Nursery School for Orphans and Vulnerable Children.

Introduction:

My name is Peterson Carl. I am a volunteer from the UK currently working with an organization called Masindi Community Foundation (MCF) in Masindi, Uganda. In the year 2014, me and other volunteers fundraised and actively got involved in the construction of a community processing facility (maize mill). Due to the success of this project I worked with MCF again in 2015 to construct another maize mill in a different community. Both facilities have brought milling services closer to people and are improving livelihoods.



Working alongside MCF in communities, I realized the urgent need for an early childhood development center for orphans and vulnerable children in one of the communities in Masindi. Thus we’re requesting for your support to establish a nursery school in Nyabyeya community for 83 orphans and vulnerable children in the age bracket 3-6 years.







Project Summary:

The project is about construction of a nursery school, called Nyabyeya Child Development Centre to benefit 83 children (51 OVCs and 32 children from very poor households), in the age bracket 3-6 years.

Recently two parents from Nyabyeya approached the foundation and voiced their concerns about the lack of a learning facility for their children aged 3-6 years. One of the parents (caring for 1 orphan) is a member of Balijukira Poultry Group and the other (caring for 2 orphans) Maize Production Group, both of which are household economic strengthening projects established by the foundation in Nyabyeya, among other livelihoods enhancement projects.

The only nearby learning facility is 5 kilometres away in Kabango town, Kinyara parish, Budongo subcounty. Moreover this learning centre charges high tuition fees (Shs. 50,000/= per month) not affordable by disadvantaged children.

As a result such children have to wait until 7 years to enroll into free-government aided primary school, hence missing important development stages in life which negatively impacts their future wellbeing.

The foundation then held a meeting with parents of disadvantaged children about establishment of a nursery school within the reach of all the disadvantaged children in the area.

Success with this project is highly guaranteed because of the unity within this community which saw them build a primary school from the scratch, Nyabyeya Primary School, which was later taken up by the government.

The project shall enable disadvantaged children (3-6years) enjoy learning in a safe space where they can develop skills and qualities for primary education in their own community from an early age. The project shall thus have a major impact on the children’s prospects in later life, and the economic and social development of their communities.

Nyabyeya community is donating land for the construction of the centre and establishment of a garden to supply vegetables to the centre. The centre shall be situated adjacent to Nyabyeya community hall which itself shall provide storage services for food items and other materials. One of the rooms in the hall shall be used as an administrative office for the centre.

According to the project arrangement, parents agreed they will pay tuition fees of Shs Shs.8,000 per month instead of Shs. 50,000 for most private-profit oriented nursery schools in Masindi per month. And with 83 children enrolling, this implies the centre shall garner Shs. 664,000 per month.

This shall enable the centre pay the head teacher (Shs.90,000 per month); 2 teachers (Shs. 80,000 per month); 2 cooks (Shs.60, 000 per month) and 1 gardener (Shs. 30,000 per month).

The balance (Shs. 404,000 per month) shall be used to buy maize flour and sugar used in making porridge for the children, cooking oil and salt for preparing vegetables, and balance for meeting other miscellaneous costs.

The foundation will choose the School Management Committee, SMC on behalf of the community who shall work on voluntary basis.

The committee shall be in charge of the overall management of the centre to ensure it works towards achieving its objectives of imparting relevant knowledge and skills into the children.

The committee shall comprise the headteacher Nyabyeya Primary School, two lecturers from Nyabyeya Forestry College (who all live within the community), one trustee and staff from the foundation.

The committee shall recruit the staff to manage the centre based on merit, appropriate knowledge, experience and qualifications.

The committee shall establish appropriate policies, code of conduct and laws governing the centre which staff and children must adhere to.

The SMC shall elect one of the lecturers on the committee to the position of Chairperson SMC.

The Chairperson SMC shall be responsible for paying the centre staff, while the headteacher shall manage day to day activities of the centre, including receiving study fees. The centre staff shall be paid monthly.

Benefits of the project:

Nyabyeya has a population of slightly over 100 children aged 3-6 years according to the LCI of the parish. There are 17 children with both parents deceased and 34 with one parent deceased, making a total of 51 vulnerable children. Note: All the 51 vulnerable children are project beneficiaries and the balance of 32 are children having both parents alive but from very poor households.

However with this high number of children in the 3-6 years age bracket, Nyabyeya lacks a nursery school. The only nearby learning facility is 5 kilometres away in Kabango town, Kinyara parish, Budongo subcounty. This learning centre charges high tuition fees (Shs. 50,000/= per month) not affordable by disadvantaged children and children from very poor households.

As a result such disadvantaged children and those from poor households have to wait until 7 years to enroll into free-government aided primary school, hence missing important development stages in life which negatively impacts their future wellbeing.

The project shall enable disadvantaged children enjoy learning in a safe space as their advantaged counterparts, where they can develop skills and qualities for primary education in their own community from an early age at a reduced cost of Shs. 8,000 per month per child compared to Shs. 50,000 charged by most nursery schools in Masindi.

Through the project, children shall be able to learn various skills like; Cognitive skills i.e. organising information. Cognitive skills include problem solving, creativity, imagination and memory. Cognitive skills are part of the brains impact to help children understand their community and what they can do at a later stage to make it a better place to live for everyone; Social skills-through interactions with each other. Social development involves pupils understanding their responsibilities and rights as members of families and Nyabyeya community, and an ability to relate to others and to work with others.

The project shall thus have a major impact on children’s prospects in later life, and the economic and social development of Nyabyeya community.

How your donations will be spent:

$15,000 shall be used to construct 4 classroom blocks, kitchen and latrine

$6,585 shall be used to purchase water tank, learning tools and play tools for the centre

$210 shall be used to purchase seeds and gardening tools for the centre

$163 shall be used to purchase cooking oil, flour and sugar for the centre
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