By the time that schools open again in January 2022, Ugandan children will have missed almost 2 years of class time due to the Covid pandemic. Students from more affluent families have had access to online learning, something not an option for impoverished rural families. Loss of education is detrimental for all children but those from marginalized societies like ours suffer most, with girls being the most impacted. Falling family incomes have forced children into the informal job market in large numbers, setting back attempts to end child labor by 20 years. Most will never return to school, and early marriage and teen pregnancy rates have ballooned. More than a third (35%) of our children polled said they were not interested in learning or had dropped out of school permanently.
Aware of this crisis and determined to to help keep families motivated about the benefits of education, as well as reducing students anxiety about returning to school, the Kasiisi Project and its Ugandan partner, The Kibale Forest Schools' Program, have undertaken to bring school work to children in their villages.
Thanks to a monumental effort by our staff, for 4 months, during heavy rains, 2,500 children in Grades 3-5 have received educational packs of pencils, crayons and paper and biweekly packets of school work produced by the Ugandan Government. Every month we print, collate, and bind 110,000 work sheets and distribute them using motorbike taxis, community leaders and village health teams to 2,500 children in 130 villages.
Every 2 weeks, work is collected, marked and returned to the students. Weekly story time on the local radio makes literature and comprehension available to another 20,000 children, and environmental workbooks, art and storytelling competitions and family history projects keep our conservation and health goals in everyone's minds. We hope that by January there will be no need for such an enormous undertaking but we will still be there to provide the support that the schools need as they begin the huge job of getting their students back on track.
We join with Ugandan parents, teachers and local government to express our enormous gratitude to the generous donors who made this critical but very expensive initiative possible.
If you are interested in supporting the initiative or any of our other programs you can do so through the donate page.
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The Kasiisi Project is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Kasiisi Project are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Kasiisi Project's tax identification number is 54-2195079.