Margaret Junior School

Margaret Junior School is located in Kasanje Parish in Masaka District, Uganda. Margaret Junior School was started in the Spring of 2004 by Kasujja Sarah, a retired Deputy Head-teacher. It was as the result of her son, Mutebi Daniel (Danny), receiving sponsorship to read law at Kampala International University, from Margaret West of Shrewsbury.

Margaret was in Uganda in 2003 visiting Roger and Wendy Ford, friends of hers who were doing Voluntary Service Overseas. Danny, who is physically disabled, was studying at Masaka Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, where Wendy was teaching. Danny had a passion to read law and Margaret, who was impressed by his attitude and hard work, offered to fund his course to make his ambition become a reality. Sarah, so impressed by this generosity thought “What can I do? I can’t afford to put my son through University, but I can teach.” A year later Margaret Junior School was born!

Sarah, wanted to do something positive for the poor children in her village, who were unable to attend school because it was too far away and because they lacked parental support, many being orphans or physically disabled. With her family’s support she built a class-room onto the side of her house and expected to enroll about 30 children. Within a week of opening she had 90 pupils!!

Nine years later the Margaret Junior School had over 350 pupils, 155 of whom are orphans (mostly HIV & AIDS related) and 35 physically disabled.

Margaret Junior School needs ongoing support and The Friends of the Margaret Junior School was established in 2006 to work with the local School Committee in Uganda to plan for the future education of the village children.

The local community is doing what it can but most people are subsistence farmers and there is little spare cash for luxuries – like education. Also many of the children do not have parents and are being brought up by guardians, grandparents or aunts and uncles.

Since being established seven years ago The Friends of Margaret Junior School have been successful in :

  1. Buying the land on which the school is site.
  2. Building pit latrines.
  3. Bringing piped water to the school and village.
  4. Building two new 4 class-room block.
  5. Establishing a Pupil Sponsorship scheme.
  6. Providing playground equipment.
  7. Equipping all pupils with mosquito nets.
  8. Buying dance costumes and traditional drums

This has been made possible by the generous support of Lions International and the Waterloo Foundation and by donations and fund-raising efforts from members and supporters, for which the Trustees are very grateful. Local parents & families in Uganda have also pitched in by supporting the Headteacher with gifts of food and crops and by digging the latrines and making the bricks needed for construction.

There is still much to do. Margaret Junior School needs better equipment and more books and in time hostel accommodation will be required to support those who travel long distances in order to attend.

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