The first in our series of posts about some of the children being supported in school by the Pupil Support Fund: Meet Miria..
We first met Miria when she was 10 years old in October 2014. Her father had died of HIV/AIDS and her mother is now sick with the same disease. She and her two siblings were being cared for by her grandmother, who was also very ill. The family could barely put food on the table.
And yet, she wanted to go to school.
Elius asked if we could help.
A single donation of £50 gave Miria a place at Uphill Junior School, with a school uniform and shoes, a school bag, books, warm clothes for the winter months – even a mattress to sleep on. Thanks to regular donations to Pupil Support Fund Miria now has full support for her everyday needs (soap, toothpaste, medicines, clothing, exercise books, pencils) and for school fees and local accomodation during term time.
Miria joined the Primary 1 class at the end of 2014. Because she lives some distance from the school, Miria lodges in Iruhuura from Monday to Friday, and walks the 2.5 kilometres back home for the weekend.
Miria’s story is not an exception. There a number of other children who overcome obstacles every day to get to Uphill Junior School, many of whom also stay in the village during term time.
With your help, we hope that the next chapter of Miria’s story will see her enjoying the enhanced facilities that will be available as Uphill Junior School relocates, progressively, to a permanent location within Iruhuura village.
UPDATE ON MIRIA’S PROGRESS (December 2015): Miria was making good progress at school in Term 1 and 2 this began to tail off in Term 3. Her mother, who is unwell with HIV/AIDS, has left the district to go and stay with her own mother and Miria was put into the care of her aunt and uncle. No longer able to stay with one of the teachers during the week, Miria was forced to stay and work on the shamba (small holding) when her carers went to the Trading Centre and her school work has suffered badly. She has been promoted into the Primary 2 class for the next academic year but will need intensive weekend coaching to help her to catch up. Miria is growing fast and the Pupil Support Fund also helps to provide her with new clothes and shoes for both school and casual wear. We are hoping that she will now be happier and will be able to make better progress at school.
FURTHER UPDATE (October 2016): We were saddened to hear that Miria’s mother had lost her battle with HIV/AIDS and she died on 30 September 2016. Miria and her two siblings are now orphans. Miria returned to school, and the Director reports that she is ‘so happy’ to be back amongst her friends, with the opportunity to continue at school. She lodges in Iruhuura during term time.
UPDATE (June 2019): Miria chose to leave Uphill at the end of the last year as she felt she was not making progress, academically. She now attends the local Vocational Institute and is learning tailoring and machine knitting skills. She lives locally, with her grandmother.
For a donation of just £15 per month, you too could give a child like Miria the chance to go to school and to have a proper childhood. You can find more information about supporting a child to go to school here.
As always, in Uganda a little of what we have goes a long way over there.