VILLAGE SCHOOL SUPPORT
Omushana supports small village schools which enable children to access good education close to their homes without the need of long dangerous journeys or being forced to board away from their families and village culture. These schools have usually been founded by the parents and village leaders to benefit their children but they often suffer from lack of resources as parents cannot afford to pay sufficient fees. More recently the schools have sometimes found it difficult to cover costs due to many children being picked by sponsors and taken away to other schools leaving insufficient pupils in the village to make the school sustainable.
Over the past decade Omushana has helped many such schools by assisting with infrastructure improvements such as classrooms, latrines and solar power as well as providing desks and books and water supplies. Such projects are always undertaken with full community participation – the parents provide many of the materials such as making bricks or collecting hardcore as well as providing much of the labour.
We have also been able to donate thousands of pens, pencils and scholastic materials as well as laptop computers given to us in UK by schools and partner organisations such as Pens 4 Kids UK.
In addition, between 2015 and 2022 we ran a progamme of “class support” which linked a group of donors to a group of Ugandan children - usually a specific class. This programme was specifically developed and piloted in communities around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to overcome the many issues that arise as a result of individual child sponsorship. It proved very popular and was successful in encouraging communities to share resources and cooperate together to support the next generation.
The benefits of “class support” were that unlike "traditional" individual child sponsorship:
- Resources 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;
- Children remain in their local village school and are not taken away from their parents to board or forced to take long daily dangerous journeys;
- Village schools can remain viable which benefits the whole community - numbers of pupils increase rather than children being taken away;
- 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;
- Purchase of desks, books and other class equipment bought by the programme benefits 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" drops out or performs poorly.
Although Omushana is no longer running the Class Support programme, we are still involved in supporting village schools which are struggling to remain open or which have urgent requests for example books. We also provide support through our Community Library and IT programmes, with Librarians visiting the remote schools at least once a fortnight.
If you would like to help us support local village schools and help all children access good education close to their homes, please DONATE now.
We are currently supporting:
Nyakeina Parents' Nursery & Primary School, Nyakeina Village
A wonderful school which was initiated around 2010 because the government school was far and could not be reached in the rainy season. The community is fully involved and Omushana has helped with construction of classrooms, latrines and connecting to a water supply. The school is in an area where the source of income is mainly tea plantations and parents struggle to afford fees.
Kyeshero Community Vocational Secondary School, Kyeshero Parish
This school was started in 2016 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 in nearby towns. Fees are kept low so that the school is affordable. As a result they welcome assistance such as provision of books and laptops and development of lab facilities.
Rushaga Community Primary School, Rushaga Village
This is a school established by the local community in a village far from any government school. The school used to be supported by local tourism activities but has recently found that competitors have moved into the area taking funds raised from tourists to other areas leaving insufficient support to cover costs such as teacher salaries.