Tilling and Odusai Schools, Uganda

Tilling and Odusai in Uganda are sister schools. They were founded in 1950 by the Baha’i community in the area to meet the dire need of the community for access to education, particularly for girls. 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.

Tilling and Odusai Schools, Uganda

About the project

Tilling and Odusai are two rural communities in the Teso-apeaking area of central Uganda. Two sister schools were founded in the 1950s by the Ugandan Baha’i community to meet the dire need for education in the villages, particularly for girls. These are the only public schools in the area. At this time, two schools have a total of over 1975 students. These schools flourished for several years, serving thousands of children who later became prominent members of the community, including some members of the parliament.

However, the Idi Amin government confiscated these schools, and closed their doors. Then several years of war and devastation in the area, devastated the population, cattle and other property. Now, the community is trying to rebuild, with meager resources. We want to help rebuild the schools and return them to their former excellence.

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 funds on behalf of these educational initiatives supported by our donors if and when they are aligned with our mission. The Tilling and Odusai Schools are supported by several of our donors who have committed to help these schools with their vital services to the communities in which they serve.

With the assistance of donors, a building project has begun to renovate the buildings at both schools, including bathrooms, teacher housing, classrooms, security fencing, library facilities, and so forth.

Both schools are supposed to provide residences for teachers, but neither has sufficient housing available. The Tilling school has 16 teachers who are supposed to be housed by the school. 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 days at a time. Both schools have very few toilet facilities for the children.They both have three or four latrines (simple trenches, dug out by hand) 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 paint and cleaning. Their benches and desks are inadequate for the number of students and are in severe need of repair.

Clean water is scarce in this region during certain parts of the year. A project has begun to collect rainwater from the rooftops of the classrooms and store it in underground cisterns for use during the dry season. This means that old, rusty roofing must be replaced with new materials.

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.

One serious problem that the schools have is a shortage of water. It is extremely difficult to maintain a supply of clean drinking water. When it rains, the schools collect the water that drains from the rooftops of classrooms in barrels and cisterns. The metal rooftops are all rusted, so the water contains rusty materials. And so it was urgent to replace the old and rusty metal roofs to protect the health of the children. This has recently been done.

In addition, the project has been able to renovate dilapidated on-campus housing for teachers and build additional new housing. Here are photos that illustrate the improvements and the completed new houses.

When the new housing was commissioned, the school celebrated with a gathering of children who danced to mark the occasion.

A list of school’s needs are shown below.    We have asked the schools for detailed proposals with cost estimates.

  1. Provide food for children.  Lack of food is severe.  Many of the students don’t get any breakfast or lunch.
  2. Secure clean water
  3. Repair existing classrooms and adding new classrooms:  Tillings, 5 classrooms and Odusai, 6 classrooms, approximate cost of $5,000.
  4. Construction of new buildings:
    1. Build a Library, approximate cost, $4,000 plus books.
    2. Build 11 classrooms:  $4,000 each.
    3. Build 11 teachers’ houses:  $6,000 each.
    4. 11 Kitchens:  $1,000 each.
    5. 1 student Toilet Block:  $2,000.
    6. 12 toilets for teachers, $500 each.
  5. Fencing for both school grounds. $30.000.

2020 Achievements

Despite tremendous political and economic upheaval in the past several decades, and despite severe lack of resources, the community has held fast and has kept the schools open for its 1700 students.

Completed the work to bring electricity to the office in Tilling School for the first time.

Completed fencing and gates for both schools.

Completed the construction of 5 new duplex houses for teachers.

2021 Project Goals

  • Remodel staff room and offices in Tilling with solar power, $6,500
  • Remodel 7 Classrooms in Tiling, $3,400 each
  • Remodel 9 Classrooms in Odusai, $3,400 each
  • Remodeling of School Kitchen and Store in Tilling, $2,450
  • Remodeling of School Kitchen and Store in Odusai, $2,450
  • Drying, draining and renovating boys bathrooms in both schools, $2,965
  • Remodeling of one staff house, $8,500
  • Building of 3 new duplexes including kitchen and toilets for teachers (one in Tilling and two in Odusai), $17,400 each
  • 3 School Signs (one for Tilling Two for Odusai), $250