Our Sponsorship Project
There are many families in Mityana in desperate need. This may be because of the death or desertion of a parent, or the death of both parents from AIDS, TB, malaria or typhoid, leaving a child living with a grandmother or an uncle. The children are desperate to go to school as they know that it the key to a better future.
Children are chosen for sponsorship using the criteria below, on the basis of need only. Equal numbers of girls and boys are chosen over the medium and long term.
The criteria are:
Children who have no living parents and whose guardians have no regular income.
Children who have a single parent who has no regular income.
Children who have been taken into extended families because their parents are sick or have died or abandoned them and whose adopted families have limited incomes.
We try to provide medical treatment for all our children, and the girls with sanitary protection, enabling them to go to school every day of each term, subject to finances. MORE>
Sponsors are asked to support a particular child, and are sent information about the child's home circumstances. Each autumn they receive a letter from the child and three school reports, plus receipts for fees. We also try to send photos of the children. Sponsors, if they so wish, can write letters and send gifts to their sponsored child. A few sponsors have even joined us on visits to Mityana and met their sponsored child.
These children were not allowed into school because they had not paid their fees. They were trying to listen outside the door. They will study anywhere.
Sponsoring a primary school child
In theory there is universal free primary education throughout Uganda, but this includes tuition only. Uniform and shoes are compulsory and all books, paper, equipment and lunch have to be paid for. In practice there are insufficient government funded schools in each area. These have an average class size of about 60 but may teach up to 100 at a time. This inadequate state provision is complemented by a large number of fee paying schools. In Mityana most parents/guardians have no alternative but to pay school fees. Secondary schooling is sometimes partly subsidised by the government in various ways but there are always fees to pay and uniform, shoes, equipment, books, paper and lunch to buy.
Children in Uganda attend primary school for seven years from the age of 5, but many attend a nursery class for a year before this. They start learning English at nursery and by the time they are in year 2 or 3 they are taught all subjects in English. MORE>
Sponsoring a secondary school child
Secondary schooling is sometimes partly subsidised by the government in various ways but there are always fees to pay and equipment to buy.
At secondary school the children take GCSE equivalent exams after four years and A levels after six. Most of the sponsored children attend the well-established Mityana Secondary School. A few, who live too far away to walk to MSS, attend other schools. MSS is reasonably well equipped, with a library and science laboratories and academic children can succeed well and progress to college and university. MORE>
Sponsoring a child in further education
Funding students to study for degrees is too expensive for most sponsors, so we will only ask for funding for upkeep at university if students do well enough to gain a government scholarship for their tuition fees. At the moment we have university students studying entrepreneurship, agricultural mechanics and engineering. MORE>
The cost of sponsoring a child
Currently we ask sponsors to contribute £125 a year for a primary child or £250 for a secondary child. We ask sponsors to pay fees for the following academic year by the end of November, which allows us to buy new uniform, shoes and so on in time for the school year, which starts at the end of January and finishes at the end of November.
Sponsoring a granny
Many impoverished grandparents, usually unsupported widows, are struggling to care for orphaned grandchildren. Some are bringing up more than one family. £15 a month would make a big difference to their ability to feed their grandchildren.
Matouva Abasi's father died and his mother left him with his grandma. She died in 2011 and his sponsors supported him to board at school and then to do a vocational course in electronics. He has now opened an electrical shop and is training younger people in electronics
Would you like to find out more? Fill in the form below if you'd like us to phone you to discuss sponsorship.
Our Team in Uganda
We have a dedicated, hard working team in Uganda which has grown over time, and carries out the huge task of administering the sponsorship scheme, including, among other projects, WASH and Human Rights.
The team is headed by the Executive Director (Geoffrey Kinaalwa) with Grace Musaasizi primarily responsible for managing the sponsorship programme, a task she took on as a volunteer 15 years ago thinking that she could manage it in her spare time as a secondary school physics teacher! Unsurprisingly she found the task impossible and after 25 years of teaching decided that it was God's plan that she should give up teaching and devote herself to the sponsored children.
Now that the scheme has grown larger, with government policies and guidelines on how to run education programmes being introduced, our entire Mityana Uganda Charity (MUC) team have had to be trained and involved in different activities. These include developing standard operating procedures, a sponsorship handbook, beneficiary selection and monitoring, counselling and guidance, training beneficiaries in business skills development, life skills, programme reports, thank-you letter writing and visiting schools. Team members have good experience in different areas including finance management, child counselling, social support and OVC services programme monitoring.
The departments at MUC in Uganda are interlinked. They work as a team to address the challenges of more than 260 children and ensure that the beneficiaries are effectively and efficiently supported to get the best grades at their final exams and live a self-sustaining life after they leave the scheme. It is crucial that these children are fully supported, as many of them have no one else to turn to for advice and help. When they start university or college the students have to be equipped with all their needs for living away from home and are helped with all their baggage and bedding to the institutions on their first day.
The finance department takes responsibility for ensuring that school fees and all other needs are paid for in a timely manner.
The address for letters and parcels is:
Mityana Uganda Charity
PO Box 289, Mityana