Uganda is a land of contrasts. On the one hand, it is a country that highly values education.
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Children, eager to learn, walk for miles under the equatorial sun for a chance to learn and study. They sell bananas or carve avocado pits in their spare time to pay for school fees. And yet the cost of education and the need for help to provide food and basic necessities for the family cause 75% of children to drop out of school before grade 6.
Sixty Feet’s child development program provides opportunities for education while children are in the prison and remand homes we serve and, if needed, when they go home to their villages to be reunited with their families.
We provide school fees, uniforms, and requirements on a sliding scale basis. When reunited we determine that some families need no help in placing their children in school. Others we discover need much more. But every family is expected to contribute something to their child’s education, no matter how small. Parents, guardians and caretakers want to feel the dignity of helping to provide for those under their care. And we follow up with these children and families on a regular basis to ensure progress in school and monitor health.
“Education, health care, and intact families are three of the most important indicators of extreme poverty. It is the breakdown of these things which lead many children, who may have broken no law, to find themselves in the prison and remand home system we serve. One of Sixty Feet’s most important interventions is placing children and teens in school – and following up with them on a regular basis to ensure success.”
John Houchens, Executive Director of Sixty Feet
For 2017 Sixty Feet has 125 children in our child development program. Expenses for a child in our program average $76/month. For some children, we provide a loving foster care environment – a roof over their heads, food on the table, school fees, and medical care. Other children only need partial school fees or requirements. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Each child’s needs can be very different. Any size gift, monthly or one-time, will make a huge difference in the lives of children and their families.