Class support is a new programme developed and promoted by Omushana. The project links a group of donors to a group of Ugandan children - usually a specific class.
This programme was developed and piloted in communities around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as an alternative to individual child sponsorship and is proving very successful, encouraging communities to share resources and cooperate together to support the next generation.
Like "traditional" individual child sponsorship:
- Donors have a chance to get to know the children over a number of years;
- The support makes a significant difference to children and their families, benefiting their education in particular.
Unlike "traditional" individual child sponsorship:
- Benefits are spread fairly amongst many children, with the local community and class parents deciding which children require the greatest support - including bringing children not currently attending school into the scheme;
- No individual child receives 100% support - responsibility for all children remains with their families/carers;
- Parents/communities are fully involved in the expenditure of donations to ensure transparency and discourage jealously;
- Benefits extend to the whole school since donations are not only spent on subsidising fees - desks, books and other equipment bought by the programme benefit future classes;
- If a donor wishes to stop their support, this does not have a significant impact on any child - no child will drop out of school as a result of a supporter leaving the programme;
- Since donors are supporting several children, they can see a variety of benefits from many individuals and will not be disappointed if a single "sponsored child" does not fully benefit from their education.
Class Supporters receive regular newsletters about their chosen class and school. Since Omushana has regular and personal contact with all the schools and communities involved, we will be able to give personalised information about the children's progress.
To join this programme and support a class all you need to do is make a regular donation to Omushana of at least £5 per month or £60 per year. Larger donations are also welcome but we restrict the amount paid by any one donor to any one class to £25 per month to avoid dependency.
The current classes available to support are:
Nyakeina Parents' Nursery & Primary School, Nyakeina Village
A wonderful school which was initiated around 5 years ago because the government school was far and could not be reached in the rainy season. The community is fully involved and Omushana has been supporting the school for 5 years including construction of classrooms and latrines and connecting to a water supply. Class Support is underway for the Primary 5 and Primary 6 classes.
We need 2 more supporters for this class.
Kyeshero Community Vocational Secondary School, Kyeshero Parish
This school was started a year ago to provide secondary and vocational education in an area where the vast majority of children could not afford to travel to, or board at, existing secondary schools n nearby towns. Class Support is in place for the Senior 3 class.
We need 9 more supporters for this class.
Murushasha Community Primary School, Mpungo Parish
This school was started due to the distance and prohibitive cost of government schools in this exceptionally poor district. Despite having only a few temporary classrooms, the school has over 200 pupils! Fees are set at a level the families can afford but this is insufficient to pay teachers the salary they deserve. The school desperately needs support if these children are going to receive a valuable education.
We need 8 more supporters for this class.
Rushaga Community Primary School, Rushaga Village
This is a school established by the local community in a remote village where there is no government school. Several pupils have to board as it is not possible to walk the long distances from home through the forest every day. Primary 1-5 classes have been selected for the project.
We need 9 more supporters to help these classes at Rushaga school.
Ruhija Needy Children Nursery & Primary School, Ruhija Village
This is a relatively new school in Ruhija village which desperately needs support. Omushana is keen to demonstrate Class Support in this particular village which is on the verge of attracting significant donations due to the presence of gorilla tourism and many new lodges. It is hoped that a successful demonstration of class support here will allow Ruhija to avoid the negative cultural impacts of individual sponsorship suffered in other Ugandan tourist hotspots.
8 more supporters are needed to initiate class support here.
Remember, you can become a class supporter from just £5 per month!