I met Nyakojo Sam (on the right) in 2003 when I traveled to Uganda as a member of the UNITE project sponsored by the North Carolina Zoo. We stayed at the Crater Valley Kibale Lodge, the headquarters for North Carolina and Ugandan educators. Our group worked to develop conservation educational methods to help reduce the destruction of habitat critical to the chimpanzees of the Kibale National Park. Nyakojo Sam worked at the Crater Valley Kibale Lodge, which is how we became friends. He had lost both parents to AIDS. His life was hard, but his goals for life were significant. My wife, Nancy, and I have continued to help Sam attain an education, housing, medical help, and other expenses needed to live. He now lives with Barbara and his four children, Twebaze Abie, Kemigisha Nancy, Keinerugaba Schaefer, and Akandwanaho Sam, near Kampala.
Education is essential to Sam and his family. Universal Primary Education (Primary 1 through Primary 7) in government schools has a small tuition and a limit of three children from one family. The schools are poorly funded and often lack proper materials, so many families send their children to non-government schools (Article). After Primary school, most children stop attending school due to a lack of funds. Sam and Barbara have been unable to find work due to Covid-19, Ebola, and health issues, so the Primary and Senior School tuition costs are out of reach. The average income in Uganda is around USD 110.00 or UGX 412,400 (Ugandan Shillings) per month. Primary school costs USD 150.00 per term. Senior school costs USD 200.00 per term. There are three terms per school year. The annual cost for all four children is about USD 1,250.00. The goal is to raise enough funds to pay for all the children to complete the highest secondary school level. We calculate this amount will be about USD 17,300.00, including all fees.
With your donations, we can help provide funds for Sam and Barbara to keep their children in school. As GoFundMe does not connect with the Banking systems in Uganda, funds raised will be held with GoFundMe until we send the funds to pay the school fees. We will then transfer the funds to Barbara and Sam to pay the fees per term.