during the first phase of our programme from 2013-17. As well as numeracy and literacy lessons, girls received training in skills such as hairdressing, craft and computing.
Over those four years, 2,250 girls graduated from the centres and returned to school – either at primary or secondary level or at a vocational institute. Training was also given to 700 teachers from 46 mainstream schools, 55 family mentors and 1,225 parents.
Visiting the programme last summer, Stephen Twigg MP, Chair of the British Government’s International Development Committee, said of it, “It was encouraging to see such commitment to inclusive education in Uganda. We hope that your work will go from strength to strength in supporting marginalised children in their education.”
Mark Stavers, Viva’s Chief Executive, says, “We are delighted and very proud to continue our partnership with our friends at CRANE in Kampala and the British Government’s Department for International Development.
“To have secured this funding for the next seven years is a significant milestone in Viva’s progress, and we are looking forward to the challenge of managing the programme and ensuring it’s the best it possibly can be. I want to pay tribute in particular to our dedicated colleagues on-the-ground in Kampala who work tirelessly each day, with huge competence and quality.
“We know from the first phase of this programme what a huge difference catch-up education is able to make to girls in Uganda and to their families. It is a life-changer and in some cases even a life-saver. We are excited too by the growing influence we can have with mainstream schools.”
Our project is part of DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge, which was announced by the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 on Tuesday, 17 April.
Overall, DFID’s £212 million fund will help provide almost one million vulnerable and marginalised girls in developing countries across the Commonwealth with 12 years of quality education so that they can fulfil their potential.
UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt (right) said at the meeting: “Girls across the Commonwealth have huge potential to be the world’s next generation of problem-solvers, innovators and leaders.
“But too many girls are still missing out on school. That’s why the UK is working with our Commonwealth partners to make sure that every girl receives the life-changing quality education they need to achieve their full potential.
“Getting girls into school, and then into good employment, allows them to play a transformational role lifting their communities out of poverty, growing their economies and shaping the future of their countries.”
We’ll be sharing more with you about the impact of this new phase of girls’ education in Kampala in the coming months and years.
If you would like to know more about how you can support this work, please get in touch with Liz Cross at email@example.com or at 01865 811660.