Here is a question for our Trustees and for our supporters to consider. Over the years we have taken on the challenge of helping to fund the build of 6 schools and we are well on the way to completing them.
But we have become increasing aware that children with disabilities in Jinja have very little support. Our partner Sebastian who has a deaf child has been working tirelessly for these children.
His recent meeting with the authorities was very challenging. Here is what he told us;
A strong need for a school project that provides all opportunities for
children with disabilities in Jinja. Actually yesterday i was
attending a stakeholders meeting to analysis the challenges affecting
Children with disabilities from accessing quality education in Jinja
at the district. Among the invited district officials included the
District Inspector of Schools In Charge of Special Needs Education,
District Senior Education Officer, and District Community Development
Officer( he heads the directorate of community development and
disability). Some of the tricking facts that were revealed to us were
The Education department of Jinja knows that the whole of Jinja
District has 2,728 children with hearing impairment and only 624
children were know to be attending school by October 2016. Know that
those figures (624) could have been true but the drop out of rate
might have brought it down to-date. From my own field school visits
to some the schools the officials claim to be having such children
have no such children since there are trained and experienced teachers
of special needs especially the Deaf instructors or Sign Language
The needed school running from Nursery to Primary Seven. This is very
true. It is obvious here in Jinja that Children with disabilities
especially those with hearing impairment never experience Early
Childhood Development like their counterparts with no disabilities.
That is why 90% of the deaf children complete their their primary
education past 18 years old. This is so because such children join
school after their eighth birthday. Before the 8th year, most parents
are still having a hope that their children will talk, others have
failed to accept the fact their children are having hearing
impairment, within their communities are no schools and SNE Teachers
for such children, those who could be knowing where such schools are,
can not afford the school requirements including tuition. The few
schools that admit children with disabilities are very far requiring
that such children should be in a boarding section making it very
expensive for the parents to afford.
I can also suggest that since some of the children with disabilities
may not be academic giants all through their education struggles, we
need to consider having both academic and vocational skills
approaches. This will highly enable those who are not excelling well
academic to discover their talents/ vocational skills which will
enable them to sustain themselves even when they drop out school say
after primary seven.
The need for land is very critical in this project.
My own thoughts on this issue of land is that because of the limited
financial resources to buy 50 acres, it is adequate enough even if we
were able to only get between 5- 10 acres of land. This is easy to
find and buy from within Jinja district. On such land were can
efficiently and effective do all the projects and development you have
mentioned in your email. If this done, am strongly convinced that the
school can sufficiently sustain its self even without much support
from other donors or institution.
So our challenge is simple. Can we do it again? Can we raise about £300,000 over the next 5 years to give these children a really good start in life. I believe we can.
We have the courage to start and the experience to know how to do it.