Building Girls to Live, Learn, and Laugh

Viva and CRANE, our partner network in Uganda are committed. Committed to building girls up, to live, learn, laugh and ‘SCHIP’ in Strong, Creative, Holistic, Inclusive, Protective, Quality Education.

Across five districts in central Uganda, the collaboration between two Girls Education Challenge (GEC) partners, CRANE and Viva, support 9,890 acutely marginalised girls to improve their life opportunities. They offer mother-daughter and peer clubs; run 17 creative learning centres; provide career development and work-based learning opportunities and have well-trained teachers providing catch up classes and learning assistance in literacy and numeracy.

The CRANE and Viva project also focuses on strengthening the links between the school, community and local government to protect children from abuse.

Uganda’s schools closed on 20th March 2020 alongside strict nation-wide lockdown measures, including the shuttering of all but essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public transport vehicles. Since then, CRANE and Viva staff stay in touch with girls by phone to understand their learning needs and ease the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives, including by providing emergency food parcels to families in need and delivering urgently needed medical supplies. Alongside this, CRANE and Viva reached out to Uganda’s National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) to ask if they could support the Government of Uganda in its efforts to adapt lessons for radio and TV.

With over 10 years’ experience in producing radio and TV shows for children in their own recording studio in Kampala, CRANE and Viva’s offer was swiftly accepted. To date, CRANE and Viva have recorded 27 lessons for the radio and 24 for TV, the latter broken down into 35 segments and including sign language.

Drawing on a strong understanding of how to design child-friendly materials, CRANE and Viva staff adapted the lesson scripts provided by NCDC to create relevant, inspirational lessons and reinforce these through daily SMS messages. The lessons were “very good and clear”, commended the Assistant Commissioner/Inclusive and Non-Formal Education (INFE) at the Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES). Critically, the radio lessons are accompanied by messages against domestic violence and abuse.

Please continue to pray for CRANE and Viva, as our work forms part of a much broader effort to provide continuity of education to Uganda’s 15 million COVID 19-affected school children. Viva’s work demonstrates that real collective action brings about holistic change for children on a larger scale than any one organisation could achieve on their own – Viva changes more children’s lives, more effectively.