In October 2019, the StreetSmart team conducted two prospections in Kampala and Tororo in Uganda. Due to the pandemic, the team unfortunately was not able to take the next steps in the partnerships, but two years into the pandemic, it’s crystal clear that COVID-19 had a devastating impact on street-connected children in the East-African country.
According to data collected by UNICEF, Uganda closed its schools for nearly two years, making it the longest school closure in the world, before countries as Nepal, Bolivia and India. About 15 million students were affected, and many of them started work to support to family during the lockdown. Girls became pregnant (a 22,5% increase) or married early, reducing their chances of returning to the educational system. Several initiatives were taken to organise lessons via radio, TV or newspapers, but especially children from lower income families were not reached by these initiatives.
The current situation made us decide it is the right time to start up our first Ugandan mobile school now with our local partner Dwelling Places. Dwelling Places is a Christian NGO, which was founded in 1995 by Ritah and William Nkemba and has been offering services to the street-connected children of the Ugandan capital ever since. Before the launch of the new mobile school with the team of Dwelling Places, our trainers will also explore two more partnerships to see if we can start-up a second mobile school in Uganda sometime soon. During this prospection, the team will conduct some workshops and do street visits with both Save Street Children Uganda (SASCU) in Kampala and My Self Uganda (MSU) in Wakiso to explore if the mobile school can also add value to their non-formal educational interventions.
Make sure to follow our social media pages for more updates on the upcoming expedition in Uganda.