Buhugu Scholarship Program, Uganda
(2007-08)

In our founding year, Forgirlsake learned about a Massachusetts charity called African Baobab, that was educating children in Sironko, Uganda. We teamed up with them, and their local partner, Shared Blessings, to support high school girls who otherwise would not be able to attend school. Our goal was to send five Ugandan girls to secondary school for four years. Through donations of mostly $20, we raised $6,350, which enabled us to send seven bright girls to high school.

Later we discovered that nine more girls from the same elementary school had passed their graduation exams, so we didn’t stop there. In 2008 we raised an additional $6,950 to send them all to high school, which also raised awareness in the community on girls’ abilities and their potential to succeed. Gimugu Kiboman, head teacher at Buhugu Secondary School, writes in a letter of appreciation, “Educated women form the basis for national development.”

As explained by Wilber Madaba, educator and founder of Shared Blessings, “In Sironko the girls cannot go home and do homework. When they get home their mothers say, ‘You have been sitting all day, now it is your time to work.’ The girls do the washing and cleaning and there is no encouragement to go to school and do well. A boy can be late coming home after football and no one questions him as to where he has been. And he can do homework. Most girls will just drop out because they have missed so much of their education.” In addition to helping educate more girls in his community, Madaba encouraged them to work twice as hard at school when they could not study at home.

What’s happening now?
Forgirlsake has continued to support one young woman from Sironko who is now in college. Susan Mugide will soon be completing her Catering and Hospitality Management Program in Kampala, Uganda. She is working hard, and writes, “I am fine and enjoying my program at YMCA University. This semester has six course units; research methods, marketing, front office, accommodation, French and nutrition”. When asked about job opportunities, she explains that there is a large tourism industry and many hotels, so she will be able to get a job after her program, starting with an internship in her third year.

Our current partner in Uganda is Pathways Development Initiative (PDI) and its founder, Annette Champney, has been assisting Susan Mugide with career development. For more information on PDI, please visit pdiuganda.org.

Buhugu School Scholarship Fund, Uganda
Buhugu School Scholarship Fund, Uganda