UG 12 - TODAY FOR TOMORROW: ST. MARY COLLEGE
The St. Mary’s Girls' High School is located in Aboke, area of the Lango area, 35 km from Lira which is the capital of the region and 350 km northeast of Kampala which is the capital of the country. It is a primarily agricultural area, blessed with fertile soil and good rainfall. It is densely inhabited but not industrialized, while trade has some relevance. Since there are no significant industries, there are few families with a stable income.The majority have only what comes from the land that usually consists of 5-6 acres per family, so there is difficulty in cash for various needs that are not food. People are very hardworking. We cannot speak of extreme poverty, but being in a rural area, the great majority of people still live in huts where the furniture consists of a bed, a few chairs, a small table and a little more. The school was founded 55 years ago with the aim of offering rural girls a holistic higher education that would eventually open the doors of a profession or even a university. The school is private and belongs to the diocese of Lira. The aim was to have young women, from rural areas, prepared and therefore able to assume significant roles in Ugandan society and to express the female dimension in the life and choices of the country. It was necessary for the female part of the rural population to be able to speak up.
The school is residential for various reasons. It is not only the English tradition that justifies the boarding school but also the distances, the lack of electric light in the various villages, the absence of regular public transport, and more.... Living in school is a cost that sometimes becomes very heavy for families. The school offers the use of textbooks and cultivates its own land producing cassava, sweet potatoes, sesame, corn and more. The students contribute one hour of hoeing in the fields per week, they also take care of the school’s cleaning: classrooms, refectory, dormitory and courtyard. This contribution reduces running costs so that the school can charge tuition in line with those of government schools.For the new school year we will have an increase in students as the school’s steering committee has decided to respond positively to the request of so many parents who wish to enroll their daughter in St. Mary’s. This requires not only new structures, to which we are in some way providing, but also new furniture, which at the moment we do not have, not to mention what we must replace because 'no longer usable. It is therefore urgent to provide first of all tables and chairs.With the new school year the school has doubled the number of students in the first upper class. For 150 places available requests were 516. This has led not only to an increase in expenditure on facilities but also to new cases of female students requiring financial support, albeit temporary. It often happens that the father or the person who pays the tuition is no longer able to do so for various reasons: illness, loss of work, etc. In this case it is the school that does its best to prevent the student from interrupting her course, while the family is committed to finding alternative support. This is what is repeated every year both because the precariousness is very home, both because the students come from families of modest means and there is no social support such as pensions or other.Thanks to this project we would also like to cover the fee of a cleaning woman so as to have a domestic help for the residence of disabled students for two-three times a week.
- Provide students with large single tables and comfortable chairs for long hours of class and study
- Provide this furniture without weighing further on parents who already pay the school tax
- Making the school more efficient in its infrastructure
- Home help for disabled students
- Ensuring continuity of studies for students whose families are in difficulty through scholarships
Direct: students who can follow the lessons and study more comfortably.
Indirect: families and the region that will have a more complete high school.
Referent Sister for the project sr Angiolina Bianchi