Let's pause for a minute and imagine what Australia or the United States would look like if only THREE IN TEN children finished primary school.
This is the situation in Uganda.
The girl in the blue dress in the image above is Gladys. Gladys lives with her family in this mud hut. She is the fourth child in a family of six children. Her mother works in the fields in order to feed her family the food they need. But Gladys is one of the lucky ones. She is a sponsored student at School for Life in the Mbazzi region of Uganda which means she will receive a high quality education across primary and secondary school. Her brothers, Emmanuel and Dennis are at School for Life's Katuuso campus.
Gladys, Emmanuel and Dennis receive three meals a day, clothing, school uniforms, healthcare and their parents have the resources available to them to become a qualified tailors, and to learn more about agricultural practices. Gladys' father Joseph is employed as the cook at School for Life. Glady's parents will also be part of a community awareness project, teaching parents and grandparents about the importance of education, and receive education about domestic and sexual violence so they have the power to protect their children and change the course of their future.
There are 19 million other children in Uganda just like Gladys and they need your help. If you have ever wanted to sponsor a child, today is the day you can give the greatest gift these kids will ever receive - education.
Because Education is freedom.
Some facts about Uganda's education crisis*:
- In Uganda, seven out of ten children won't finish a primary-level education. Most adults haven't received an education, and therefore don't see educating their children as important - many prioritise child labour over education.
- Uganda has one of the lowest primary 'survival rates' in East Africa - with just 33% of children starting primary school finishing. This compares to Kenya's primary survival rate of 84%, Tanzania of 78% and Rwanda of 81%.
- In Government-run schools, there can be one teacher to look after 100 children, although the average classroom is one teacher to 54 students. Schools are often mud huts with no amenities, air conditioning or educational materials.
- More than 2.3 million Ugandans are malnourished, with many children arriving at school without being fed. It is common for children to receive only one meal a day.
- In Uganda your life expectancy is 56, yet in Australia it is 82 and in the United States it's 78.
- Uganda has the world's youngest population. There are currently 38 million people living in Uganda, 50% of which are aged under 14 years old. That means that there are 19 million children running around in Uganda.
- Uganda is roughly the same size as the Australian state of Victoria, which houses 6 million people. Can you imagine 38 million people living in Victoria?
*Information is sourced from UNICEF - Out of School Study of Children in Uganda, Education Policy and Data Centre, Inter-Regional Inequality Facility, UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
The good news is you can help fight Uganda's education crisis, by sponsoring a child at School for Life today. We have 160 new students enrolled in 2017, and they each desperately need a sponsor. Here's how you can buy a child's freedom, by giving them an education.