We select high-achieving young people from primary schools in impoverished areas in Eastern Uganda and provide them with a scholarship to attend the nearest local high school.
Each scholarship is for one year but will be continued if the young person maintains reasonable grades, or there are understandable circumstances that have impacted their ability to study.
Scholarships are based on academic merit as it is recognised that in the areas One Village works everyone is experiencing hardship.
Why have the program?
Written by Paul Kasadha, Education Coordinator, Uganda
In Namwendwa many families are subsistence farmers with very low levels of literacy and high fertility rates, therefore paying for school fees is something that many households struggle to achieve. Being unable to send a child to primary or secondary school often perpetuates the cycle of poverty, because the children grow to become adults with poor literacy levels and marry at a very young age. The One Village Education and Scholarship Program aims to improve primary school education and increase access to secondary education for impoverished families throughout Namwendwa Sub-County.
Why include boys?
One of the objectives of the scholarship program is to empower girls and young women in the community, and for this reason we offer a greater number of scholarships to female young people, than to males.
We do still offer some male scholarships because we recognise that boys and men have an important role to play in gender equality. Bringing males into the conversation takes a step toward breaking down the expectations of both genders.
What does a scholarship include?
Each scholarship covers schools fees, stationery, uniform, shoes, school bag and a meal each day. The scholarships are all inclusive so that the young people, in particular the females, are less vulnerable to be lured into transactional sex arrangements with older males.
For the females, the scholarship also includes for them to board at their local high school. This is again to reduce the likelihood of transactional sex arrangements as they are then less exposed to the predators in the area.
Why sponsor the program rather than the student?
We believe in empowering young people and the communities they live in by providing them with education opportunities to better equip them to take ownership of their lives. We want the focus to be on the young people and their studies, not on the sponsorship.
We are also an entirely voluntary run organisation and individual sponsorship set-ups are highly demanding on resources, with no added benefit for the program.