Uganda

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Introduction

Photos and Video: St. Bakhita Nursery and Primary School, Bweyale, Uganda

Mission Statement

Schools For Refugees (“SFR”) provides support in the form of monetary distributions and business advice to primary schools that are dedicated to education of children of refugee families.  It is anticipated that all such schools will be located in Africa.

First Recipient

The first recipient school is the St. Bakhita Nursery and Primary School, which is located in the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Bweyale, Kiryandongo District, Uganda.  Kiryandongo was a United Nations-sponsored refugee settlement for the Sudanese refugees until 1997, when it was determined that the Acholi refugees could safely return to their homeland of South Sudan.  For many of the refugees, it was in fact unsafe to return and they did not go.  As a result, they have remained in a section of the camp that. except for security,  has essentially been abandoned by the UN and other NGO’s.  They are dependent solely on themselves for the necessities of daily living, including  food, shelter, medical care, and education.  Children who are residents of the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement are considered non-citizens by the government of Uganda.  In order to attend Ugandan schools they are required to pay tuition, which very few can afford.

During the last two years, there has been a large influx of Dinka and Nuer refugees from South Sudan, and also arrivals who are  internally displaced Uganda residents.   The United Nations as well as many NGO’s are providing services to these recent arrivals.  Several children of these families have been admitted to St Bakhita Nursery and Primary School.

Approximately 700 children, half boys and half girls, primarilly of the Sudanese refugees attend the St. Bakhita Nursery and Primary School.  The school is operated by dedicated teachers, staff and members of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA).  A lunch of corn meal and water porridge is provided by the PTA to every student every day.

Since 2010, SFR has supported each classroom and every student in those classrooms according to the priorities set forth by the teachers and PTA and within the limited resources of SFR.  Through the generosity of donors, SFR  provides  salaries to the teachers and staff  so  they can more easily continue their mission of educating   the students, while also being able to better provide for themselves.

SFR’s has picked up where the UN and others left off in supporting the education of  these children.  This education will open doors and lead to opportunities to improve their lives.

Journey Through Uganda’s Education System

Uganda’s present education system starts with non-compulsory pre-primary (nursery) education managed by the private sector, followed by a seven year primary education cycle, after which pupils sit for the Primary Leaving Exam (PLE ).  If passing, they have the option to proceed with secondary education which  includes four years of lower secondary (O’ Level) after which students sit for the Uganda Certificate of Education(UCE) exam. Those who excel have four avenues for further education and training, namely:

1.  A’ level education

2.  Enrolling for a two-year advanced course in a technical institute

3.  Joining the two-year grade three primary teacher training program in primary teachers’ college

4.  Joining any of the government department training institutes.

After passing the Uganda Advanced Crtificate of Education (UACE), sturdents have a range of options for post secondary education, including a two-year course in a national teachers’ college.

 

Officers of the Corporation are Charles H. Roscoe, President; Susan R. Roscoe, Secretary; and John C. Roscoe, Treasurer.  Susan is the wife of Charles.  John is the adult son of Charles and Susan. Bosco Oringa, former resident of the settlement, former student at St Bakhita School and a 2012 graduate of the  University of New England with a major in medical biology, serves as liaison with teachers at St. Bakhita School and assists with fund raising.  None of these individuals receive awards or payment from the Corporation.  All funds received from the Corporation are distributed to the recipient school(s) in Africa.