Hosting more than 1.4 million refugees, Uganda is the largest refugee hosting country on the African continent. An alarming 60% of these refugee arrivals are below 18, posing additional protection concerns to this already unprecedented humanitarian crisis. While Uganda generously and progressively grants refugees the right to access socio-economic services including education, the enormous scale of (child) displacement puts serious strains on already overstretched education services in refugee-hosting districts. Through that several issues emerge. One of them is overcrowding of classrooms with an average ratio of 1 teacher to 85 pupils and one classroom for 154 children in the area, which goes hand in hand with a lack of infrastructure like classrooms, teacher houses and WASH facilities. Besides that, money is not enough to serve all the basic educational needs of pupils and also long walking distances between home and school pose additional danger, especially for girls, in terms of sexual, physical and emotional violence. Thus, quality and security concerns lead to an increase in drop-outs and absenteeism. Girls and children with disabilities are even more likely to drop-out of schools or never even enter the educational system. For girls this is due to gender-stereotypes, early marriage, teenage pregnancy and menstruation, while children with disabilities face discrimination and stigma in their families and in the communities.
In the face of these issues PALM Corps in partnership with ZOA developed the HOPE project (Harvesting Opportunities for Pupils in Emergencies) to address these issues in 17 schools in Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement and Imvepi Refugee Settlement, targeting nearly 60’000 learners. The project is in line with the Education Response Plan (ERP) for refugees and host communities in Uganda of the Ministry of Education and Sports and will run for one year.
We are convinced that the HOPE project ultimately contributes to
“A world where all children and youth affected by crises can learn free of cost, in safety and without fear in order to grow and reach their full potential.”
The impact this project attempts to have is to provide access for sustained, quality learning opportunities to refugees and host community children by
- Improving equitable access to inclusive relevant learning opportunities and
- Improving delivery of quality education and training
HOPE wants to improve access of children to primary education by providing infrastructure as well as scholastic and instructional materials. There is a special focus on the most vulnerable, in specific those who are most effected by dropping out of school. Therefore, children with disabilities and girls are especially supported in attending school regularly by removing barriers, hindering them to participate in class.
Quality of education is also improved by recruiting additional teachers and training those and existing ones. School inspections are supported by project staff to give assistance to the district and school management.
Project Partnership and Donors
HOPE is implemented by PALM Corps together with ZOA and funded by Education Cannot Wait and the Uganda Education Consortium. Education Cannot Wait is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises to ensure that every crisis-affected child and young person is in school and learning. The Uganda Education Consortium is a coalition made up of non-governmental organisations and UN agencies to support the implementation of the Education Response Plan through a harmonised and collaborative approach. The Education Consortium Management Unit is hosted by Save the Children.