Kate, a primary school teacher from Torquay in Australia got to follow her dollar all the way to Uganda! Kate has come home with a beautifully written diary where she recounts some of the beautiful experiences from her trip. This is the second entry in a three part series.
In November 2013 we launched our first Follow Your Dollar campaign where we asked you our customer, to tell us how you would help Cotton On Foundation and our goal to break the cycle of poverty in Southern Uganda.
Kate, a primary school teacher from Torquay in Australia got to follow her dollar all the way to Uganda! Kate has come home with a beautifully written diary where she recounts some of the beautiful experiences from her trip. This is the second entry in a three part series. Check out the first part here.
After some rest Jimmy, Clare and Fred took me to visit some outreach programs. This is where some of the Cotton On Foundation funds are financing schools in other villages. The first school we went to was a few brick walls, a dirt floor and a blackboard – nothing else. It was heartbreaking to now know that children would learn in an environment like this. On the positive side, there are now three new buildings, two housing staff and one with three new class rooms. Very promising and creates more enrolments, creating more teaching positions. At the moment the student to teacher ratio would be around 100:1, just crazy!
The following stop was a women’s literacy group. There were women in this class aged between 25-70 years old. Jimmy explained to me that in some areas they find it difficult to get children to attend school. There are a few reasons for this but the biggest reason is because their parents don’t understand the importance of education and to them, it is more important to have their children at home, cleaning and working. So, the idea of the literacy group is to educate the mother’s and provide them with knowledge and understanding to pass onto their children. And the best part, it’s working. The participation rate for children attending schools in these areas is rising. The women are learning how to read and write basic English.
Jimmy, Fred and Clare all spoke to the women, all addressing different issues that they face in everyday life. When they were speaking to the women, I was mesmerized. They spoke from the heart, they were inspiring and every woman in that room was listening with intent. They were talking in their local language, so I didn’t understand what they were saying but it didn’t matter. Their body language and expression said it all. But then Jimmy came over to me and said, “you’ll speak next”. What was I going to say? How could I follow Jimmy, Clare and Fred? All I wanted these women to know was that by them learning, putting them outside their comfort zone, they were changing the lives of their children and community and if I have learnt anything from my time in Mannya, it’s that education is the most powerful tool you can receive. I think I did okay, I didn’t pronounce all the local words well, but I got a laugh, which was great. I felt so honoured that they listened to me, what beautiful people.
Check out part 3 of Kate's Diary here.
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