Back to school with 205 new faces!
Dear friends and partners,
Now that the first week of school is over, we are delighted to bring you the first update of 2022.
Following a hectic period of preparations for the new school year, which opened in Uganda after two long years of lockdowns and curfews, we finally have a moment to take you on a tour behind the scenes, to show you what we have been up to and share with you some of the exciting moments of the past few weeks.
It all started with a joyful reunion of Shanita’s team – after two years of working remotely, most of us could finally meet again back in Uganda. Together, we began the long-awaited journey of accompanying 205 children to school (yes, we’ve made it to 205!)
Most of these children had never set foot in a school before.
First, we set out to deepen our ties with the local communities and held regional parent assemblies. Our collaboration with the children’s parents is key to the success of the scholarship program, and building trust with the local community is a top priority. Shanita’s local staff come from the same communities which we support, and it is thanks to them that our partnership is so fruitful. As well as introducing ourselves and building trust, it is important to remember that many of the program’s children are the first generation to go to school. We dedicated time to talk to family members and answer all their questions and concerns.
The next step was to tackle the logistics. As you can imagine, providing supplies to 205 children is no piece of cake! From pencils to soap to the mattresses on which they sleep, our scholarship program ensures the children have everything they need.
Trucks full of supplies travelled all over Uganda to the four different schools that collaborate with Shanita. Once the goods had arrived, our stellar team was there to unpack, assemble and distribute kits of learning equipment and personal supplies to every child. It’s hard to describe how this feels for a child who had never put on shoes or worn a clean shirt before. The joy on their faces said it all.
Once the children had received their new kits, we accompanied them along with their parents to the school dorms, to help them settle in their new places of residence. This is truly one of the highlights of our work – the magical moment in which the children and their families get to see where they will be staying for the near future. The matron told us the children were so ecstatic, that they jumped on their beds for hours and only fell asleep at 2am!
Our next step is focused on you – our partners to the scholarship program, who have made this dream possible. In the coming week we will assemble and prepare individual information about each of the children, and send each of you a personal update about the boy or girl whose scholarship you sponsor.
*The update will be sent to the email address you gave us when you joined the program.
Our work doesn’t end here – in fact, this is just the beginning.
Now that all the program’s children are at school, we direct our efforts to improving the quality of learning and the educational environment at the schools themselves.
More about this in the next update!
Thank you all for continuing to support us and the lovely children who have been given a fresh start in life. As always, feel free to contact us with any question or comment.