It is well known that education is the key to unlocking potential. It also has much more far reaching benefits such as later marriage, fewer, healthier children being born, who in turn tend to be better educated....and the cycle continues!
We work closely with two local schools where most of our sponsored kids attend (a primary and a secondary school). These schools have been sought out as they offer good education at a reasonable fee, and teachers are available and engaging with their students. A few kids attend different schools, which have been found specifically due to location and that child's particular needs.
Joshua regularly meets with all kids in school (sponsored and unsponsored) to mentor them, check on how they are doing, and work with them to find solutions to any problems the are facing (including problems at home that can impact on the child's development and achievements).
Not all kids are academic, nor should they be - we all have our own unique set of talents. We have had one child leave school early and go on to complete his mechanics training and find work in this field. We are currently working with our mothers and secondary school children to plan vocational training pathways for those more suited to hands on learning and work.
We also intend to support school leavers who would like to continue an academic course. We currently have one teen who has finished school and is researching options for university. In time we hope to create sponsorship opportunities for higher education.
A note: primary education is free in Uganda. However, due to poor and unreliable salaries for government employed teachers, the quality of most free education is low. As such, our kids are sent to private schools, where kids pay fees to attend. This in turn means teachers are paid appropriately, and are more interested and passionate about their teaching, as well has having more resources with which to teach.