UFF strongly believes that education plays a pivotal role in “breaking the cycle” of poverty. Education can mitigate many of the societal problems of poverty, such as chronic unemployment and lack of skills, poor health and non-existent economic development.
The Primary School will provide education to over 300 students from Nursery to Primary 7, for students between the ages of 5 and 14. The school will provide a number of services to ensure that children gain a relevant and comprehensive education, in a safe and healthy environment. Services will include:
- Teaching: Day to day teaching provided by qualified, professional teachers including English language classes
- School administration: Enrolment, record keeping and financial management
- Pastoral care of students: Assistance with access to medical care when necessary
- Food: Two balanced, nutritious meals daily for each student
- Uniforms: school uniform for each student, to inspire pride and dedication to their education
- Materials: Books, stationery and writing materials
- Equipment: Desks, chairs, blackboards, teaching aids, play facilities and sporting equipment
- Resource Centre: Access to modern computers, reliable internet access and a varied library with borrowing facilities
- Maintenance: Ongoing building and maintenance of the school infrastructure
- Additional resources: Sewing machines, agricultural models and remedial or extension teaching resources
Vocational Training Program
The Vocational Training Centre will be targeted at deprived young adults and community members, who have not received adequate education and do not have employable skills. Without a basic level of education, adolescents and adults lead difficult lives, caught in a “cycle” of listlessness brought about by their lack of skills and unemployment. The structure of the school will be flexible and multifunctional, so that it can be adapted for community training outside of school hours.
Classes will be run by qualified or expert teachers in the afternoons, evenings and weekends to mobilise and motivate the surrounding community. The classes provided are specifically designed to provide adult students with concrete, relevant skills that will increase their chances of future employment or provide them with a source of income.
The vocational centre aims to enrol 50 people of various ages and backgrounds within its first year of operation.
These are the proposed courses:
- Crafts for trade
- Conversational and written English
- Community awareness programs, including health and sanitation
UFF recognises the importance of maintaining a working relationship with the Ugandan people, believing that this will be a crucial factor in the success of the project and the ultimate aim of ‘breaking the cycle’ of poverty. Whilst UFF seeks to contribute to the community, we in no way want to engulf the Ugandan people with Western ideas or convey an air of superiority. Amicability is paramount. Strong links, on both an organisational and personal level, will help UFF build a rapport with the Ugandan community and maintain an appropriate relationship.
A Ugandan community based organisation will be established to operate the education centre and oversee its day-to-day management. This will involve supporting a governance board of Ugandans, who can make pivotal and necessary decisions and liaise and communicate with UFF. Ugandan staff will also be employed in all positions across the centre, including a project manager, Principal, teachers, builders, tailors, cooks and security.
Open lines of communication within the school and back to UFF are crucial for the maintenance of relations and the success of the centre. Weekly staff meetings and monthly board meetings will take place, allowing a time to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the education centre, suggestions for new opportunities, feedback on student progress and comment on the overall management of the centre.
Education is a vital link in “breaking the cycle” of poverty, however the success of a project such as UFF’s education centre requires the support and involvement of the local community. UFF wants to meet the needs of this community by involving them in the development and operation of the centre and gaining their participation in decision-making. We will establish active partnerships with community members and institutions to improve the quality of peoples’ lives. The new education centre will be built within and alongside the community, serving the needs of many families and community members – a local school for local people.
Active and open partnerships with the Ugandan people and community leaders are crucial to the success and sustainability of this project and to ensure the racial divide is as slight as possible. A management plan, based on communication and collaboration, must be in place to deal with any problems that do arise. Potential problems must be dealt with as soon as they come to attention, in consultation with the community.