Basic education is key to the development of a child and the nation. In Uganda, the Eastern region is one of the areas where communities have not had a positive embrace of basic education for their children. RAN with support from USAID, identified Mayuge district as one of the districts that had poor performance in basic education. The Mayuge District Local Government especially the District Education Office recommended that the initial support should be given to Kityerera sub-county.
From the micro-assessment, the key challenges that were identified were low enrollment, poor performance, school dropout and low retention. The RAN team engaged in utilizing the community co-creation approach to work with the communities to develop possibly transformative solutions. This approach borrows from the Human Centered Design that is usually adopted to develop innovative solutions in response to diverse community challenges. Closely working with and being guided by the RAN team, these community members were able to design two promising, feasible and sustainable solutions. These potentially transformative proposed community solutions are anticipated to improve basic education within Kityerera sub-county. These solutions are;
- ‘GEMA KUMUINO ASOME TWEZIMBE PROJECT’ (GEKAT PROJECT)
GEKAT means support a friend to study for development. In this project, the community team is using a Peer Support Groups (PSGs) approach in the community to promote the enrollment of children and support their concerted efforts to succeed in school. Therefore, pupils together encourage and support each other throughout their educational journey to achieve educational retention and completion. The project has mobilized, sensitized and grouped PSGs at Mitimito, Ndaiga and Bubalule primary schools and these PSGs have already embarked on executing their tasks. A long this journey, the project is also planning to train the pupils in soft skills like tailoring that could add economic value to the families of PSGs.
- ‘MAMA EYETENGEREIRE MUKUSOMESA ABAANABE’ (MEMA)
MEMA means ‘a mother who is resilient in educating her children’. The project is creating a savings scheme model (village bank) for women with children enrolled between the classes of Primary 1 to Primary 7. Through this savings group, women are collectively saving for the scholastic needs of their children. The specific village bank members will also appoint a ‘Super Mother’ on a rotational basis (to allow for additional capacity building) who would follow-up on the children’s educational success for the women within the savings scheme. Furthermore, through this group, women will be skilled and empowered towards financial success. The savings group focused on mothers since in this community and most of the African communities they are often tasked with being the ones to follow-up on the needs of children in the family. This team has mobilized and trained women with children in St. Joseph Bukoba and Bugadde Primary Schools.
Thank you USAID for funding and supporting efforts towards realizing self-reliance in these Ugandan communities.