YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE... a huge difference in a child's life and the future of a community, by directly supporting education through sponsorship of school fees.
In Uganda, a vast majority of parents have incredible difficulty supporting their children's education beyond primary school. As a result, many children never attend a class passed grade 7. However, there is nothing more important to these kids than to continue their schooling. Therefore, we have started a scholarship program for students in secondary education so that we may help raise the level of future opportunities for these bright, eager and hard-working young people.

The Sustainable Communities Network, through the Byoona Amagara project, works closely with local school headmasters and community leaders to provide these scholarships, as well as opportunities for work and training of youth in various disciplines, from across the Lake Bunyonyi area.

When construction of the Byoona Amagara project site began in 2002, the need for student assistance was so apparent and immediate, that by reorganizing our site development budget, we were able to sponsor school fees for five students in 2003. After putting a fundraising structure in place, we increased our assistance ten-fold, sponsoring over 50 students by 2006, and almost 70 in 2007!

For 2008, it will cost only $250 to sponsor a child's secondary school fees for the entire year.

A committee at Lake Bunyonyi, made up of representatives from local school administrators, teachers, parents and students, as well as the Byoona Amagara project, meets one month prior to the start of each term (three times per year). At these times, depending on the amount of funding received, the committee will choose scholarship recipients based on criteria including academic performance, financial need, attitude and other factors deemed appropriate by the committee. Recipients will be eligible to receive fees (either with 'full-fee' or 'partial-fee' scholarships) for an entire school year if minimum standards set by the committee are met. If a student fails to meet the standards of the committee for two consecutive terms, the committee reserves the right to allocate the sponsorship to another student in need. However, before the committee will withdraw a scholarship from a student, we will interview the student in an attempt to discover the cause of any downward turn in performance, attitude/behavior, etc., and attempt to work with that child and/or their family to solve or correct the situation so that the child's chance at an education does not suffer. Only in very extreme cases will we remove a student's scholarship.

A portfolio of the current year's scholarship recipients (the 'sponsor class') will be created for each term and made available to sponsors via this website. The portfolios contain various information so that sponsors may follow the progress and/or communicate directly with any of the students, teachers, or the Lake Bunyonyi community as a whole. For the security of students, communication is conducted through the Byoona Amagara project.

© Byoona Amagara 2007