Hands of Hope Scholarships
The students are the reason Into Your Hands exists. We exist to nurture the youthful exuberance and boundless optimism of the young people who attend St. Denis and other area schools. It is their passion, vision, creativity, potential, and talent that drives everything we do. Our greatest satisfaction comes from seeing our Hands of Hope Scholarship students successfully graduate from St. Denis, masonry training, nursing assistant school, other vocational training institutes, or higher education colleges. We celebrate knowing the girls can sleep on bunk beds instead of damp mattresses on the floor, and the boys will soon sleep in their very own dormitory. Their successes are our own, their hardships become ours, and their well-being is our mission.
though the Government of Uganda has instituted Universal Primary and
Secondary Education, most secondary schools continue to be
funded through tuition payments. Households with
limited resources and many to care for are not able to afford
tuition and exam fees, the $10 needed for school uniforms, the
$0.50 needed for a pencil and a notebook, the expected
contribution of food to the school for school lunches or money
for construction projects. Schools operate
hand-to-mouth, just like the families they serve.
Because of Universal Primary Education (UPE), 85% of
children over the age of 6 are enrolled in primary school and
only 16% of secondary aged youth are enrolled in secondary
schools. Classrooms are overcrowded, there
are fewer trained teachers per pupil, and there is a lack of
learning materials. The student to teacher
ratio is 84:1. In rural schools, children do
not have access to textbooks, teaching is by
lecture, and learning is by rote to prepare for national exams.
Fewer than half of primary leavers advance to secondary
The Hands of Hope Scholarship Program makes it possible for impoverished youth to continue their education. Our students attend St. Denis Senior Secondary School, St. Bernard's College, St. Charles Lwanga Technical Training College, Rakai Nursing School, and various other vocational and tertiary institutions and colleges. Without the assistance of scholarship sponsors, these young people would be unlikely to study beyond primary school level and would return to cultivate their family farms.
"If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. If you educate a girl, you educate a village."
According to UNICEF, "Education is vital to ensuring a better quality of life for all children and a better world for all people." However, the key to achieving a better quality of life for the greatest number of people is to educate a girl. As the glue that holds both families and the community together, women around the world are in a unique position to directly impact the quality of life of their families and their society. Educated girls tend to marry later and have healthier children who are better nourished and more likely to go to school. A girl who is educated beyond primary school gains skills she can use to earn a better living and lift herself and her younger siblings out of poverty. An educated girl will know how to protect herself against diseases such as HIV/AIDS and while she is at school she will be less likely to be given away in marriage. An education will give a girl a wider view of her role in society and help her become a more active leader and participant in her community.
Into Your Hands takes an active role in ensuring that girls in the Makondo community receive an education. By providing girls with boarding scholarships, Into Your Hands reduces the risks girls face in the daily commute to and from home. As boarders, the girls have better access to their teachers and educational materials for additional help. The added benefit of having electricity in the school library allows for the girls to study after dark.