Uganda doesn’t have “summer.” I have spent a lot of time over the years trying to explain seasons, daylight savings time, and why our daylight is short in winter and long in summer.
When you’re on the equator, it’s a hard concept to grasp!
Their schools also don’t have a summer break. Typically, a school year starts in January and ends in December, with two breaks. As a vocational school, our schedule is a little different: we have about 5 month terms, with the last few weeks being exams. Other than Christmas, we’ve never actually taken a “term break” until now.
WHY are we taking a term break?
- Well, first, the staff is TIRED! We’ve instituted a ton of new programs this year, including the literacy class, the computer lab, the daycare, the clinic, and Advanced Tailoring.
- We went from 20 students per term to 60+. That meant Mama Santa is cooking a whole lot more food each day.
- We went from 8 residential girls to 12, with the addition of our dormitory.
- We went from 4 teachers to 9.
- And finally, and importantly, food-inflation has more than doubled what it costs to feed all these people every day.
Everyone and our budget needed a break!
But we also recognize that we have girls who are particularly vulnerable to voluntary or involuntary sex work, starvation, and abuse. The girls in our Literacy program, both from the first term who are awaiting the start of Term 3 to learn a skill, and from this current term, have no way to make an income yet. For very many of them, the meals they get at the compound are the only meals they get. They are at risk of bad peer groups who influence them on drugs and alcohol use.
We just funded a food project on DonorSee to provide the extra food to keep these girls fed over this one-month break. But they don’t just come for the meals – they come to dance, to practice their English, to watch a movie, and to hang out in a safe place.
Our staff is taking rotating days off during this time so that we can accommodate the girls coming in, and the teachers are even coming up with some games and activities for them. We’re all committed to creating change in this community, and it doesn’t stop because school does!
Thank you for your tremendous support. We couldn’t do it without you! Follow us on social media (links below) to keep up with what’s happening at the compound during this break.
PS. WE DID IT! We crossed $50,000 in all-time donations on DonorSee yesterday. That means we went from $30,000 to $50,000 in 27 days! WOW!
Patricia is in the Literacy Class and will start S4L Tailoring on August 15th. Her supplies project is over 60% funded – we’d love your help to get her set up for success! Just click!