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Education & Vocational Training

Education is the key to individual empowerment, community development and economic certainty in Uganda or East Africa. The 2002 population census concluded that Uganda’s population growth rate was ranked the third in the world. More significantly, however, the census predicted that the number of 0-18 year olds would rise from 13.7 million in 2005 to 19.5 million by 2010 – at this point, more than half of the population will be aged under 18 years. This rapidly changing demographic profile of the child population affects all social indicators and puts immense pressure on the very few resources available. Quite simply, without the intervention of organisations such as CALM Africa, and other Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), many African children simply will not have access to even the most basic level of education, and the cycle of poverty will continue. No wonder that the second Millenium Development Goal is about achieving Universal Primary Education and CALM Africa takes this goal very seriously.

CALM Africa operates the following educational and training programmes: 
• Kiganda Education Centre.
• St James Secondary School.
• Jolly-Mercy Learning Centre.
Vocational skills training is factored in the education program of the above schools

Kiganda Vocational School & Day Care Centre

The centre was founded by members of ZEFAD in 2002 and later taken on by CALM Africa. It is located in Kiganda Village, Lwanda sub-county in the Rakai District.
The vocational school provides practical skills that students can use to generate income and become self-reliant. It offers training in carpentry, building and construction, tailoring, home economics and organic farming. The children also get involved in sport, music, dance and drama and all children have access to a qualified counsellor.

 

 

St James Secondary School

Established in 2003 by the founder members of CALM Africa, St James Secondary School immediately set out to address the high rate of school drop-outs in Rakai district and the nearby areas across the Tanzanian boarder. The HIV/AIDS pandemic had swept through the area, claiming the lives of many young adults and leaving countless children orphaned. Many of these children lacked either the funds, or the ambition to continue with their schooling. Many children of secondary school age often had to take on the additional responsibilities of caring for younger siblings, and gave up on their own education as a result. To address this immediate need, St James established a day care centre more than 50 local children now attend. While providing basic skills and an important introduction to the formal schooling system, the centre also ensures that the older siblings of the children are able to dedicate time to their personal educational needs to help establish a more secure future for the family.

St James Secondary School follows the National Curriculum and offers students standard subjects including English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, History, Biology Swahili, Luganda, Religious Studies and Fine Art. Agriculture is also a compulsory subject for all students, and they are taught very practical skills in the school’s garden farmland that can be put to good use on their own land to help feed the family. Our students are enthusiastic and keen to learn. They voluntarily engage in extra curricular activities on a regular basis including music studies, sports and games, debating and establishing student parliaments. St James has a teaching staff of 26 part-time teachers and administrators. The school has more than 450 students – of which, more than 220 are girls – some of whom reside in the boarding facilities at the school. 

 

 

 

 

Jolly-Mercy Learning Centre

As a result of the work it was carrying out within the Rakai District, it became evident to the CALM Africa team that an increasing number of young people from rural areas, were moving to the city in the hope of finding work and improving their living standards. All too often, they were arriving in Kampala to find that conditions were poor, jobs were scarce, and support services in an already over-stretched community were relatively non-existent. The Jolly-Mercy Learning Centre was therefore set up and opened in 2009 to be a centre for supporting children who had run away from villages, living on Kamapala streets attain education and transit back home. Secondary the school was set up offer quality education and skills training to vulnerable children in the area.

Kiganda Education Centre

This one is now a secondary school with a vocational wing. Like St. James Secondary School it offers all the above mentioned subjects. Its only comparative advantage to St. James is that it has a vocational wing which connects directly to CALM Africa organic farm, see below.

The Organic Farm

Organic farming is compulsory for all vocational students at Kiganda and each student has their own piece of land at the farm. Here, they learn how to grow maize, beans, sweet potato, Irish potato and peas. Produce from their land is shared between the student (who can take it home to feed their families) and the school (to feed other students).
 Often, even these child-headed households have inherited land, and skills learned at the vocational school are put to good use on their own land. The farm also has crops grown specifically to produce animal feed and various fruits that are eaten by the students and distributed to local families. The farm provides the school, and its students with food and a small income, to meet the basic necessities of life. Apart from crops, the farm is also home to a number of animals including cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens. Students at the vocational college also learn how to care for these animals as part of their training and are taught how to use the live stock to generate income.

The Piggery

Nominated students at Kiganda are also responsible for a piggery .

The Centre runs an annual scheme called ‘Give a Pig’, and 'Give a Goat' whereby the animal is given to each vocational student, as well as some of the vulnerable families in the area, particularly those who have children enrolled at the Day Care Centre. When they give birth they bring back two piglets or kid goats which will be given to other trainees, and that’s how the cycle runs. The farm manager also has the responsibility of

a follow up on the people who have received the animals, to check on their health.

Cattle Farm

The farm is also home to 48 local-breed cows and again, students are educated on how to care for the cows and generate income from them. Practically, the cows have several uses; the milk is used by the school and the surplus is sold to the local community. The cows themselves are then sold to butchers in the local town. The School has plans to give a small number (usually three) of students a cow to take home and share, working together to care for the cow to generate a modest income and accrue other related benefits.

Poultry Farm

Due to financial constraints this project was stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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