Besides constructing schools, we also fund teacher salaries, food for the children, books and other basic supplies. Compared to the cost of a public education in the USA, Uganda is a bargain! A child can be fed breakfast and lunch for $7.88 per month. Meals consist of beans, maize flour, sorghum flour, millet flour, vegetables, salt and milk. Firewood is another necessity since it is the source of fuel. The cost to educate a child is $23.50 a month including meals, teacher salaries, uniforms and fees.
OUR LADY MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
Father Justus is pleased to announce he has been appointed pastor of the Our Lady Mother of the Church Parish or Nyakatunguru in Father’s language. The parish is located in South Western Uganda. It is in Kanungu District, Kihiihi Subcounty, Nyakatunguru Parish, and Nyamwegabira Village, close to the border with the Congo, near the Impenetrable Forest. He will be moving to Nyamwegabira Village where he will be housed at the Rectory with two other priests. This parish has 30,000 Catholics! The main church is located in Nyamwegabira Village. There are 30 villages in the parish, twelve which have churches. Due to difficult travel between the remote villages, its not possible for three priests to visit each church for Sunday Mass. So there are catechist and Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister in each church. They are responsible for communion services and religious instruction of local people. During Christmas, Easter and the Ascension, Fr. Justus and the parish priests, make a pilgrimage to each church. Other priests in the diocese who have administration, or teaching positions, join them so that everyone can receive the sacraments. Imagine being able to go to reconciliation only once or twice a year. We are so blessed here to have daily Mass and confession times every week.
There are a schools operating in Nyamwegabira and in some of the other villages. Fr. Justus couldn’t give an estimate of how many children attend school or how many would if one was available to them. But with 30,000 people in the parish, there are bound to be many!
In Nyamwegabira, the school building is inadequate and poorly constructed. The community has begun making bricks for a new school building. Thanks to generous donations from friends in the United States, Fr. Justus will start work on the school upon his arrival at Our Lady Mother of the Church.
In the villages with schools, men take turns walking the children to school. Morning and night, men walk halfway to meet the children escorted by a man from the next village. The walking distance between schools varies from one to four hours each way. Imagine a child and his father will walk up to eight hours each day so he or she can receive an education.
St. John's nursery school
Constructed in 2010. Serves Around 250 children, girls & boys
Nursery classes Baby, Middle & Top Levels (Grades) 1 through 4
The school is located in Karubanda Ward, Nyakakika Village near the town of Kabale. This was the first project undertaken by the Kabale Education Fund. Before the school was built the children were being taught outdoors. Four classrooms and one office were built. There is potential to attract more kids to attend school and for that reason another four classrooms are needed to accommodate primary level 5 through 7. A pit latrine with 6 stalls, or as they say in Uganda, 6 stances was also built. Parents and other members of the local community contribute to the school by making bricks and participating in its construction.They continue to support the school, a fact that ensures its success. The number one challenge here is that families are not able to pay fees for school or even provide food for their children. They pay what they can afford and hope the administration will understand their situation. The other challenge is that the water source is a mile away which makes the cost per “jerrican” (Plastic container) is a big expense for the school. The Kabale Education Fund continues to support the school.
St. Elizabeth Primary School
Constructed in 2012. Serves around 250 children Boys & Girls
Level (Grades) 1 through 7
This school is located in the newly created Rubanda district. It is in a place called Bushure-Kerere, in the middle of a forest. In phase 1, 3 classrooms with concrete floors were built, again with help and support from the local people. In phase 2 was the construction of 5 additional classrooms. Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Bremerton, Washington, donated money that was used to purchase and install above ground water tanks. It was the first local source of clean water in the area. Five acres of land was purchased adjacent to the school. It is used to grow vegetables to supplement the children’s diet and to teach gardening as well.
ST. THERESA GIRLS VOCATIONAL SCHOOL
Serves 450 Girls
Located in Rushoroza district of Kabale, St. Theresa Girls Vocational Secondary School was started by the Diocese of Kabale to care for the “vulnerable girl child”, an expression Fr. Justus uses to describe poor and orphaned girls with no opportunity for an education or a way out of poverty. Presently it is now both an ordinary level school (Form 1-4) and advanced level high school (Form 5-6). The Sisters of Good Counsel teach the girls of St. Thesesa. A dining hall was constructed through the generosity of one donor. Very quickly the need for a dormitory became a higher priority than a dining hall, so it was converted. More recently, the school began work on an advanced level building with space for a library. Unable to finish the project, the building was in danger of being ruined when donations to the Kabale Education Fund made completion possible. Contributions also purchased books. The Kabale Education Fund contributed money for the purchase of a generator which allows the girls to study after dark. An acute water shortage affected the school. A water system with 3 above ground reserve tanks was added to the school through the generosity of Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton, Washington. Just this year the school was upgraded to an Advanced Level High School. This means the students will be eligible to go directly to university upon graduation.
St. Paul’s Seminary
SERVES 420 Boys and young men
St. Paul’s is a minor seminary located in Rushoroza-Kabale. It is an advanced college preparatory high school with a focus on Catholic education. If called to the priesthood, young men may enter one of the national seminaries upon graduation from St Paul’s. Construction had started on a library building when funding then ran out. Unable to complete it, the building was deteriorating. With support from the Kabale Education Fund and generous donations, a library and computer lab was constructed. Donations from the Knights of Columbus and businessmen in Camas, Washington supplied the computers. A young man who had graduated from St. Paul’s, returned from university to set up the computer lab. Truly a great success story!
ST. PAUL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Serves around 400 Children boys & girls
Levels (Grades) 1 through 7
Located in Rwanyena-Kabale at a Catholic parish that is at the border of Uganda and Rwanda, this school is in a very isolated area. The school had four classrooms when four more were added. Underground water tanks were installed making collection of rainwater in the rainy season possible for use all year around. With access to affordable education, the number of students surged. Many students walk up to 10 kilometers or 6 miles to school every day. A dormitory was constructed which now houses 42 boys. A girls’ dormitory has been built as well with 42 girls living there. Now these students have time to really focus on their studies.
UGANDA MARTYRS PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Serves Around 405 students, girls & boys
Uganda Martyrs was not built by contributions to the Kabale Education Fund. Rather this school was constructed with a donation from one generous benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. There is a great need for a dining hall for this school. Currently, students eat in the dusty compound while sitting on the ground. As you can imagine this is an unhealthy situation. Dining halls serve many purposes. They can be used for exams or converted to classrooms if necessary. Remember, a child can be educated with meals and supplies for about $25 a month.