Despite the government’s efforts, the education sector in Uganda faces many challenges. These challenges include a lack of teachers, insufficient learning materials and a lack of accommodation for teachers in remote areas. Although some primary education is compulsory under law; many families in rural communities cannot afford costs such as uniforms and equipment, so their children cannot attend school.
In 2009, we partnered with global advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather, and together we formed the Many Ogilvy Hands project. Our aim was to build a secondary school in Buikwe, a remote town in Uganda. Every four months, volunteers from Ogilvy UK travelled to Buikwe to work on the project, doing everything from brick laying to teaching. Six years later in March 2015, the final group arrived in Buikwe to add the finishing touches to the school, which now provides education for 450 local children. Many of these students are sponsored by our donors in the UK, providing them with school fees, a uniform, basic medical care and 2 daily meals. So far, the school has won two awards, one for having the best sports team in the area and the other for having the best academic results in the area. The quality of teaching is very high, with one teacher taking a distance learning course from Oxford University in English Literature.
Simon, who was sponsored by International Needs NZ went to school in Buikwe and now studies at Kampala University, majoring in Procurement and Logistics. He said: “Without sponsorship I don’t want to even think about where I would be and what I’d be doing now. Life would be very bleak.”