Education serves as the key to unlocking opportunities and potential throughout the life course of young women and girls. This notion has been championed throughout the implementation of the Soroptimist International President’s Appeal, ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’, in Uganda, which has seen tangible benefits realised for women and girls living in the Soroti District of eastern Uganda since early 2022.
Rose Academies Uganda, our partners for this instalment of the SI President’s Appeal (2021 – 2023), have recently submitted their progress monitoring report to document the accomplishments and achievements of the Girls Scholarship Programme as its second term draws to a close. Developed with the mission to empower these young women and girls with knowledge and inspiration, this initiative not only envisions their successful completion of primary education, but also nurtures dreams of academic achievement far beyond primary and secondary levels.
This project has seen 30 girls selected from rural communities within the Soroti District and sponsored to complete their primary level education. Two terms have now been completed, with the second term running from the end of May to the middle of August 2023.
Programme Activities – Challenges and Achievements
The implementation of the Girls Scholarship Programme has not been without its challenges – prolonged interruptions, including time out of school during the COVID-19 lockdowns, as well as slow coverage of the curriculum in rural schools, have presented hurdles. However, the Rose Academies Uganda Project team have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to the mission and goals of this programme and cause.
Before the second term began fully, the project team enrolled the 30 sponsored girls in organised remedial studies taking place during the first term holidays. This allowed the girls the opportunity to catch up on missed sessions of the upper-primary level school curriculum – bridging the gap by focusing on crucial subjects of English, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics. These efforts were instrumental in helping the girls catch up on their missed sessions and establishing a strong foundation for their education.
During the second term, a major focus has been on supporting the girls through their course of study in order to improve their academic performance. The Rose Academies Uganda team also conducted several support visits to the Primary School to monitor the performance, welfare and health of the girls – this period revealed some of the challenges faced by the girls, including health related issues and personal obstacles. Despite these challenges, the girls have shown commendable progress in their academic performance and an improvement compared to term one.
End of Term Activities
With term two coming to a close on 18 August 2023, the girls returned home for a 21-day holiday. During this time, Rose Academies Uganda planned two crucial activities to ensure the girls’ continued progress – the first of which included holding a parents meeting to discuss academic progress, the effects of the coaching delivered during the first-term holiday, as well as income generating projects aimed at supporting the girls’ secondary education.
During the parents meeting, it became evident that the girls’ academic performance had significantly improved during the recently concluded second term, with thanks to the rigorous coaching provided during the first term holidays. Parents and the girls have expressed their gratitude to Rose Academies Uganda and Soroptimist International for the dedication and support invested into their education and wellbeing, affirming the importance of continuing remedial holiday sessions in term two as well to sustain the girls’ academic progress.
Furthermore, the income generation projects presented by parent groups serve as a powerful plan for the long-term sustainability of this project, with innovative efforts discussed and considered to raise funds for their daughters’ future education. The suggested projects range from agricultural initiatives to fundraising groups, each aimed at generating income for the girls’ secondary education!
The report submitted by Rose Academies Uganda outlines the next steps to be implemented from September to December 2023, including preparations for the Primary Leaving Examination, Life Skills Workshops, Monitoring and Mentoring of the girls, as well as support for the parents’ sustainability projects. The Rose Academies team also commemorated the International Day of the Girl Child, which took place earlier this month on 11 October – on this day, Clare Ainomugisha praised the success and progress of the girls participating in the ‘Opening Doors to a Bright Future’ scholarship programme, as well as those involved in Rose Academies’ other projects in the area.
As we delve further into the journey of the Rose Academies Uganda Girls Scholarship Program, it is evident that, with determination and unwavering support these girls are on a transformative path toward a bright future. Their success is not just a testament to their resilience but a powerful reminder that education has the potential to change lives and shape a better world for all.