Uganda

Girls in parts of Uganda are getting an education, with help from CWS

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"We extend our gratitude [for the] support that you continue to give to FDNC. Our gratitude will continue to be shown by... being good stewards," says the executive director of FDNC (Foundation for Development of Needy Communities), Sam Watulatsu, of the assistance that Church World Service is providing the organization to help improve the lives of vulnerable people - particularly girls -- in parts of rural Uganda.

FDNC is working to reduce the number of uneducated girls and street children by alleviating poverty in some 80 families. The families are receiving milk goats, which will help to improve their nutrition and food security, and enable them to earn a small income through the sale of extra milk. An improvement in the families' circumstances will allow them to think more seriously about sending their girls to school. The goats are part of a pass-along scheme, whereby the offspring of a goat owned by one family will be given to another vulnerable family who does not own one.

Church World Service is also helping FDNC to promote girls' literacy, which is vital for propelling girls and women toward a brighter future in Uganda. More than half of the girls living in the Mbale area, in eastern Uganda, drop out of school before finishing their primary education, for example.

FDNC is encouraging girls to stay in school and is helping to improve future opportunities for about 9,000 girls through better access to education, including women's health education. This is being accomplished through establishing and empowering rural clubs, training people on gender issues, and informing the community about the importance of education for girls.

Hundreds of girls are taking part in vocational training in such areas as tailoring, catering, secretarial work, computer operation, home economics, nursery education, carpentry, masonry, and hairdressing. Other girls who are excelling in their rural schools are receiving scholarships and awards through FDNC. FDNC is working to support the girls' families through home and school visits, counseling, workshops, and training that helps to empower girls and women. And, a rural resource center is being established that will provide education about girls' development, gender issues, and community development using print resources and the Internet.

Says FDNC program assistant Grace Kanagwa, "We are grateful to have Church World Service as our partners in development. Please continue. God bless."