At Edukid, we continually strive to improve the educational opportunities for children affected by poverty and conflict and we currently help just over 2,000 children access education. We started working with our Ugandan partners in 2012 and now provide 259 Ugandan children with the resources, fees and additional support that they need in order to go to school. We are proud to see our first children graduating, and to see children who were at serious risk flourish in safety. Some groups are much more vulnerable than others and, through our work with local communities in Uganda, we realised how tough life is for girls and women. Our girls’ dormitory project aims to address this imbalance by providing a safe place for some of the most vulnerable young girls; a space where they can learn and thrive, free from risks of domestic violence, abuse and child marriage.
All too often, females are the lowest priority when it comes to education. The mentality is that, if you can only afford to send one child to school, you will send a male.
Short-term, for a family, this mentality makes sense; after all, it is the sons who are likely to stay at home, while the daughter is expected to marry and move away. Long-term, however, failing to educate females can have catastrophic results, impacting the mortality and prospects of girls and their families.
It is not uncommon for girls in our programmes to be removed from school due to marriage. Domestic abuse is also common.
- By age 15, 10% of girls in Uganda are married.
- In rural Uganda, this figure rises to 33%.
- 46% of girls are married by the age of 18.
- It’s estimated that, of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25 per cent are teenage pregnancies.
- Sexual abuse and violence in the home are too common, too.
- Rape is the first sexual experience of 25% of females.
- 39% have been subjected to sexual violence.
Tragically, for many, school is more than the opportunity to build a brighter future, it is the only place where a girl can feel safe.
We are thrilled that Kingsley School in Bideford have committed to raising funds to build a girls’ dormitory in Koch Goma Primary School in Northern Uganda. We have also secured match funding for the project, which means that building works can start as soon as funding is in place.
Girls’ boarding provisions will encourage more female pupils to register with the school and improve school attendance rates and overall grades. The project will have an immediate impact on girls’ ability to access education, with those identified as being most in need offered boarding places and school funding.
According to UN statistics:
- A 1% increase in women’s literacy is 3 times more effective in reducing child deaths than a 1% rise in doctors.
- 4-6 years of education leads to a 20% drop in infant deaths.
- A child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5.
We are incredibly excited about this project and its potential to give some of the most vulnerable people in their community the opportunity to get an education. Improved access to education is recognised as having a direct positive correlation to income and citizenship which, in turn, lead to improved social markers, including health, mortality rates and sanitation. This impact is notable in rural areas, where education is considered a key factor to ending rural poverty.
It is hoped that, in time, this model will encourage communities to give girls the same educational opportunities as boys, resulting in better health and education, fewer infant and maternal deaths, and an eventual rise from poverty.
If you would like to know more about this or any other of our projects, contact firstname.lastname@example.org