An education can be a path to realising an individual’s true potential, and having benefited from a grant-aided university education, Oisín wishes others in a less fortunate position than himself to have access to the benefits of an education.
Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with over a million refugees displaced through conflict from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Somalia. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has been one of central Africa’s cruelest and most enduring armed groups, having operated on the fringes of Uganda over the past 30 years. The LRA has abducted over 67,000 youth, including 30,000 children, for use as child soldiers, sex slaves, and porters.
Education offers former abductees a pathway to emancipation from brutalised childhoods.
Caitríona Ní Cheallaigh and Cian Gleeson are Primary School Principals in Pelletsown ETNS and Harold’s Cross ETNS, respectively. Both worked as educators in Northern Uganda. In 2013, Cian and Caitríona along with three other like-minded educators committed to paying the school fees of 30 children/teenagers they identified as former abductees of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Aloi, Northern Uganda (an area which had been used as a camp for Internally Displaced Persons). The school fees are €300 per pupil per year and vary from private primary and secondary schools to vocational and training schools, dependent of the needs of the individual. Now in their 7th year of sponsoring these children, many have progressed to third level.
Caitríona and Cian are looking for any donations, big or small. ALL money raised will go directly to paying these children’s school fees, including the school fees of the young women in the photograph above.
- Aisling O Brien
- Orlaith Egan
- Maria & Mary Fleming
- Annette Lynch
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