Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bubembe Children Need Education

During our visit we learned that the government brought two teachers to the island. These teachers serve two days each week and then return to the mainland. Pretty much all the children are in baby class, regardless of their age, because they’ve not had teachers on the island. The children are learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and other simple lessons. Only two of the children Vickie enrolled in her sponsorship program attend school as the others were sent home for not paying all of the school fees.

The cost of tuition is 7,000 UGX per term and there are three terms per year. The annual cost for parents to send their child to school is 21,000 UGX. Wait, I’ll change that to USD in a moment. In addition to the cost of tuition, children need requirements – pens, books, etc. I’m not sure exactly what requirements are needed for this school because the children are day scholars but I’ll make a guess…maybe 25,000 UGX annually.

Here’s the math 21,000 UGX for tuition and 25,000 UGX for requirements = 46,000 UGX. For the equivalent of about $25.00 USD a child on Bubembe Island can attend school two days each week for a whole year…$25.00. Can you imagine a community so poor that they cannot afford to send their child to school?

Julius, Vickie’s brother, says the people are fishermen and they do save up some little bits of money for education but when the fishing season is poor they dip into that savings to sustain themselves and then when the time comes for paying tuition the money is gone.

To finish this school year, the children need about $5.00 and for the whole 2012 school year they need $25.00…that’s $30.00 total through 2012 provided the government doesn’t make any changes. Do you want to help Vickie ensure these kids get the education they need?