By Eric Barigye
Welcome back to our weekly blog that explores a particular aspect of Uganda life, to learn more about the people, place, and this week – the projects that play host to our Adventure Like No Other!
We begin a very special series named “From Your Projects!” This series will be sharing stories from the beneficiaries of our selected 2020 Charity Projects – the very organisations which this year’s event is supporting!
First is Martha, who is one of the 175 pupils attending Primer Junior Day and Boarding School!
Martha (pictured front left below) is a twelve-year-old in the first candidate class of her young school. Primer Junior School is only 3 years old but they have made enough progress in that short time to be handed a centre number from the authorities. This means they can now put forward their pupils of Primary Seven for national examinations and Martha is the big hope of this groundbreaking class!
Martha’s family hails from Bukomansimbi, which is almost 40 kilometres away from the school but her single mother worked hard and found a place at the boarding school for her daughter, one which fits her budget whilst providing good quality education. Martha has helped her mother in return by continuously winning half school bursaries through her good performance at school.
Martha told me about her school days which begin as early as 6 A.M. Upon waking, Dormitory chores begin. These include laying the bed, taking dirty clothes to the washing bay and cleaning the dorm floor. Once that is done she can prepare herself for the day.
Breakfast porridge is served at 7 A.M and morning classes begin at 8 A.M. Those classes run till 10 A.M when Martha and her classmates break for 30 minutes. During the break, they can choose to have black tea or porridge, plus a snack that maybe a doughnut, chapatti or bun.
After this short break, classes resume till lunch break at 1 P.M. Martha has Posho (ground maize) and beans for lunch every day except on weekends when it is rice and beans. After eating their lunch, Martha and her friends get their chance to play. They usually play Hide and Seek till the end of lunch bell goes at 2 P.M.
After the end of afternoon classes at 5 P.M, Martha joins the queue for evening porridge. This is given 30 minutes before classroom chores begin. These tasks include dusting the blackboard, sweeping the class and organizing the desks. After classroom chores are through, pupils go back to their dormitory to prepare their attire for the next day by setting their uniforms together, brushing their shoes and washing their white socks – all which will dry overnight.
Martha then has her time to use the bathroom before changing into after class wear. At 7 P.M the pupils meet for evening prayers. Martha herself is a Catholic who has led some of these evening prayers that are supervised by teachers. It lasts 15 minutes before supper is served.
While her underclassmen call it a night after supper, Martha and her candidate classmates instead proceed for evening preps. This lasts an hour and a half; preps give Martha a chance to complete her assignments and reviews the day’s classes. After preps end at 9 P.M, Martha returns to the dorm to sleep before lights out at 9:30.
“I love my school! We have good teachers and we are fed well. My favourite subject is English.” is what Martha reveals to me when I ask her thoughts on her school.
Primer Junior School has 83 pupils staying at their dormitories now. With the aid of International Runners like you, they are hoping to use the fundraising to double the school’s current boarding capacity. Then, with the extra revenue generated yearly from boarding more students, the school will be able to provide even more bursaries to assist more pupils, just like Martha.
We end this week with a message from Martha in the video below!
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