Keep Impoverished Refugees in School

By providing an education to South Sudanese refugee children, our Uganda Education Program builds a brighter future for the children, their families, and their community.

The Challenge

Poverty is widespread among the South Sudanese refugee families living as squatters in slums in the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. Many of these “families” are widows caring for three or more children—their own off-spring, the children of relatives, war orphans, or children separated from their families. The children in these “families” cannot go to school to escape the cycle of poverty. In Uganda, parents or guardians must pay school fees to fund school buildings, books, writing materials, school meals, and uniforms. Few refugees are able to pay these fees, and many need their children to work petty jobs during school hours to put food on the table.

Our Solution

Our Uganda Education Project sends South Sudanese refugee children living in slums on the outskirt of Kampala to school—both day schools and boarding schools. Not only does the project pay their school fees and buy them school uniforms and books, it ensures the children are fed, clothed, and have access to medical care. The project is similar to our direct child sponsorship program, except it pools donations, allowing donors to give once, or now and then, without making a commitment. In 2010, our project provided scholarships to five students to attend primary school. We have 300 children on our waiting list.

Potential Long-Term Impact

Enabling refugee children to go to school will give them a ticket out of poverty. Educated girls will eventually be able to give their own families a good start in life. Educated boys will be able to escape a family cycle of hard labor. This will ripple to their families and community.