The oldest children at Uzima are due to leave school in December this year. At Uzima they receive food as well as education. At home many of them care for younger siblings or older family members. In order to be able to get a job when they leave school, and earn enough money to feed themselves as well as their families they need skills such as sewing, farming, carpentry, or metalwork.
Our goal for 2017 is to be able to provide vocational training for the children when they reach school leaving age. We need to provide 3 classrooms, equipment and teachers.
The cost of construction, equipping and staff salaries for one year is around £47,000 (revised).
Here are the stories of two of the young people who will have to leave Uzima at the end of this year and fend for themselves if we cannot provide vocational training for them.
Dorkas is 14 and one of 4 siblings - 1 older and 2 younger. They live in a mud hut - both parents are no longer around. Her uncle lives in a neighbouring hut and does what he can to care for them but he says that at 14 she is old enough to look after herself. Her older sister is 17 and she is often away from home 'earning' money to buy food for her younger siblings by selling herself to men.
Vocational training will give Dorkas a chance to ensure she doesn't have to follow her sister into a life of prostitution and will give her the chance to earn enough money to support her younger brother and sister.
Dorkas is pictured with her uncle in the photo
Meshak Wandera is 15 years old
He plays football and reads. He lives with his grandfather and burns charcoal after school to make some money. He wishes to be a mason or a bus driver.
Meshak was first sponsored in 2013 when he was just 11 years old and had started attending Uzima. He had already suffered a very hard life following the loss of his parents when he had gone to live with his grandparents. Life had been so tough, with so little to eat, that he had run away and spent time as a street child near lake Victoria. Finally on his grandmother's request he was admitted to Uzima where he was fed two meals a day and given an education and he returned to his grandparent's house. At the time he said - "I'm happy here at Uzima. I was suffering very much out there with people beating me and sleeping in cold. Uzima has really helped me and my grandparents." He still lives with his grandfather and each year we see him he has grown in confidence and maturity.
In order to give Meshak and Dorkas a chance to finish their education and learn a skill that will give them the opportunity to earn money, we need to build three classrooms. The classrooms will be built on land behind the main school - land that has been donated by Evans and his father. The initial building costs are £31,500. Equipping the classrooms will be a further £7,500 and employment of staff will be £8,700 for the first year.
These young people desperately need a chance to work themselves out of poverty and to be able to provide for their siblings and older relatives. And of course in time they will have their own family who they will want to give the best start in life.
Please donate as generously as you can - please help give these young people a chance of a dignified life when they finish school this year