With a primary school completion rate of 56 % and a high school attendance rate of 16 %, Ugandan children will never be able to lift themselves out of poverty. Inability to pay tuition is one major hindrance to secondary school attendance. Another is lack of preparation at the primary level. Ugandan public primary schools are overcrowded and understaffed. Children who do manage to have their tuition paid are often behind academically when they reach secondary school.
Father Richard Kyankaaga built St. Josephine Bakhita Vocational and Secondary School in 2004 to give the village students an opportunity for education. They face the same struggles as the rest of their peers around the country. Many are orphans or have only one living parent and may be living with extended family who simply cannot afford tuition. Many are poor peasant farmers who barely make enough to provide food for their families. The children leave primary school and come to St. Bakhita behind in reading, writing and math skills. Lack of clean water, infectious illnesses and food shortages also plague the students and hinder their ability to perform academically.
To address these problems, Hope for Kabingo has started a student sponsorship program, and has begun fundraising for a new primary school. The village children who receive a solid education today will not only be more successful in their own lives, but they will be the ones who will raise Kabingo out of poverty in the future.