Maybe you are reading this post and think “Oh, this is just another project”, but let me convince you that this is not the case:
Before I tell you about the amazing project I participate in, let me introduce myself. My name, Lilli, I grew up in Germany and moved to Amsterdam to study Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. As I am part of the German scout community, I have gotten in touch with the St. Mary’s project in Uganda. When arriving there, I was welcomed in the lively and colourful village, Kikajjo, where the project was founded. After a while, I have recognized the strength and progressive attitude of the people that impressed me a lot. Although the living conditions are very poor, the people are eager to expand their horizon with an optimistic mindset. So being here in Kikajjo my ambition is to increase the sustainability of St. Mary’s School that makes the project so special.
Now you got to know me and what brought me to this small and impressing project. So, it is time to familiarize you with the project of St. Mary’s School and the NGO, called TORUWU:
TORUWU and St. Mary’s School
In 2013, St. Mary’s School was founded by the NGO named Training of Rural Women in Uganda (TORUWU) because the mothers in the area of Kikajjo asked for affordable and qualitative education for their children. Henceforth, TORUWU aims to provide education for vulnerable children. At the moment, the school is in very underprivileged conditions, which resulted in the government setting a deadline for closing the school. For instance, the kitchen is placed in an unfinished room where the food is prepared on the ground. Moreover, the classrooms are small, too dark and strongly smell from the latrine toilette and garbage. Most of the garbage contains plastic that is collected and burned by the children in the centre of the school every day. Therefore, the smoke, as well as the lack of hygiene in the kitchen and the miserable conditions of the classrooms, withhold the development of the children and teachers. This environment even restricts them from their basic human rights.
However, not only TORUWU is involved in developing St. Mary’s School. Briefly, after the School was accessible for the children and teacher, a few of my Brazilian friends started the project ‘Escola em Uganda’, to improve the educational system and living conditions sustainably.
'Escola em Uganda' and St. Mary’s School
In 2017, the Brazilian volunteers arrived in Kikajjo to live with the community for almost a year and develop a project, known as 'Escola em Uganda'. Throughout the months they became strongly involved and attached to St. Mary’s School and the culture, thus the focus lies on improving the school in a sustainable way. Besides building new classrooms for St. Mary’s School, the core is to work with teachers and children to develop a suitable educational system through self-reflection and critical thinking. Together with the volunteers and the community, the ambience creates a balanced way of respecting each other without imposing thoughts into the different culture.
So if you still believe ‘this is just another project’, see for yourself that it is not: https://www.escolaemuganda.com/en/home/
Now, the community is full of hope and joy as the children, parents and teacher see and feel the changes: The teachers and volunteers bring the children to the construction of the New School. As well as creating new educational tools with the teachers, by familiarizing them with the concept of a library. Our goal is to contribute to the sustainable change, so we started to construct three classrooms and the latrine toilettes. Do you want to be part of this joyful community and contribute to their dream of a respectful and efficient educational system? You are welcome to help us build one more classroom and contribute to a sustainable and real change!