Much attention has deservedly been paid to the difficulties that girls have getting an education in developing countries, and to the importance to economic development of educating girls. And indeed we have seen in Kasiisi Project schools how relatively simple interventions, such as building special latrines and providing sanitary pads, can have a substantial impact on their attendance and academic performance.
In most local primary schools boys outperform girls but in Kasiisi Project Schools girls do as well as, and in some cases even better than, boys. While this is a clearly a good thing for girls, in the long-term equal educational opportunities for both sexes is our goal. Uneducated, unemployed men are bad news for any society.
Our data show that absenteeism is much higher in boys than girls, and rough data indicate that boys drop out of Kasiisi Project schools at a higher rate than girls. This is likely happening because boys can bring financial benefits to their families at a younger age than girls. Primary aged girls are useful as babysitters and for domestic work, but boys have real economic value, whether by watching cows or driving away vermin. Dr. Catrina Mackenzie from McGill University, has shown that the likelihood of boys completing 4th Grade, is substantially reduced in forest edge communities with high levels of crop-raiding by wild animals – boys are kept at home to guard the crops because local people say baboons, the most frequent crop raiding species around Kibale National Park, are not scared of girls or women . Boys as young as 10 are hired to work in the tea plantations, driving up drop-out rates in schools located close to commercial tea enterprises.
Economic need is a much harder challenge to address than lack of sanitary pads. Helping boys complete primary school at the same rate as their sisters will not be easy, and is compounded by the fact that, while finding money for girls’ programs is at least a possibility, there is virtually no funding to support boys.
Tumwesige Chris – Future Nurse
Tumwesige Christopher has been a Kasiisi Project Scholar since 2009, completing Grade 10 in 2012. Chris wants to be a nurse and last year enrolled in his first year of a 3 year nursing certificate program at Virika Hospital in Fort Portal.
Unfortunately Chris lost his sponsor after 10th Grade. On Saturday Allison Rosenberg and her mother Susan are running in the DC Rock and Roll Half Marathon to raise money to help pay for Chris’s tuition and that of other students who for one reason or another no longer have sponsors.
Please help Chris by sponsoring Allison and Susan at http://www.crowdrise.com/RunforKasiisiStudents
Only 3 days to go!
Dr. Zahura Adolf MBChB
The Kasiisi Project and the Kibale Forest Schools Programme are proud to announce that Zahura Adolf has become the first project scholar to become a doctor. Adolf took his Hippocratic Oath on Sunday and is about to begin his residency.
Many congratulations to Adolf, huge thanks to his sponsor Terry Eastman and many thanks to the Scholarship Committee who guided and supported him through his 6 years of secondary school and 6 years of medical school. A proud day for all of you!
Adolf and Classmates take the Hippocratic Oath
No matter where we live the issue of clean water is a vital concern for us all. When we encourage young children to think about what factors impact water quality we are helping raise adults who will be more thoughtful about their environment.
This week the President of the United Sates, while attending the White House Student Film Festival, talked about the collaborative environmental programs that link Kasiisi Project children with peers at the Brookwood School, in the US. The same day we received photos of children involved in water conservation classes in Bay City State Park, Michigan that mirror those from our own Cleveland Zoo funded Kasiisi Water Project in Uganda.
We were struck by the similarity in these photographs taken in two very different places. They underscore the fact that protecting the environment is something that is of concern to all people wherever we live. In addition by enabling children to connect face to face across the world to discuss issues that are important for everyone, modern technology, particularly in the form of Skype, helps us build important bridges.
President Obama talks about the Clean Stove Project
Congratulations to Alexander Emerson, a student at Brookwood School in Massachusetts, for being one of 16 finalists chosen for the first White House Student Film Festival and congratulations to our colleague Rich Lehrer, whose innovative approach to teaching science resulted in Alexanders film “Tomorrow’s Classroom”.
“Tomorrows Classroom” entered in the World of Tomorrow category featured the collaboration between students at Brookwood and Kasiisi Project Schools, to learn about and build Clean Burning Stoves.
Alexander’s video stars pupils at Kyanyawara School and was one of the movies specifically noted by President Obama in his address to the Festival participants.
You can see the children of Kyanyawara school on Alexanders film on youtube or at the White House Students Festival page where you can also hear what the president had to say.
Thank you to everyone who is generously sponsoring one of our scholars in 2014 and especial thanks and a big welcome to those of you who are sponsoring a new brand new, just staring out in secondary school, scholar.
This year we have 6 new scholars – 3 boys and 3 girls from 4 different schools, Kasiisi, Kiko, Kigarama and Rweteera. Selection was based on merit, with all 6 scoring top of their classes in their Primary Leaving Exams. Half of these children, 2 of the girls and one of the boys, are orphans so a special congratulations to them.
The girls will attend Our Lady of Good Counsel Gayaza, and the boys Katikamu SDA Secondary School in Kampala. Congratulations and good luck to all!
Pere-Atchte School(Ategeka) It was my first time to head such a scientific project at my school and an amazing opportunity for my learners to use equipment in their learning experience. It helped learners reduce to fatigue of classroom learning. Special thanks go to KFSP.
Iruhuura School (Saad): Thank you so much The Kasiisi project/KFSP for remembering us by including Iruhuura primary school into this wonderful project. It has given me an opportunity to teach my learners through hands on activity.Learners were able to identify some of the bad practices that impact water quality like growing crops near water sources, distilling from rivers, sharing water sources with domestic animals, playing, defecating among other practices.
Thanks to Cleveland Zoo and the Dry Creek Charity the Kasiisi Project and Kibale Forest Schools’ Program will be able to continue and extend our Water Project for two more years, helping hundreds more children think about the impact of their actions on the environment, through activities that measure the quality of local water sources.
Kigarama School (Magezi Godfrey)The project never interfered school activities because it was done during the co-curricular activities. The pupils learned a lot from the project and it was exciting and fun.
Now in its third year the Water Project has reached a point where 5 of the 7 current schools can run the program themselves. This year we are adding 2 more schools using Saad our water project teacher from Iruhuura School as program leader. So not only do we have a project that can almost sustain itself, but that also has the momentum to reach many more schools without us.
New plans include bringing our program and training to partner schools near Kampala.
Kasiisi School (Patrick) The kids loved outdoor activities. The content complimented the science syllabus. The project never interfered with the school’s timetable
Two more Kasiisi Project Schools have joined Kasiisi Primary School at the top of the Primary Leaving Exam League Tables – Kigarama and Kiko scoring averages of 12.4 and 13.0 respectively (lower scores are better). Kigarama had 57% of its students score Grade 1 passes, Kasiisi 47% and Kiko 45%.
The average PLE score in our 5 core schools – those where the bulk of our programs are carried out – continues to improve and and in 3 of these schools girls outperformed boys.
Debi Hoege – Field Director and Emily Otali – Project Director
The Kibale Forest Schools Program and The Kasiisi Project are delighted to welcome Debi Hoege as our new Field Director. Debi a graduate of Boston University, has worked in Fort Portal for the past 18 months as the project director of a Notre Dame safe water program. Debi joins Ugandan Director Elect Emily Otali and the wonderful members of our Ugandan Board of Directors, to keep our programs focused and growing.
Members of Iruhuura Wildlife Club mix mud and manure for building fuel efficient stoves
Take a look at http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0110-millar-children-build-fuel-efficent-stoves-uganda.html
for an article on how our children at Iruhuura school are taking the conservation knowledge that they have gained through our programs into their communities and making a practical contribution to protecting Kibale National Park.
A 3 burner fuel efficient stove