Donela Orange Nursery and Primary School is much more than just another school among millions or even gazillions. It is a school with a heartbeat. This heartbeat aches to love a neglected child, heal a hurt, restore a life, give a future, and by so doing transform a community. This is God’s heartbeat. He has made it our heartbeat, and so far, He has enabled us to make significant progress. We have hit a snag right now – we need room. Lack of a building is standing in the way of a meal in a hungry stomach, love to a trauma hardened child, and a job that would give a future to an entire family. These to us are as major as the much needed quality education from Donela that will enable these children change their life and family situations. So far, we have slain Goliath (made major progress) as you will read below. However, we now need the entire army of Israel to chase after the Philistines in order to win the entire battle. In plain language, we need people to partner with us in completing an 18 classroom storied block.
By donating towards the building you are giving chances to many, who in turn will change their circumstances, and consequently, will change the community. Below are the life change miracles you will be creating:
Quality education for the disadvantaged:
What Uganda Government schools are struggling to provide is affordable (almost free) education. So far, their efforts are lacking in many ways –teacher student ratio is 1 to 100. Children are too hungry to concentrate in class, no desks, no chairs, hardly any teaching materials and books, overworked and underpaid teachers, poor quality education, many failures, and a high dropout rate. Right now, there is no way a child undergoing school in such circumstances can be assured of a bright future. Private schools on the other hand are too expensive and are for the wealthy few that can afford them, leaving the vast majority to languish in their poverty. Uganda National Bureau of Statistics reveals that 35% of the vast poor families have no formal education at all. Less than 10% of poor families even make it to High school! And we are talking about a formal education – let alone a quality education!
Donela Orange Nursery and Primary School in Bombo is out to make a difference. Children from very poor families leave their mud-huts or one roomed dilapidated homes to attend a quality school, where there is a teacher student ratio of 1 to 45. This child will sit on his/her own chair, and will have a desk. This child will access good books. This child will sit next to someone from a well to do home, and will have a chance to compete favorably with them. This child will even access a computer and learn to use it!! This child will speak the prestigious English language, known to be spoken by the few elites. Our aim is for this child to gain a wider world view, intelligence, and charisma, to break the cycle of poverty experienced in their society and circumstances.
Meals for the hungry:
Our target children at Donela are assured of a healthy meal and cup of porridge every school day. This cannot be taken for granted because most of them live on one scanty meal a day. A well cooked meal in good quantity is a special treat. A cup of milk porridge and a snack to go with it is an extra blessing. These children get healthy when they come to school.
Nice clothes and shoes:
At Donela, the children who are otherwise dressed in rugs, have a descent school uniform and shoes to go with it. One would just have to look at the way similar children in other schools look on their way to school to appreciate this fact.
These children are from traumatic backgrounds. One or both parents died to HIV/AIDS, or they are leading child headed homes, or mummy is very sick and could die any time, or they are in extended families where they get beaten, verbally abused, with lots of child labor to top it up. A hug, the words “I love you”, the words “You are valued” mean a lot to these children. These children come to Donela sick, reserved, hardened, and dead to emotion because of the trauma they have to live with. It is so fulfilling to see them soften, socialize, and run up to us for a hug! What a difference a little love can make!
Hope in God:
Donela has vibrant spiritual curriculums that the children not only love. Their hope is renewed in the process. They are taught of a God that loves them no matter what, a God that has a hope and future for them, a God that understands their circumstances, and a God that changes our lives positively. They are empowered with God’s word to take on their world with all its challenges.
Jobs for survival:
Most teachers at Donela were at a loss before the opportunity to teach was opened to them. In spite of families to feed and themselves to fend for, they had no opportunity to work. Those that worked did so in schools that overloaded them but did not pay in time if they did pay at all. Donela provides very user friendly working conditions and a fair enough pay that will definitely come, and will come in time too.
Apart from the teachers, are the cleaners, and cooks. Some of these are HIV+. After restoring their lives by providing food and medicine, they are now strong enough to work and have found jobs at Donela very rewarding in restoring their hope and purpose. Even the casual workers consist of young men that were idle and needing some money to live one day at a time. One of the casual workers, a young man unable to further his education from Junior High due to financial constraints, helped pay part of his younger sister’s tuition from the little he was earning as a casual laborer building Donela school.