Lions in Action: Children in Uganda
Helping Children in Uganda Learn and Laugh
Access to education is a challenge for people living in developing countries. In Uganda, the need was critical for mothers of preschool children who had to work – but had no child care options.
The Lions Step In
Local Lions in Uganda wanted to serve the community around them. Seeing the need, they began a nursery school to help working moms who didn’t have a place to leave their kids during the day. “In our community, there’s a need for a school of this type,” said Herman Joseph Musiitwa of the Masaka Lions Club. “There are lots of schools around, but they don’t really take into consideration each and every need of a young child.” With a $62,000 grant from LCIF, the Lions of Masaka were able to build and operate an early childhood education center.
The Lions Club Children’s Center Masaka is the only nursery school in the city. The Lions are heavily involved in the school and make sure the children have all the tools they need. Many Lions volunteer on a regular basis, helping in the classroom and other areas.
The school staff has tremendous energy, and a real gift for capturing the children’s enthusiasm and respect. In class, children learn essential skills that prepare them for their next stage in life. The children also enjoy working with the Lions. The love that fills the school overflows, and keeps both children and grown-ups happy, healthy and coming back for more.
Every day, Lions and school staff greet 210 eager and joyful preschool children, ranging in age from 3-6 years old. Together, they work to prepare them for grade school in a fun and engaging way. Admittance is on a first come first serve basis and there is usually a waiting list to get in.
Make It Happen: How to plan a project that helps kids learn
This Q & A can help you get started on a project for school children in your community.
- Why did the club decide on this project? »
We wanted to serve our community, and saw a need to help preschool children. So, we decided to provide a nursery school.
- Where did you start? »
We got the plot of land in 1993, but in 2002 we were still looking for a way to build the school center.
- How do you fund the project? »
Our club was able to raise US$20,000. In 2002, we wrote a proposal and received a US$62,000 grant from LCIF.
- How long did it take to complete the project? »
Once we got the grant, it took about a year to build the school. We started work in November of 2003, and were able to admit children to the school in 2004.
- Any special words of advice? »
It is important to support LCIF. We wrote a proposal and were able to get assistance.