Blog of our volunteer Hanna Schmidt
The founder of "PRO UGANDAN CHILDREN (PUC) - Schenk Leben e.V.", Christine, came to visit just before the school holidays. For two days I was allowed to work with her and accompany her. First we had a meeting at the school with the Headmistress. The current financial situation of the school was discussed, documents were viewed and future projects were planned. Afterwards, a donation from the German Förderverein PUC was handed over to the school.
Going forward, the school wants to try to make lunch more varied (not just the daily posho and beans). For this purpose, the school would like to create its own school garden. It would be more cost effective to grow food instead of buying it and in addition, the children would learn traditional ways of growing food - a valuable life skill that can later help them to support themselves. As soon as the school has the necessary funds, it is ready to go ahead.
Another project is the yet unfinished new school building. During lockdown, the Headmistress had begun to use the money she had received following the death of her husband to construct a new building on the school grounds. Unfortunately, the money has now run out and the roof and the finishing touches are still missing. However, she is confident that things will continue soon.
Also, the space in front of the new building is not yet usable, as it is extremely hilly. My suggestion is to level the square and turn it into a sports field, which the school lacks so far and I would like to support the school financially with my donations. More on that later.
I would also like to start a school fees sponsorship project in association with PUC. I had already mentioned in one of my first blog posts that many parents struggle with paying the school fees for several children. Even if the children are talented, they often do not have the chance to complete their schooling due to costs. Therefore, my idea is to find European sponsors (private individuals or institutions) who want to pay the school fees for individual children. In return, they will receive up-to-date reports from the children, about their lives, what they have learned at school, how they are doing, pictures, short videos, as well as the certificates.
With my new school, the Community Trans Nursery and Primary School in Iganga, and PUC, I have found a way to implement this idea. The teachers here are very cooperative, dedicated as well as modern and on WhatsApp (important for the exchange of information). The school already receives donations from Germany, so bank account details are in place. In addition, PUC is registered as a non-profit organisation in Germany and is therefore authorised to issue donation receipts, which can be deducted from tax. Another plus is that I will spend the next 8 months at the school and can supervise the implementation myself until the teachers can take over. With the project, I would like to support talented children who are known to have difficulties paying the school fees or who can no longer pay and are threatened with exclusion from school. By paying the school fees, the children are provided with an education, independent of their financial background. This way, they can hopefully escape the vicious circle of poverty and can give their own children a better start in life. In addition, the "Community Trans Primary and Nursery School" is thereby guaranteed a stable number of students, who can be assured that with the support they will go to this school until the end of the 7th grade.
Overview of the school fees at the "Community Trans Primary and Nursery school" from preschool (3 years) to seventh grade:
Class School fees Lunch fees Total (times 3 terms)
Nursery 140.000 UGX 70.000 UGX (17€) 630.000 UGX (152€)
P.1 - P.2 170.000 UGX 70.000 UGX 720.000 UGX (174€)
P.3 - P.4 190.000 UGX 70.000 UGX 780.000 UGX (188€)
P.5 - P.6 200.000 UGX 70.000 UGX 810.000 UGX (196€)
P.7 210.000 UGX 70.000 UGX 1.120.000 UGX (270€)
Nursery (preschool) 75.000 UGX (19€)
P.1 - P.7 80.000 UGX (20€)
And material such as notebooks, pens... approx. 120.000 UGX (29€) per term*
*Could also be made a requirement for parents.
All in all, this is a win-win-win situation:
- financially weak but talented children receive an education
- the number of pupils is secured for the school
- you learn new things about another culture, do something good and can write it off against tax
If you are interested in the sponsorship project, please contact me via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the meeting at the school, we visited the "St. Joseph Orthopedic Health Center" in Iganga. There we were able to witness their good work with our own eyes when a man just got a new prosthetic leg.
The two prosthetics builders put their heart and soul into their work with lots of empathy for their patients. Very commendable!
The next day we followed "TOKA Animal Care".
We drove to a cattle farm, where the cattle’s horns were be removed. This was done for the safety of the people, but it also prevents the cattle of hurting each other. The day was very exciting and interesting for me as I had never seen anything like this before. Everything went according to plan and the day was rounded off with a hearty meal provided by the owner of the farm.