Two years ago Sustain For Life started a pilot project and the impact for those on the scheme is enormous. The Scholarship supports special needs children all from extreme poverty access education; some have lost parents and been made orphans; some parents cannot look after a child with special needs therefore school boarding is the only option.
Sustain For Life have committed to a further 5 years from February 2019, which will support 43 individual children with varying levels of special needs.
The scholarships primary outcomes are to continue vital support for the most vulnerable special educational needs children, providing access to quality and relevant education, and increasing their personal development towards better quality and sustainable future livelihoods.
Accommodation For Deaf Students & Staff
Kisoro Demo School (KDS) is a public school with an average enrolment of 800 pupils each year. Currently, the school has 70 children with different disabilities, of which include sight and hearing impairment as well as physical and mental disabilities. A percentage of these special needs’ children come from families experiencing abject poverty conditions. If this category of children is not supported, they will continue to suffer a double disadvantage of exclusion from education; firstly, due to their disability, and secondly due to poverty.
Following the recent study funded by Sustain For Life (which measured the magnitude of visual and hearing impairment among children in Kisoro district) 35 additional children were identified and referred to KDS for schooling. The school cannot accommodate the new pupils, so to increase capacity we will build a separate block to house the deaf children, who constitute at least 60% of the children in the school.
St Francis Secondary School for the blind
With an estimated 38 million people, St. Francis School for the blind, is the only special needs Secondary School that enrols Visually Impaired students in large numbers from northern Uganda and beyond. Previously Sustain for Life have supported the school with kitchen gardens and infrastructure and now the children are safely housed in dormitories with boys and girls separated. However, currently the school uses an incomplete kitchen facility and there is no designated dining area for the children.
With 123 students, access to decent dining and cooking facilities will have a great impact. There will be a dedicated safe, cooking space in hygienic conditions, students and staff will be able to eat and socially interact, and it will develop improved eating habits and enhanced sharing among students.
Hornby Secondary School for the blind
Hornby High School has disadvantaged and vulnerable children who are blind and physically handicapped. They come from all over Uganda and live at Hornby for education. Most of these children are double orphans and need a great deal of care. Due to this there is a need for a teacher to live close by to provide better security, counselling and guidance. This in turn will improve the children’s learning and help to maximise their opportunities for the future.
Construction of a single storey building comprising of two bedrooms and living facilities will enable a teacher to be close by and care for the children. The primary outcome will be the improved security and learning of 50 visually impaired and physically disabled students, giving them the hope and tools for a better future.