The year 2022 is drawing to a close. We would like to take the opportunity to share with you some updates from our projects in Uganda. Thank you for your support this year, through which we were able to make a positive impact in the lives of the children supported by our projects.
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Enjoy the newsletter!
27 out of 66 supported students in the Lifeline Uganda programme
On 10 January this year, the Ugandan government reopened schools. Schools were closed for 83 weeks because of Covid-19. This was one of the longest school closures worldwide.
The impacts of Covid-19 on Uganda’s education system are huge (read more about it in our blog post). We were expecting numerous dropouts. Luckily, only two out of the 62 students we support opted out of school. Another student is currently on maternity leave and will return next year.
Since the beginning of this year, we resumed the Lifeline Uganda programme and have paid for the school fees for 66 students (28 girls and 38 boys) thanks to the support of 51 generous donors. We were fortunate to be able to support five additional students who joined our programme this year. The total amount transferred to Lifeline Schools is around 15,700 euros. This also included boarding-school fees for nine students; four more than in 2020, as our Ugandan partners recommended that they needed additional support.
Three students decided to do vocational training instead of finishing the last years of secondary school. We co-financed their vocational training with the equivalent amount of school fees.
We, and our Ugandan partners, the Bukedea Lifeline Schools, are happy that the first regular school year after the pandemic came to a successful close at the end of November. The new school year will begin on 30 January 2023.
Lucy Deborah Alupo, whom Lifeline Uganda supported for nine years, decided to do a vocational training and completed her training as a baker in Kampala. We wish her all the luck in her future career.
TAKE ACTION supports young Ugandans from poor backgrounds to attend vocational training, which also operates in Bukedea, Uganda. We help them decide on their own future. This year, we were able to sponsor the vocational training of 20 young adults who are trained by our partner organization, Buyopa. This year’s cohort includes 14 tailors, four motor mechanics, three hairdressers and one builder.
For 2023, we aim to sponsor 30 trainees, as in previous years. We are still seeking generous donors!
Meet the students doing a vocational training with Buyopa
Many young women miss classes during their menstrual period because sanitary products are not affordable. In this year again, the PRO PERIOD initiative supported tailoring students to make reusable sanitary pads. All female students were equipped with period underwear and sanitary pads. The hygiene products were made by the trainee tailors themselves and were distributed to the students free of charge. We covered the material costs of the hygiene products with the help of our donors. Sanitary pads give young women confidence to carry on as normal during their periods.
After a long period of travel restrictions, five Glocal LifeLearn members travelled to Uganda to visit students and engage with our partners. Here is a summary:
Tim Hoeger, a founding member and financial auditor, stayed three months in Bukedea, Uganda, from March to June. More on Tim’s impressions below!
Charlotte Poth and Theresa Aengenheyster, our dynamic TAKE ACTION coordinators, visited the BUYOPA training centre and its coordinator Solomon for one week in June. It was Theresa’s first time in Uganda and as well the first time the three could meet face to face.
Julia Buchholz, our master fundraiser, visited Uganda for three weeks in July. She spoke to students and teachers and is deeply impressed by our partners’ high commitment to continuously improve the educational programme and the facilities. She noted that everyone is happy that the lockdowns are over!
Emma Roehrig, our fantastic intern and newest member, wrote her master thesis in Uganda. She conducted interviews with girls at the LifeLine school to learn more about gender-specific barriers for female students and the impacts of Covid-19 on girls in Uganda. There is still a strong need for the support of female learners as their education is often deemed to be less valuable than for boys.
Tim Hoeger shares his impressions of the three months he spent as a volunteer teacher at the Lifeline Schools in Bukedea, Uganda:
3 months in Bukedea – 3 months full of intense impressions and encounters – 3 months in which I, as a volunteer teacher, developed deep respect for our friends and partners on site: Teachers who put their heart and soul into their work – especially in the challenging situation with Corona, drought and rising food prices. Students who are eager to study again after the long lockdown – and who have not lost their joy of dancing and singing despite a heavy workload. A school management that always finds creative ways to bring out the best for all students and teachers, even in the midst of inflation and limited resources.
So in the end I came back to Germany with one eye crying and one eye laughing: Crying because I saw first-hand how the challenges on the ground are growing almost daily due to rampant prices, lack of rain and the effects of the Corona pandemic. Laughing because of the great work of the local people, their positive way of life and the contribution we can make with your help as donors!
PS: When I said goodbye, the headmaster emphatically told me: “Tim, don’t forget to tell our friends in Germany that we are infinitely grateful for all the support and that we pray that they are well!
Since 2018, we support our partners, the Bukedea Lifeline Schools, to build a training centre for nurses and midwives between Bukedea and Kumi with the aim to improve the health care situation in the region. Despite the pandemic, our partners managed to continue to construct the training centre and build one classroom, a dormitory building, a kitchen, a pit latrine, an administration block, and a gate.
These developments were supported financially by a financial grant of around EUR 25,000 from the WP Schmitz Stiftung, as well as generous donations from Thomas Schmeisser and Henning Emden.
In order to officially licence the training centre as an educational institution, Uganda’s Ministry of Education requires the construction of an additional classroom, a septic tank, an electricity connection and some computers to equip a computer lab. Despite these difficulties, our partners hope to finish the outstanding developments in the course of the next year.
Any donations towards the completion of the training centre are most welcome!
The kitchen (bottom) and one class room (top) of the training centre for midwives and nurses that have been already built
Despite the pleasing news at the start of the year that one of the world’s longest school lockdowns had ended, Uganda faces many challenges. As in many parts of the world, Uganda’s inflation rate increased. Fuel prices have climbed to almost 2 euros a litre. Many families suffer from financial hardships and are not able to pay for their food and basic needs. The Lifeline Schools were forced to send home children who had not been able to pay their school fees before the official holidays, as they did not have enough funds to operate the schools.
Eastern Uganda was affected by a long drought until November, followed by heavy rains which even destroyed a school building of the BUYOPA vocational training centre.
Additionally, the deadly Ebola virus is raging in parts of Uganda. To curb the spread, the country closed schools nationwide again on 2 December 2022, two weeks before the official end of term.
We and our partners work on a voluntary basis. This year, 99% of our expenses went directly into our three educational projects.
Alternatively, you can transfer your donation via direct bank transfer:
Name of bank: VR-Bank Bergisch Gladbach