Education

We believe that education is the leading factor in strengthening one’s choices in life and that it has the potential to help individuals lift themselves out of poverty. We support children through nursery, primary and secondary education as well as those with special needs. We also run a holiday programme for children during the school holidays.

Despite the enormous benefits of being able to attend school and receive an education, the costs involved in sending children to school in Uganda are prohibitive for the majority of slum residents. The cost of school fees, uniforms, pens, paper, pencils, shoes and transport means that a large number of children have no hope of attending school. Through supporting education, we are giving children the means to obtain necessary skills that will give them a better future in life.

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Children studyingEach year, Uganda Hands for Hope identifies 25-30 of the most vulnerable children (aged 3-5) and places them in our baby nursery class. We aim to find and support the most vulnerable children who, without sponsorship, would not have the chance to go to school. Each child is supported by an individual sponsor who pay a monthly donation to ensure they can spend day their days away from the dangers of the slum. Once in our programme, each child receives a free education, school supplies, school uniform, sportswear, two meals a day, basic medical care and participation in our holiday programme. More information on child sponsorship is available here.

teaching-2In our school, we use the Ugandan national curriculum and currently have nursery and primary classes up to Primary 5 (Baby, Middle and Top class, Primary 1, Primary 2, Primary 3, Primary 4 and Primary 5). Once children complete Primary 5, they continue their studies for the final 2 years (up to P7) in a local Primary school, called St Barnabas.

 

Despite moving here, we are still very much involved in their welfare, health and education through the services of our social workers on a daily basis and participation in our holiday programme during school holidays (see below). Our future aim is to provide all nursery and primary education in house in order to improve on the quality of education we can offer to the children we support.

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Within Namuwongo slum, children with special needs are some of the most vulnerable and face social exclusion and marginalisation on a daily basis. Most of them have nobody to attend to their special needs and too often they are regarded as ‘a burden’ to the entire family.

Our Children with Special Needs programme includes:

  • 12 children attending our special needs class
  • Participation of all the children at the holiday programme
  • Health and medical support including physiotherapy
  • Support group for parents with disabled children

These children have a range of needs and by being part of the programme they receive a basic education including self-help skills (dressing, feeding etc) as well as two meals a day. We have a specialist special needs teacher and assistant special needs teacher to support this programme.

We also support some children with special needs to attend a specialist special needs school near Entebbe. Here they are able to progress with education but also receive specific additional support as necessary.

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Some of the children who joined UHfH in the first few years have now passed their primary leaving examinations, successfully completed primary school and progressed onto secondary school. They remain sponsored by individuals and attend at a local secondary school close to Namuwongo. As with the older primary children at St Barnabas, we still remain involved in their welfare, health and education through the services of our social workers on a daily basis and participation in our holiday programme during school holidays (see below).

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Three times a year, during the school holidays, we run a holiday programme for all our children. This means the children remain away from the dangers of the slum and also gives them the opportunity to see their friends and have fun during the school holidays. We run different games and activities for them and continue to provide them with two meals a day.

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Without the ability to read what the teacher has written on the board or to write work in their exercise book, the long term effects of not being able to read have far reaching effects on the children who attend our school. To help improve this, we provide a specialist class with one to one support for those children who we have identified as struggling with reading. In addition, we run a Saturday morning reading club and also have a school library which all children have access to during the week, including specific timetabled hours for reading activities.

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