For many children living in Kampala’s slums, school is simply not part of their daily lives. High school fees make it impossible for many poor families to afford to send their children to school. On top of this, costs of providing school books, pens, pencils, uniform and school shoes mean that school and an education is simply unattainable for some of the poorest children in Uganda. Not going to school doesn’t only mean that children miss out on getting an education and have less chances of finding employment when they are older thus breaking the cycle of poverty; in Kampala’s slums, children without anything to do or anywhere to go during the day often get caught up in gangs, child labour, petty crimes or worse. Going to school doesn’t just mean that children get the opportunity to learn, it also means that they have somewhere safe to go, where they can learn alongside peers and have a proper childhood.
At Kids Club Kampala, we run a School Sponsorship programme to help some of the neediest children in Kampala to go to school and receive a good education. However there are still hundreds, if not thousands of children in the slums of Kampala who do not have access to education. We are so grateful to our amazing Child Sponsors for helping children in this way, however last year we realized that fundraising, publicizing and waiting for people to help Sponsor Children wasn’t enough.
So at the beginning of 2013, we launched our Encouraging Education programme. This programme currently runs in 2 of the biggest slums in Kampala, providing free education classes for any children who want to attend from within the community. Currently over 250 a day turn up to these classes, where they get to learn in a safe environment with professional teachers and loving volunteers. They also get a chance to play with their friends, to draw, to sing, to colour. They get to just be children. Plus they get a hot, nutritional meal at the end of every day!
This is what we are passionate about at Kids Club Kampala – allowing children the space to be children, providing them with a safe environment to go to, helping children to get a good education, and finding creative solutions to seemingly impossible situations.