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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 charity!

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 here.

Selection criteria

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:

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.

Future aspirations

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.