Empowering schools and communities - Creating a safe world for Girls, Women and Children
For decades, the vast majority of rural Ugandan girls have been unable to complete their education at the high school level. Most dropped out of school due to circumstances beyond their control, such as chronic poverty, inadequate academic support from illiterate parents, effects of HIV which have left them orphaned or forced them into the head-of-the-family role, and unfair customs and cultural influences which give priority to the education of boys. Without a basic education, few avenues are open to them. Many girls are forced into early marriages for the sake of dowries and other income needed by their families to exist beyond subsistence level and to finance the education of sons. As a result, these girls must deal with an increased risk of HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, dangerous childbirths in far from ideal circumstances, and frequent marital violence. Others may end up as prostitutes or working as child labor. The loss of these girls’ potential capacities as a valuable resource to Uganda is one of the major reasons for the increased ignorance, illiteracy and increasing poverty levels in rural communities.
Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) and Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE-Foundation) have come up with Schools and Community Senstization and Empowerment (SCSE) project, to sensitize and create awareness on the values of education in the rural schools and communities for FOUR months targeting 5000 pupils and students and 700 parents/guardians in 50 schools (35 primary schools and 15 secondary schools) starting on April 30 to August 31, 2012.
Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda), a project under a grassroots NGO– Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE-Foundation), is a one on one girl-to-mentor project aimed at empowering Ugandan girls through financial assistance for continued education, shared knowledge and wisdom, and creative thinking. Each rural Ugandan girl is connected to a mentor who helps nurture their vision for a brighter future.- http://worldpulse.com/node/48881
In December 2011, RGCM Uganda sought out eligible girls from several rural villages to match with mentors from around the world willing to assist them in completing their secondary education - http://worldpulse.com/node/48232. Despite our best efforts, only 40 girls were identified who met the basic requirements. Most of the others were already married. As an example, in Amor village, a community of over 300 homesteads, we only found 7 unwed girls who could continue their education if given sufficient financial support. The 40 girls we did find are now attending boarding schools and communicating often with their mentors. As far as the RGCM project goes, both the mentors and the mentees are happy and call themselves “lucky” to have found find each other.
From the surveys the RGCM Uganda team carried out between November and December 2011, and statistics obtained from Uganda Education ministry, up to 60% of rural girls drop out before reaching high school. By the end of the high school levels, these figures increase to a staggering 98%. Even in the existing rural primary and secondary schools, the administrators have had little success in keeping girls enrolled due to the parents’ lack of understanding of the value of education.
In the project area of Tororo and Buteleja districts in the Eastern part of Uganda, education for girls is low on the list of priorities. The right to education, which is a fundamental human right, is frequently denied. Instead, these vulnerable girls are exposed to systematic discrimination based on age, social status, education and health.
The high illiteracy rate among girls and women clearly identifies a need for urgent intervention. By conducting sensitization programs in the rural communities and schools, and raising awareness of the importance of educating the girls as well as the boys, we can help communities understand the importance of education as a sustainable solution to household poverty.
The project aim and objectives:
To sensitize and create awareness on the values of education in the rural schools and communities.
• To promote high academic performance in rural schools through open-day (one school per day school gatherings) campaigns.
• To increase the school enrollment rate of girls by sensitizing community leaders, elders, parents and especially the girls on the merits of education.
• To identify potential girls for the next mentorship project (RGCM Uganda) intake.
• To build relationships through a continuous process of dialogue and education-enhancing campaigns and workshops to create trust between and among the various stakeholders.
• To promote participation of all stakeholders in education and development initiatives.
• To develop a team of Community Development Activists (CDAs) for sustainability of this project in the long term.
We are seeking support from well wishers, organizations and individuals interested in creating a long term relationship with Rural Girl Child Mentorship Uganda (RGCM Uganda) project http://worldpulse.com/node/48881 under Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE Foundation), a young grassroots NGO operating in the rural communities of Uganda to please, support Schools and Community Senstization and Empowerment (SCSE) project.
Any support you give us today will make a difference.
Please see the attached document for details of how you can support us.