A question from the local community
When our founder Wilfried van der Veen explained what his vision and plans were to the local population, they became gradually more and more enthusiastic. Wilfried organized a participatory meeting where it became apparent that the most important need was to establish a primary school. The village on the same peninsula as Amasiko is called Hamukaaka, and the nearest primary school is a 6 km walk. This distance is too far for the youngest children. Therefore there are many children that did not go to school.
Plots were offered for sale, and also the chairman of the council (Parish chef) made a piece of land available for the construction of a school. We immediately picked up on this suggestion and this created a lot of goodwill among the population. In 2012, four wooden classrooms were built in a short time with the available donor money. In this year we welcomed 85 children to be taught in our school!!!
What have we achieved so far?
The school has expanded each year with a class. In 2014 there were three kindergarten classrooms (Kindergarten with baby class, middle class and top class) and three primary school classes (P1, P2, P3) with a total of 114 children and 6 teachers.
In 2015, the first group shifted to P4 and there were 7 classes with 7 teachers. In 2017 we now have 9 teachers and 152 children at Amasiko Greenschool. In 2018, we hope that the first cohort has reached P7 and will then participate in the official final exam.
Besides the four wooden classrooms, we have a brick building with three classrooms, a staff room and a storage space. We are also constructing a new brick building with four classrooms. All these constructions were made possible with the financial support from the Dutch foundation "Let the Children Play". This foundation was founded by two Dutch tourists who are very committed to the plight of Ugandan children and now seek funds to support schools in our region.
The brick school buildings are made with ISSB blocks. These are manually squeezed in a machine, and dried in the sun instead of baked in a clay oven. This construction is not taxing for the environment, because no firewood is used to burn the bricks, and significantly less cement needs to be used compared to conventional construction methods with baked bricks.
The parents contribute to the cost of the school. The tuition fees are 40,000 / Ush per trimester. 10,000 Ush is for the purchase of corn flour (a staple food in Ugandan schools) and 30,000 is used for teachers’ salaries which is between 100,000 / 150,000 per month. This is a common salary in private schools in rural areas, but much lower than salaries in government schools. Therefore, to attract teachers to our school, and to give our top teachers the motivation to stay, we ultimately aim to increase salaries to government school levels.
What is needed?
In the last few years, the school has been expanding a lot, as a result some new additions are planned. In 2017 we have started building a new kitchen using the funds donated by Amasiko.e.V. In late 2017 or early 2018 we are planning to build new sanitary facilities for the school children.