June 2017 - feeling generous today? We’re on JustTextGiving, so why not text RTUG12
plus the amount that you would like to donate to 70070?There are no charges for
the text and your donation is all passed directly to the Rwenzori Trust. It only
costs around £6 per month to sponsor a child.
May 2017 - a reading room is being constructed in Ruboni village using the “community
pot” budget. Progress is slow with only foundations and walls built so far, but it
is expected to be completed in summer 2018.
January 2017 - we are now in our tenth year of the child sponsorship programme and
we currently sponsor 43 children in secondary schools and further education in Uganda.
In fact, the current number of children is 40 because the local admissions committee
has decided (exceptionally) to award a bursary equivalent to funds for 4 children
to one young person to help with their fees for attending Kyambogo University.
The Child Sponsorship Project
The Child Sponsorship Project (the “CSP”) started in February 2008. We currently
support 43* children per year and our focus remains secondary education up to A level
equivalent. To support a child, we’d ask you to donate £6 per month: please click
here to donate through JustGiving.com. Primary education in Uganda is free of charge,
but secondary education is not, hence our focus on sponsoring children through secondary
school. We believe that education is the best way to give the next generation opportunities
which will allow them to be less reliant on the land, participate better in the modern
world and be more aware of their rights and heritage.
In June 2017, 4 students were in further education (two at university and the others
in vocational courses), 6 children were in A-level classes (S5 and S6), 29 children
were in secondary schools studying towards GCSE-equivalents and 1 child was in primary
school. A list of the children that we are currently supporting and their classes
are included here.
More information on fundraising can be found here.
How it works
Secondary school fees are approximately £75 per year per child, or £6 per month.
(Our numbers are approximate because exchange rates fluctuate.)
We transfer 70,000 Ugandan shillings per child each term* which is passed directly
to the schools by our local co-ordinator (a Ruboni teacher called Bwambale Deo).
The families of the children are required to make up the balance. This approach allows
us to maximise the number of children that we support and, through parents having
an economic interest, encourages the commitment to attending and doing well at school.
We also transfer an additional 30,000 Ugandan shillings per child per term, which
is used to fund local community projects (the “community pot”) and also pay local
expenses. We keep local expenses to a minimum. Apart from a monthly retainer of 50,000
Ugandan shillings per term for Bwambale Deo, our other expenses are negligible. The
costs of this website and our JustGiving subscription are paid for by the trustees
personally. In short, you can be confident that your money is working hard and not
being swallowed up in middle-man administration, and that’s the beauty of our small-scale
Local community projects
The “community pot” of money is for community development projects. We have included
this element in order to benefit the community as a whole, and to seek to reduce
any resentment amongst families whose children are not currently supported by the
project. Having successfully upgraded the facilities at the Ruboni Community Camp
(see below), the “community pot” is currently being applied towards the building
of a reading room for the whole community to use to read and study. Completion is
expected in summer 2018.
The Ruboni Community Camp is a recently-constructed eco-tourist facility, very close
to the entrance to the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. In a beautiful setting,
with fantastic views of the Portal Peaks, the Ruboni Community Camp offers great
value tourist accommodation, in bandas (cottages), safari tents or pitches for your
own tents. Built on eco-tourism principles, the camp has electricity provided by
solar panels, smell-free efficient compost toilets and running hot and cold water
on a gravity flow system filtered through the Rwenzoris. The camp includes a restaurant,
and local walks, traditional dances and local crafts are available. Accommodation
at the camp has been expanded using the “community pot” money, and the camp can now
sleep up to 19 people in bandas and permanent safari tents. Revenues from the camp,
after wages paid to the local staff, are pumped back into the camp for maintenance
and improvements. A link to the Ruboni Community Camp’s webpage is provided here.
If you’re interested in visiting the Ruboni Community Camp, further details are available
Applications are made each autumn for children to start the new school year (which
runs February to November, split into three terms). The CSP committee (see below)
applies selection criteria including:
Successfully completing primary school with good grades
Living in local area
Involvement of children or their parents with Ruboni community activities
CSP committee and accountability
The CSP committee comprises local elected parent, teaching, church and political
representatives. The committee (headed by the CSP co-ordinator) is obliged to prepare
reports (every term) documenting the progress of the project and giving details of
how the monies have been spent. This allows the Rwenzori Trust to monitor the project
and ensure our money is being put to the best use, especially the “community pot”.
The monies donated to the Rwenzori Trust in the UK are collected in our bank account
from which termly transfers are made to Uganda. Although we pay a transfer fee to
the bank every time we do a transfer, we prefer to make 3 transfers per year to help
us keep a better track of finances.
With primary education being free in Uganda and the Ugandan government spreading
its universal education programme to S1 and S2 in many schools, we currently focus
on topping up education to get students to S4 level. However, since 2010 we have
allowed children who benefited from the CSP through S4 to progress into S5 and S6
(equivalent to A-levels) and also further education colleges. Further education courses
are more expensive than secondary school, and university fees are on a par with those
in the UK, but generally the CSP committee has decided that the money made available
to those tertiary students is the same as to the secondary school children: 70,000
Ugandan shillings per term, and the families have to find the rest. *In 2017, an
exception was made to this policy and one young person attending university currently
receives 280,000 Ugandan shillings per term, which is the reason why we currently
have only 40 children (rather than 43) on our list.