On Monday and Tuesday of this past week, the compound was full of screaming excited 5 and 6 year old boys and girls. The energy level was outrageous…. Kibaale Community School was accepting applications for the first grade… or for those in Uganda, Nursery 1. In Canada and in the USA the new school year starts in September but in Uganda the beginning of the next grade or the start of school is the last week in January.

At 8 am on both days, there was a line up at the gate to enter. All the mothers came dressed in their finest goma (an Ugandan dress)….. there was a bright array of colourful dresses covering the grassy lawn just outside the sponsorship office. Each mother had to speak with one of the office staff since many mothers do not read or write but know the importance of a good school…. Kibaale has a very fine reputation since many of the students are able to pass the various exams which allow a student to continue their education as far as university.

The reason why I am writing this blog is because after two days of craziness….the sponsorship office staff were able to complete over 500 applications. Yes, over 500 mothers wanted their little James, Janet, Joyce or Johnny to get one of the possible 45 seats available in Nursery 1 at Kibaale Community School….

The sponsorship staff will spend the month of January going over every application carefully; then going out into the community and seeing which ones of these 500 plus students are the most needy…. because the hope is that each one of these new students will find a sponsor who will help them with their education….

In this rural part of Uganda …. education of one child is very expensive for the average family…. and no family has just one child. Many families in this area have more than 4 children. Beside their own children, it is not unusual for a family to take in one or two or three children who have been left, abandoned for a variety of reasons: death of mother, father departed and left the mother with all the kids to care for, lack of family ability to support all the children and family members with AIDS, poor crops, and abuse to name a few…..

Education gives the child… the family…… and the community hope and the opportunity for everyone to move forward and grow. There are presently four members of the clinic staff who were born and raised in Kibaale area, completed their education in various cities across Uganda with financial support from sponsors and now have chosen to return to Kibaale and give back to their community….. I think it is amazing!!!!!!

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