We are providing a daily feeding program at Lapana Primary School, which is making a significant difference in the physical and mental state of our students. This is the only meal for a large majority of our students. You can witness the weight loss over the school holidays, as students return to school emaciated.
When we visited this school, we found students attending school who had not eaten for several days. Some of these children are orphans or victims of NS. To address these issues, we have been working together with the government, the local community and school management team to set up a feeding program. This project costs $25,000 a year. It is not sustainable, and we are working with the community to identify land so the school can produce their own food. We will need to provide the school with start-up capital for purchasing farm tools such as ploughs and cows.
In Uganda, parents are expected to employ half of the teaching staff. At our initial contact with our current pilot school, we noticed several classrooms filled with students but no teacher. The government of Uganda demand that the community employ half of the teaching staff or else the government would shut down the school, and the students would have to walk 10km each way to the next school. Our pilot school at Lapana primary community is extremely poor and cannot afford to meet their own basic needs, and they live below poverty line. It is impossible for the community to recruit teachers. Lapana primary school had the highest level of truancy, drop-out and the poorest performance in the district. To address these issues, we have recruited teachers so the government cannot close the school. We have also provided the basic learning and teaching resources for teachers and students to improve learning environment. We have also built houses for the teachers as expected by the government of Uganda.
Acholi Resilience has now started scaling up our school projects by supporting the next school. It is a high performing school run by extremely poor parents. Food and accommodation were their main problems. We helped establish boarding hostel within the school for the primary 7 candidates.