Uganda 2017 – Beyond The Fence

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For every child in school, there is a child beyond the fence.

On our 2017 trip to Uganda, the team witnessed many success stories; they were greeted by smiling faces and learnt how going to school has transformed families’ lives. They also met children who were still unable to attend school as they are awaiting sponsorship.

At Edukid, we can’t emphasise enough just how much we value every bit of support. Without individuals and groups around the world sponsoring a child, fundraising and telling others about Edukid, it would not be possible for us to support the children most in need in Uganda, Cambodia and Palestine.

Whilst it is uplifting to meet the children who are able to attend school, it is heartbreaking to see the children beyond the fence – the  ones who can’t afford to go to school, but who are longing to access the many opportunities held within the classrooms. 

The team interviewed children and their guardians, to find out what going to school will mean to them.

Richard is 12 years old. His father died in 2008 and his mother died in 2012. He lives with his sister, 23-year-old Nite, and her family in a banda, not far from their maternal aunt.

Richard likes sleeping! He helps on a farm, where they rear chickens and he also sells sweet potatoes. Richard eats the food that the family can grow and likes beans and cabbage, but his favourite food is chicken. He likes football and supports Arsenal.

If Richard found a sponsor, he says it would relieve his family of financial pressures and enable him to finish his studies. He says that if he can finish school and get a job, his sister and her family will benefit, too, as he will be able to help her.

 

Fifi is 8 years old. She lives with her four brothers, mother and father. When she grows up she wants to be a tailor because she loves fashion and colours.

Fifi used to go to school but there is no longer money for her fees. She is disappointed – all her friends go to school and are preparing for their future, but she can’t. When she was at school, Fifi loved writing and playing with her friends. Fifi doesn’t like fighting as conflict between people ends badly – she just wants good things. At home, Fifi sweeps, washes clothes and does the washing up. She likes to eat beans, vegetables, peas and sweet potatoes.

 

Miriam is 10 and has seven brothers and two sisters. The family of 12 live in a banda hut. Miriam’s parents are both peasant farmers. They can’t afford to send her to school, but if she could go to school she would want to be a nurse as she would like to be kind and help people.

Miriam likes netball and playing with her friends. At home, she fetches water from a bore hole 1km. She carries a Gerry can containing 20 litres of water home, where it is boiled so the family can drink it. Miriam also does washing, sweeping, cleaning and cooking.

Miriam used to go to school but she can’t now. She feels sad having to stay at home all day as she is missing lessons and she wants to learn.

 

Simon is 14. He is the youngest child in his family and is very shy, as he has a stammer. Simon’s father died in 2013 and his mother works as a cook at the school. His mother struggles to pay for all of the children to go to school; sometimes there is just not enough money for fees.

Simon loves maths and mechanics and enjoys playing football. At home, he helps by making bricks, which he burns and sells to make money. His mother doesn’t own the land they live on, and they are constantly worried that one day they will be forced out of their home.

Simon is in grade 4; because his family is so poor, he is 5 years behind in school. A sponsor will mean that he can keep going to school and maybe pursue his dream of becoming a mechanic.

 

Brian is 8 years old. He has two brothers and two sisters and when he grows up he would like to be a doctor so he can support people. Brian sleeps in the compound, where orphans and struggling families are supported by the broader community. It is his job to get water – about 20 minutes’ walk each way.

Brian loves reading but there is no one to pay for him to go to school. His mother had an accident and was in hospital for two years and his father deserted the family. He also loves football. He worries about the future and wants to do good things in the world. Going to school would transform Brian’s life. He would be able to work hard and pass exams.

 

Sofia lives with her maternal Uncle John, her brother and John’s three children. Sofia used to be able to go to school, but she hasn’t been able to attend for the last year as they have no money. She loves singing, dancing and athletics and would like to be a nurse.

In 2004, Sofia’s parents were both killed by rebels. Sofia and her brother went to live with their grandmother, but when she died, they moved in with their uncle.

Sofia helps to raise money and keep the home. She farms and cooks. They eat cassava, sweet potato, maize and beans. Sofia wants to go to school because she believes an education will help her to help others. If she gets an education and a job, she wants to help to pay for other orphans to go to school.

 

Agnes is 17. She has seven sisters and lives with her mother. Only one of her sisters is in school as her mother can’t afford the fees. Agnes finished school at Senior 1 (the equivalent of year 8).

Agnes has a disability – she is missing the palm of her hand. This means that there are very few job opportunities for her. If she can finish school, she will be able to be a teacher.
She helps at home with digging, collecting water and sweeping. She loves to dance!

Because of her disability, Agnes’ only chance for a future is through education.

 

Dominic is 6 1/2 years old. He should have started his first year of school, but his family can’t afford it yet.

Dominic’s mother was abducted during the war. When she eventually returned home, she brought seven homeless children with her. She was so affected by her experience that she later passed away. Now, Dominic lives with his father and the seven other children his mother brought home with her.
Dominic loves reading and looking after goats. He loves playing football with balls he has made from rubbish. At home, he helps with cleaning and it is his job to fetch water from the well. He also makes bricks which they sell. When Dominic grows up, he wants to be a driver.

 

 

Betty is 12 years old. Her father is dead and she lives with her mother and 6 sisters. Betty’s mother is unable to pay school fees, so the headmistress (pictured) is currently paying for Betty to go to school, but this arrangement is not sustainable.

When Betty grows up she wants to be a teacher, so that she can help and inspire other children like her.

Betty doesn’t have any toys at home – her hobby is washing up!

 

Can you help?

For the cost of a take-away, you could help to transform these children’s lives. Betty, Dominic, Agnes, Sofia, Brian, Simon, Fifi, Miriam and Richard are not unique – there are too many children in Northern Uganda who can’t go to school. But if you could help by sponsoring just one child, you will make an immeasurable difference to them, their families and the broader community. You can help to change the world, one child at a time.

For more information, please contact us.