On a recent visit to Uganda we met Josephine, a student at one of the newest PEAS schools, Samling Nama Secondary School in Central Uganda. After speaking with her about what she thinks of the school she invited us home to meet her family. 

This International Day of Families, we tell the story of her family, their hopes for the future and Josephine’s education.

Josephine is one of the lucky girls in Uganda: She attends Secondary School. In Sub-Saharan Africa girls face more hurdles to accessing an education beyond primary school and only one in four children have access to a secondary education.

In her village high up in the forest near Mpigi, we meet Josephine’s mother, Giange, and another two of her seven children. Josephine's sister died not too long ago and Giange has brought her children under one roof.

Josephine's day is not finished when the school bell rings: She needs to help cook, clean, fetch water and care for her younger siblings. Like many in the area, Josephine's family live in a small, and cramped, clay house with no electricity or running water supply.

Josephine is, like 60% of the students in PEAS Schools, from the poorest families in Uganda. PEAS enrols more students from the lowest two asset wealth quintiles in the country.

Despite PEAS schools being considerably lower-cost than most other schools in Uganda, Josephine’s mother had to choose whether to build a real brick house for the family or to send Josephine to school. She chose to send her daughter, and all her seven children, to school because she hopes that Josephine’s education will help provide and support the family in the future. This was not an easy decision for her and the family now make sacrifices to both pay the school fees and provide for the other children.

Josephine’s mother explain that the new PEAS school has the potential to change her dausghter's life. Despite starting work on a new family home, the building work has been put on hold to ensure her children can attend school and better their life chances. But Giange knows the importance of an education. She was unable to continue in school beyond primary school because the death of both her parents led to her starting work.

Giange is especially excited about the access to computers. She believes this will give Josephine the opportunity to gain important skills that will aid her career prospects.

By educating Josephine, this family is headed for a brighter future. Getting a secondary education will increase an individuals hourly salary by 158% along with numerous health benefits that come with education. 

Written by Katrine Moltved

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