Feb 17 (the start of the Ugandan Academic Year) Evergreen will facilitate Nursery Schooling in Wanale.
Although in scant supply, poorly funded and badly managed, primary schooling is available in the Wanale sub-county. The problem is that by the time they reach primary school age, very many of the children have already been put to work in the fields, collecting water, and so on. Their parents have come to rely on this source of labour and no longer believe they can afford the ‘luxury’ of sending their children to school. Moreover, notwithstanding the Ugandan Government’s policy of ‘Universal Primary Education’, all schools, even government schools, make various charges, which the parents are often unable to afford.
Provision of Nursery schooling will help to break that cycle. Before the children reach an age at which they will become ‘useful’ for work, parents will become used to sending them to school each day. The children will also develop the habit of daily attendance - and just as in UK, 4-year olds will look forward to starting ‘big school’. Additionally, freed from the need to provide constant care for their pre-school age children, parents, in particular the women, will be reliably available to work in order to generate an income. Thus, primary schooling becomes affordable when the children reach that age. The parents will also spend their income in the local economy which helps it to grow. Finally, amongst other things the children will be taught about basic hygiene and health - experience has shown that improved health in a community is one of the major factors that will lift the community out of poverty.
The Nursery Schooling facility will additionally provide the children with one meal a day. Very often, this will be the only proper meal that the children will receive that day, bringing obvious benefits for health, growth and concentration.
There is a community hall in Wanale village that is used as a church on Sundays but is otherwise under-utilised. Community leaders have offered the facility for nursery schooling on weekdays. However, the hall is all but empty. This project will therefore provide: benches, chairs, tables and blackboards as well as admin and scholastic materials. Cooking facilities will also be needed and there will be an ongoing requirement for food, water and firewood. The facility will provide for up to 100 children, requiring three teaching staff and a cook. A store-room will be needed and each child will be provided with a uniform T-shirt.