About the project
Tilling and Odusai are two rural communities in Uganda with sister schools. They were founded in the 1950s by the Baha’i community in the area to meet the dire need of the area for access to education, particularly for girls. These are the only public schools in the two villages. At this time, Tilling has 361 boys and 391 girls in the school. Odusai has 509 boys and 445 girls, for a total of 1,700 students. These schools flourished for several years, serving thousands of children who later became prominent members of the community including members of the parliament.
However after the revolution with Idi Amin government, who confiscated these schools, and closed their doors, and several years of war and devastation in the area, the community members have lost their financial resources including their cattle and other belongings. A house near the schools owned by one of the people who had donated some of the property for the school in Tilling was confiscated by the military for several months and its furniture was burnt for fire wood.
How we help
On occasion, our donors bring to our attention other projects they support that they would like to see highlighted on your website so that more people learn about their wonderful work. In such cases we may accept to receive funds on behalf of these educational initiatives supported by our donors if and when they are aligned with our mission and goals. Tilling and Odusai Schools are such donor-supported schools supported by several of our donors who have committed to help these schools continue with their vital services to the communities in which they serve.
Both schools are supposed to provide residences for teachers, but neither has sufficient housing available. We visited the teachers’ homes at Tilling School. This school has 16 teachers who are supposed to be housed by the school. Tilling has six houses, and some houses have two families in them. Every three houses share a kitchen. There is one bath structure that they all share. The kitchens are very small rooms with nothing in them except two or three holes in the ground to make charcoal and dry wood fires to cook on. The toilets are separate and consist of latrines.
The teachers who are not housed at the school have to walk, sometimes for several kilometers, on dirt roads, as there is no public transportation. During the rainy season, many of the teachers are unable to get to the school or arrive very late. As a result, the students are left with no teachers for several days at a time. The current housing at the schools is very inadequate. Each house basically has four very small rooms and a hallway. The hallway has a very thin fabric curtain making it into two houses. So each teacher has two little rooms with no doors that are separated by a thin curtain for privacy. The teachers and their families live in these two rooms. The teachers that we met have several children. One who we interviewed had five; so a family of 7 lives in two very small rooms.
Both schools have very few toilet facilities for the children.They both have three or four latrines for the boys and the same number for the girls.There is no sink or running water for the bathrooms.
The classrooms are in very poor condition.Many have leaking roofs.The classrooms of Odusai have chicken wire instead of glass on their windows.They are in dire need of painting and cleaning.Their benches and desks are inadequate for the number of students and are in severe need of repair.
The school properties are very large but they have no fences around them. As a result, anybody can walk into the school and animals of the neighborhood can graze on the school grounds. There are animal excretions all over the properties. The lack of fencing causes a major security problem for the schools as well. Both schools need fencing which is made of metal or wood posts, chicken wire and a gate.
The government is supposed to pay the teachers’ salaries.However the teachers often don’t get paid for two or three months at a time. It may be helpful for the teachers to have some kind of fund to support them during the unpaid periods.
A list of school’s needs are shown below. We have asked the schools for detailed proposals with cost estimates.
Despite tremendous political and economic upheaval in the past several decades, and despite severe lacck of resources, the community has held fast and has kept the schools open for its 1700 students.
2017 project goals
Provide funding for food and clean water for children.
Repair existing classrooms and adding new classrooms: Tillings, 5 classrooms and Odusai, 6 classrooms, approximate cost of $5,000.
Build a Library, approximate cost, $4,000 plus books.
Build 11 classrooms: $4,000 each.
Build 11 teachers' houses: $6,000 each.
Build 11 Kitchens: $1,000 each.
Build 1 student Toilet Block: $2,000.
Build 12 toilets for teachers, $500 each.
Build fencing for both school grounds. $30.000.