Emmanuel’s story: A chance for a better education
Emmanuel Ndikusheya joins his classmates in the Senior 3 class at Kyangwali Boys Secondary School in Uganda. His favourite subjects are History and Physics. He, like a majority of his classmates, is a refugee. Fleeing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Emmanuel arrived in Uganda in October 2008. Together with his parents, four brothers and three sisters, they settled at the Kyangwali refugee settlement.
Their immediate need at the refugee settlement was protection, food and shelter. Emmanuel’s dream for continuing his education seemed to be fading away. “I spent many lonely days with my age-mates at the settlement. Most of us were in school back at home, but even finding a book to read was not easy,” he says.
“Three years ago my parents, through refugee committees at the settlement, got to know about education opportunities being offered to orphans and other vulnerable children. I qualified to receive this kind of support, and was excited to receive a scholarship for my secondary education through Action Africa Help International (AAH-I).” Kyangwali Boys Secondary School received government-aided status and has enrolled at least 796 students (530 male and 266 female). Of these 454 are refugees and 342 are Ugandan nationals. 24 orphans and vulnerable children have received scholarships for secondary education.
With funding support from UNHCR, AAH-I is implementing a multi-sectoral programme in Kyangwali Settlement (Hoima District) in Uganda. The programme strives to improve the quality of life for refugees and nationals through supporting self-reliance and livelihoods and the systematic integration of social services delivery with local government systems. Supporting access to quality education is one of the projects under this multi-sectoral programme.
The goal of the education project is to actively enroll out-of-school and school dropout children at the Kyangwali refugee settlement, and devise strategies for retaining and monitoring their learning achievements. As at December 2017, the project registered a 15% increase of children aged 3-5 yrs enrolled in early childhood development centres – 2,085 registered in September 2016 compared to 2,995 in December 2017.
“Although it took Emmanuel some time to settle down at the school, we are proud of his progress and achievements. He is determined to make the best out of this opportunity,” says Headteacher Isingoma Patrick. “My dream is to become a mechanical engineer. I want to build beautiful and functional homes,” says Emmanuel.