I am a current middle school teacher in Louisville, KY. As part of my social studies curriculum, my students have been collaborating with the Nkosi School in Uganda for two years. Last summer, I had the opportunity to briefly visit the Nkosi School and spend time with the students and teachers. This visit helped me establish connections for my own students in Louisville and also opened my eyes to the positive impact that a small amount of money can have on the lives of these students.
When I was in Uganda, I realized that there is a fantastic opportunity for more teachers to collaborate and participate in a global classroom exchange with the Nkosi School. Thus, I will be returning to the Nkosi School for the month of June with two more public school teachers to increase our collaboration and provide more cultural exchange opportunities for our students.
The Johnson Nkosi Memorial Primary School is a small private boarding school in Mukono, Uganda. The school teaches approximately 250 students from ages 3-17 years old. Of these, about 1/3 of them are orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs). These OVCs attend Nkosi free of charge and are provided with uniforms and materials, room and board if required, and a safe environment by school supporters and staff. The other students are required to pay school fees amounting to approximately one third of the school budget.
The school is a part of the Mpoma Community HIV/AIDS Initiative, which was founded in 1999 by a group of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. What began as a small group of caretakers concerned about their children’s futures has grown into a community focused on economic opportunities and healthy living. Their major accomplishment has been the creation of the community primary school - The Johnson Nkosi Memorial Primary School and community health outreaches.
Pictured above: A few of the Nkosi School boys peek through a broken dormitory window.
Today, the Nkosi School offsets maintenance costs through a sustainable farm and food security program. However, the school relies heavily on outside resources and acquiring and maintaining students who are able to pay full tuition.
When I visited last summer, I was able to tour the boys and girls dormitories and school grounds. Everyday wear and tear to these buildings has left broken windows, chipped paint, and a lack of mosquito nets. Mosquito nets are an important barrier against the spread of infectious disease, specifically malaria which is a concern in this part of Africa. Since the Nkosi School spends much of its budget on student education and teacher salary, there is not often a lot of room for spending on new paint for the dorms or more mosquito nets.
Pictured above: The Nkosi School girls in front of their dormitory.
With this fundraiser, I intend to help the Nkosi School renovate their dormitories and improve the overall appearance of the school grounds. As their school grounds are continuously improved, the school will attract families and students who are able to pay full tuition. With increased enrollment of students paying full tuition, the school can better provide for the orphaned and vulnerable children in need of scholarships. I have developed this fundraiser with the guidance from Nkosi School administrators. The dormitory renovation project is currently their most pressing need.
The cost for wood, nails, mosquito nets, and labor for both dormitories will be $1000. The cost for the paint, tape, sandpaper, and labor for boys & girls dorm will cost $1260. I am requesting $2500, hoping that the additional $240 can be put towards any materials that the teachers might require in their classrooms to support instruction (lesson plan books, markers, extra paper, etc.). All items have been quoted in Ugandan shillings and converted to US dollars based on the current exchange rate. For a full itemized budget of the dorm renovations, please visit our project website listed above.