Margaret Junior School is situated in the small parish of Kasanje in Masaka District, Uganda. Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world and until recently few children in rural areas were able to attend school. Following Debt Relief the Government introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) but it will take many years for the policy to be fully implemented as there are just not enough school buildings or trained teachers in place. Many children have to walk long distances to reach government schools, which is difficult for those who are ill, or whose families require them to work in the fields.
Margaret Junior School was started in 2004. It was the brainchild of a retired Deputy Head-teacher, Kasujja Sarah, who wanted to do something positive for the children in her village, who were unable to attend school because it was too far away and because they lacked parental support, many being orphans or physically disabled. With her family’s support she built a class-room onto the side of her house and expected to enrol about 30 children. Within a week of opening she had 90 pupils!! Margaret Junior School was born.
Twelve years later the school had 300 pupils, the majority of whom are orphans (mostly HIV & AIDS related) with a large number who are also physically disabled.
The Friends of the Margaret Junior School was established as a registered charity in 2006 to support the local community and the School Committee in the development of education in the village and surrounding area. With support from friends and supporters in the UK, from The Lions and the Waterloo Foundation, we have been successful in raising money to complete the following projects:
The purchase of the land so that it is now owned by the school, securing its long-term future
The provision of piped water to the school
Pit latrines and washrooms for staff and pupils
Two four-classroom teaching blocks, equipped with desks
Drums and dance costumes for the pupils
Playground equipment for the school
All pupils equipped with mosquito nets
Solar energy, providing lighting to all buildings
Rainwater storage tanks
A dining room that is also used for exams.
Alongside local fundraising "The Friends" helped match fund a grant from the Ugandan government to build a vocational training block.
The local community and parents have been busy raising funds locally by selling crafts, by making bricks for the building and by generally helping out in the school grounds.
The long term strategy is for the school to be self-sustaining and a start has been made on this by the local District Council agreeing to finance the salaries of two of the teachers. In the meantime there is still much to be done by improving the quality of teaching and improving the library facilities.
Sadly Sarah passed away from Covid-19 in 2021. This has been a great loss not least to her family, the school and the local community.
Please help us continue her legacy by making a donation, joining our sponsorship scheme or by becoming a member of “The Friends”