A Heart for Uganda
A Heart for Uganda was founded in 2011 by Sophie De Laender and some good friends. The project includes education for women and children in the Kigezi Highlands, where water and food are expensive, and where not everyone has the opportunity to go to school.
Since her first visit, in 2009, Sophie lost her heart, so to speak, in a small village called Nkuringo. In the midst of beautiful nature, the children and young people warm you with their singing and dancing. Happy and cheerful faces, despite the difficult circumstances in which they live.
During the annual visits since then, engagement with the local population has always increased. Initially, the construction of a small school was supported, which now, thanks to the help of many, has grown into a fully-fledged school where children receive proper education.
In 2016 (during 6 months of volunteering), Sophie started giving "English lessons" to community women. Nkuringo regularly receives visitors, since the village borders the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where the mountain gorillas live. However, the local women could not communicate with the tourists. Now, through these lessons, they can sell their fruit and woven baskets to those interested.
The "English lesson" was a success, and the group grew and split into different levels. This is how the "School of Mercy" was created in February 2017. In the meantime there are 4 classes, 4 different levels, and lessons are given by a woman from the community who has been trained for this.
Our second objective is to break the circle of poverty and knowledge and to sponsor the daughters of women who come to the School of Mercy in their school education. A family in Uganda often has many children, and it is the boys who get priority. If there is not enough money for "school fees", the girls stay at home, who then also take care of the household.
Training is necessary, we all know that. But in the area there, this also has a long-term effect on the environment. Large families need a lot of food, so they need a lot of farmland, and this leads to deforestation in this area. They also need wood to cook. With every visit we see that another part of the Impenetrable Forest has been cut down.
If we speak to people about this, we notice a clear difference among women have and have not received an education. The unskilled women are happy with all their children. The educated women reason that 2 or 3 children is enough, especially if you want to educate these children well and give them a future.
With our project we want to give the women and girls in the Kigezi Highlands a chance for education.
A heart for Uganda - Zandstraat 19 bus 5 - 8200 Sint-Andries Bruges