Like many countries, Uganda rigorously winnows out all but the “brightest” children for secondary and university education through demanding national examinations. If you are not among the top 1 or 2 percent in your district, your education may be over. Children from wealthy families go to the best private schools from elementary onward, and so have a better chance of scoring high on the tests. Poor children have no choice but to go to public schools where resources are lacking. And if a child is an orphan, he or she may be out of luck – even public education may be an impossible dream.
This is where we come in. The Stella-Rosie Foundation has a network of public school administrators who introduce us to their best students. But simple word of mouth works wonders in a rural society when children learn that someone may be willing to help them go to school. Finding candidates for an S-RF scholarship is the easy part; the hard part is choosing among so many smart and motivated children. With more resources we can help more deserving children. It’s that simple.
School fees are $500-$800 per year for elementary and secondary students. There are other expenses as well, including transportation for village children who go to schools in the capital. Our sole paid employee, the local liaison officer, pays and keeps records of all expenses and buys food and finds places to stay for orphans who have no home to go to during school holidays when the schools are closed.
Once each term she visits schools during Parents’ Day, when parents visit their children and bring them home-cooked food. (Boarding school food is nutritious but monotonous.) Without her, our children would sit alone in their dormitory rooms during Parents’ Day.
PASSION . COMPASSION . REAL CHANGE