Saturday, April 2, 2011

Helping our children succeed in school

During my recent trip to Uganda I learned that some of the orphanage’s older girls are struggling in school. Their grades are low and there is a real threat that at least one of them may not pass.

In Uganda, school is especially challenging because there are simply too many students and not enough teachers. I visited their school – dark classrooms with concrete walls and rows of tables to accommodate up to 100 students for every class with one teacher. There are no opportunities for extra help from the teacher or tutoring.

We want all of the children at the orphanage to do as well as they can in school. And so, our team has created a special program to have one of the older children, Veronica, tutor the others.

Veronica has completed her final years of senior school and is applying to university, aiming for a fall acceptance. In the meantime, she is taking a computer class, as this will be critical for university. In the evenings, she will be tutoring the other students to help them pull up their grades. She plans to spend 1.5hours every evening with one student.

This tutoring program began April 1.

In return for her efforts, we will be paying Veronica a ‘salary’. I have spent considerable time talking to Veronica about her day-to-day expenses and we have agreed on a salary of $55/month. This will cover her transportation fees back and forth to school, toiletries, internet access and other personal items. She has also agreed to put $15 of that money aside every month to save for university.

I’m excited about this program because it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Veronica will have her first work experience, and learn to budget money for university. The girls who are struggling with their studies will, for the first time ever, have someone who can spend time with them and help them succeed.

Our funding is making all of this possible – we’re helping all of these children grow and do well in their studies.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

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