In Uganda, state schools are free, but parents must pay for uniforms and educational materials. However, severe poverty, made worse by a national HIV/AIDS epidemic, means that many are struggling to even put food on the table, and they cannot afford to buy what is required to send their children to school. Knowing that education is critical to a child’s future success, health worker Rose Mugenyi started Sky Is The Limit Primary School for 360 disadvantaged local children.
When Rose learned that pupils were walking an average of 12 km daily to and from school, often without breakfast, she asked Ecologia to help.
A generous grant from Thomas Cook provided funds to start a school-meals programme to provide every child with a nutritious daily meal. The results are remarkable: 69% now achieve the top grade in national primary leaving examinations compared with 40% in 2013. Absenteeism is down significantly, the children’s health has improved, and they have energy to play football during breaks.
Jonathan (10) would often walk to school on an empty stomach. He says:
At Sky’s the Limit, my life has changed! I can play football with my friends, which I never used to do. I have energy and I concentrate in class because of the lunch provided.