Ruhanga Bursary Project

The first term of 2017 in Uganda sees the launch of the Ruhanga Bursary Project, a locally managed project that aims to assist young people in Ruhanga whose families are in short term financial distress which can lead to their children having to leave school often for extended periods until the charges can be paid, perhaps following a harvest, sometimes to a point where no catch up can be achieved requiring a further year’s education which is beyond the means of many already struggling families.

It would perhaps be useful to note that families in Ruhanga are nearly all self-employed and have no access to loan facilities to pay for education as they are neither salaried nor have equity in their homes.

As such, fees and school charges have to be paid for in cash and this places an enormous burden on already struggling families who have little or no capacity to save money after paying for daily living expenses.

That many do is remarkable but many face regular setbacks from periods of low earning due to ill-health, or, as recently in the village, when freak storms damaged crops leaving nothing to sell at market.

Piloting at Team College in the village, and funded by LTHT, the project aims to make funding available to ensure no child is forced to abandon their education due to short term financial difficulty.

The project provides loans to the school to cover the required charges until the family is in a position to repay the funds. This way the school ends the term with all charges received, the parents end the term with all charges paid and the young person ends the term with a full term’s education better equipping them to maximise life’s opportunities.

You can help by donating through this fundraising page:

It really is the gift that keeps on giving as the donation will help a child remain at school, then once repaid to the Bursary Project, the money can help another child etc.

Make a difference today :)

For volunteering opportunities at Team College in Ruhanga visit their website here: volunteer-uganda.org

Year End at Team College

The school term at Team College ended on 14th December 2016 and there was a lot to celebrate this year.

Windows on newly refurbished classrooms at Team College

For instance,  the school’s students’ successes over the past academic year and mark the undertaking of a major infrastructure improvement programme to the school.

MP. Gerald Karuhanga

Attended by students, former students, local officials and a wide cross section of the community, the keynote speaker was local MP Mr Gerald Karuhanga who gave a well received speech stressing the importance of education to the future development of the local community and Uganda.

Head Teacher- George Karamira, Paige Kilroy, Ida Horner and MP Gerald Karuhanga

The improvements to the school, which include refurbishing the classrooms, new doors and windows and upgrades to the sanitary facilities, were funded by the charity and long term supporter of the school LTHT, whose chairperson, Ida Horner, attended the event together with trustee Paige Kilroy, and presented awards to students celebrating their achievements over the past year.

Ida Horner- handing ut prizes to Students

Headmaster of Team College, Karamira George, hosted the event which was considered a great success by all those who attended.

End of year lunch
Classroom at Team College

The new academic year starts next month and we hope that the improvements will attract more students to the college.

Team College renovation: an Update

In my last post I told you about  Team College and what we are doing to renovate and upgrade the school buildings as well as improve sanitation. 

Rural schools such as these suffer from a lack of funding compared to urban schools. This then has implications for the quality of teachers such schools can attract and as such the quality of education pupils can expect. 

We are pleased to be in position to change things for this school and as you can see from the photos below, a lot has happened in the past few days. 
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The truck arrives with building materials
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Stones for construction of the veranda
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Work starts on the interior of the classrooms.  The builders and suppliers of building materials are secondary beneficiaries of this project, 

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Not wanting to be left behind, girls from the college get stuck in the preparations to seal the floor

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Rendering of outside walls. This being a rainy season the progress on this is surprising to say the least. 

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And here is the finished article

 

Team College management committee and James Chairperson 2 Ruhanga parish visit to the building site. 
Team College

With the rendering of the outside walls nearly done, work started on installing window frames. It will be such a treat for students to have dry classrooms during the rainy season. 

renovation
Team College

This is where we are now friends, keep an eye on this page for more updates.

Team College improvement program

Team College School is a rural community education initiative. It is a registered Community Based Organization (CBO) with Ntungamo District and operates in Nyamuhani cell, Ruhanga parish, Itojo Sub County, Ruhaama County, Ntungamo District – South Western Uganda.

The school opened its doors to the public on 2 February 2009 and the objective is to offer post primary Educational services to rural youth aged 13 -19 years who would otherwise not afford to access such education due to prohibitive costs.

Team College

Team College is unique in the area in that it strives to accept children who may not be the most educationally gifted but those who have evidenced a willingness to learn and come from families where the cost of secondary education elsewhere is not an option. Whilst Team College has a good reputation amongst its students, its current physical condition does impact on its ability to deliver a good quality education.

The physical environment of the school is very poor and this has implications for learning. Currently, the buildings have got neither doors nor windows, this means that rain ingress is a regular occurrence. The walls are not plastered and the floors are not sealed. This means that on a rainy day students are learning in a muddy and dirty environment.

Floors not sealed
Floors not sealed

Also bugs like fleas, jiggers and ticks, which are common in the area have direct access to the classrooms exposing students to all sort of diseases.

No windows Moreover, during the rainy seasons (March to May and September to November) mold on walls and floors is common as they do not dry up quick enough and this causes respiratory infections in both students and teachers. This situation means that the school is unable to attract good quality teachers and this has serious implications for the students and their education results.

Team College
Classroom

 Our next initiative will involve focus on the installation of doors and windows, plastering of walls as well as sealing the floors. The anticipated outcome is that an improved physical environment will provide a better learning environment for the students and will make it more attractive to young people and their parents resulting in higher student numbers, thus more income, thus greater ability to attract and retain a better- standard of teachers.

Team College

The school boarding facilities are reduced to a room with no windows or doors for the boys, and a nearby house for the girls. The boys that currently board sleep on the floor and the girls have to share beds in the house they stay in. Boarding provides pupils an opportunity to focus on their studies away from the pressures of the home environment but when dormitories are not properly set up, living conditions can lead to distractions and eventually school failure.

Team College

Sanitation at Team College

39 girls from Team College participated in LTHT’S Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Program. Although, there is a high level of satisfaction among the students using the DFG sanitary pads we distributed earlier in the year, the lack of proper washing facilities at the school meant that their basic hygiene needs are not yet fully met. The current girls’ latrine is full and doesn’t provide enough space for the girls to wash and dry their pads we will therefore provide a separate washing facilities for boys and girls as part of this project. 

Water is extremely important in managing and maintaining hygiene. Currently the school has no running water  we will therefore install a rain harvest system to enable the school increase its hygiene levels. It is well documented that poor sanitation leads to increased incidences of diseases, which directly affects students’ performance and school results.

Keep an eye on this space for updates