Supporting the Next Generation
The following students are pursuing further education through funding from CSRL. Funds are provided by kind donors associated with the CSRL Program.
Secondary/High School students
Ritah Namasere graduated from Nakanyonyi Primary School, although she had performed well enough to join High school, she had lost hope for continuing with her education. Ritah is an orphan who was being cared for by an uncle who has eight of his own children. She was at risk of dropping out of school when she recieved funding from the CSRL program to continue with her education. She is currently in her second year at Busoga High school and performing well in Physics and Chemistry, Ritah's goal is to become a Director with the CSRL program. Ritah was an active participant of the Service Learning Program when she was in Primary school.
|Hamuza Zoomu and Edwin Wakiita
Hamuza Zoomu and Edwin Wakiita participated in the Service Learning Program in Namasagali Primary school for almost four years, they started when they were in fourth grade. At the end of their primary school years, they joined the Namasagali College to continue with their education. Unfortunately Edwin an orphan under the care of his bed-ridden grandmother and Zoomu a son of a peasent farmer with a large family were constantly being sent home for school fees and were at risk of dropping out of school. In addition being in a day school meant that they were not able to concentrate on their studies due to the numerous chores that they were expected to perform at home along with the hunger they experienced due to poverty and food insecurity in their household. They approached one of ISU's former service learning students, who was conducting her research on the school gardens and had interacted with them while they were pupils at Namasagali Primary school. The two boys are now in their third year of High School at Central Senior Secondary School in Kamuli and are looking forward to a bright future.
Dennis Kawesa is the first student to benefit from CSRL sponsorship. When the Service Learning Program was launched in 2006, Dennis was in his final year at Namasagali Primary School working hard and hoping to attend high school the following year. Although the odds were against him, Dennis had lost his father when he was very young and his mother had remarried but his step father a peasent farmer with an unsteady, low income and was not in a position to afford the cost of High school. This did not deter Dennis from working hard and enjoying his schooling experience. Together with his friend Gerald, Dennis was well known as a shy boy who was always reciting poems in praise of the VEDCO and the CSRL program, the verse that always started with "vedco, vedco, vedco..." eliminating the benefits communities and the schools had derived from the program still ring in the ears of the many of people who were associated with the program then. A simple friendship between Dennis and one of the members of the first cohort of the Service Learning Program resulted in the sponsorship that changed his life forever. Dennis is in his final year of High school (sixth year) and hopes to achieve his dream of attending Makerere University next year, a dream that looked far-fetched back in 2006.
Each year on the last day of the years Service Learning Program, ISU and Makerere Universities students, staff and faculty gather under the big mango tree in Namasagali Primary school or in one of the classrooms that was reroofed through CSRL funding to bid farewell to the teachers and pupils, there is always a performance by the school choir singing and dancing accompanied by tunes from a keyboard (donated by elementary school kids in Iowa City). On the keyboard is a familiar face that works very hard with the Service Learning students and pupils of Namasagali Primary school in class and the gardens, yet finds time to train and practice with the school choir and dance troop. Meet Augustus Baboola. Augustus had been teaching for over 10 years, as an untrained teacher hence was not on government payroll. The school management board paid his salary when they could spare some money but this was not on a regular basis. Time was running out for Augustus, he needed to go to a teacher training college to recieve his associate degree in order to be hired. The challenge was he could not afford to pay the College fees and tuition. This is when the Service Learning Program came to his rescue. ISU faculty in charge of the program agreed to sponsor him to college, a second challenge came in, when his grade in one of the required subjects was too low for him to get admission. He did the bravest thing for someone of his age, he chose to go back to High school (the last two years of High school under the Ugandan education system) and worked hard to improve his grade so that he could get into college. He never thought about his classmates being so young or that some had been his students. Augustus completed his High school in 2011 and is now waiting for his results so that he can achieve his dream of being a trained teacher employed, by the government. Meanwhile he has gone back to do what he loves doing, working with the children at Namasagali Primary school. The service learning participants are looking forward to working with Augustus this summer, we had missed him for the past two years he was at school.