The Bito dynasties of Buganda, Bunyoro and Ankole were founded in 1500 by Nilotic-speaking immigrants from present-day south eastern Sudan (BBC News – Uganda Profile Timeline June 16, 2015). Uganda a landlocked country, is bordered by the Sudan on the north, Kenya on the east, Tanzania on the south, Rwanda on the southwest and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the west. Uganda takes its name from the Buganda kingdom, which encompasses a portion of the south of the country including the capital Kampala.
- The population is about 39 million (2014).
- 80% of the population is involved in the agricultural sector, mostly as subsistence farmers
- 60% of the population is under 24 years old.
There has been a sharp decline in the academic performance of students from schools in rural communities in Uganda over the past two decades. School dropout rates have skyrocketed and the quality of education has been compromised. Due to overcrowding, hunger and family income pressures, many children give up on education in order to fend for themselves and their families.
Majority of Uganda’s school age children live in rural communities, where educational resources are minimal and teachers teach subjects in which they have little expertise. There is lack of competent head teachers and committed teaching staff. This has greatly contributed to the decline in education in the rural schools.
Namutumba District is one of the least developed and most deprived rural communities in the country. The few schools in the district are ill-equipped in infrastructure and staffing is inadequate with trained teacher and student ratio at an average of 70:1. Teachers are underpaid and their pay comes 2 or 3 months late causing a high rate of teacher truancy.
Children have little time outside school hours for studies and often do not have lamps to read at night or support at home with homework. Most of the grade 7 pupils are functionally illiterate in English and Mathematics.
Apart from last year, for all the four prior years, Namutumba District had the worst academic performance in the country both at the elementary and high school level. Like other rural schools, the district is grossly under resourced.
The people of Nakyere village practice mainly subsistence agriculture, which does not sufficiently support their socio-economic needs. Pupils often help their parents on the farm and sometimes skip school to help in petty trading to increase the income of the household.
At the moment we are working with the Amazing Love School located in Nakyere, a remote and impoverished village in Namutumba District, Eastern Uganda. The children are on average five (5) years behind in literacy, compared to other regions of Uganda. There are no libraries, and usually only the teacher has access to the text books.
Girls are married off as early as 13 years to get some money for the family in form of bride price. Other girls work as house maids, barmaids, or farm laborers. Frequent droughts add to the significant challenges that threaten the way people in rural areas live. Most of the parents dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. This sadly, is happening to their children as well. The community is trapped in overwhelming poverty even though there is a desire to break free.
The challenges the village faces have created a poverty mentality that has not only crippled the social and economic structure, but is also perpetuating the vicious cycle of ignorance, poverty and disease. The community lacks basic infrastructure like roads, hospitals or schools. There is no electricity or running water and their diet is mostly carbohydrates from cornmeal. On a good day, a child has corn meal porridge at school and a corn meal at home!
There is a mood of change in Nakyere. The people of Nakyere are hungry to rise to their full potential and are working hard to create opportunities that give their children a good preparation for lifetime success. We would like to build a school library to help children improve their reading skills and achieve at a high level. The library will also play a vital role in community development.
Please join us on a journey of learning to transform hearts and mind-sets