18th July, 2017 – Wakiso, Uganda
MTN Uganda Foundation launched a partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, an international child care organization in Uganda that will see the telecom company inject 330 Million Uganda Shillings in SOS Uganda’s Retention for Completion project.
The Retention for Completion project was developed by SOS Children’s Villages. Its aim is to increase attendance and retention of over 3,700 school children (1800 boys and 1900 girls) in 20 community primary schools where SOS Children’s Villages operate in Gulu, Kabarole, Entebbe and Wakiso districts. MTN Uganda team was led by the Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs Justina Ntabgoba, who represented the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Wim Vanhelleputte.
Launching the partnership, Ms. Ntabgoba said MTN Uganda was cognizant of the right of children to a well-balanced education. “We commit to continuously identify partners who will champion our mission to make our children’s lives and that of our customers better.” She added that MTN was particularly moved by a handwritten letter from one of the children under SOS Uganda’s care requesting for MTN’s support in ensuring that her fellow children attend school”.
MTN’s donation will ensure that all the children’s learning will be facilitated with a midday meal, school uniforms, scholastic materials namely pens, pencils, geometry sets and school textbooks with accompanying Teacher guides. To ensure that the girls remain in school they will be provided with Girl kits, which is a self-support health package containing reusable sanitary towels, panties and medicated soap for use during their menses.
The partnership was launched at the SOS Children Village branch in Kakiri, 25 kilometres north-west of the capital Kampala. Similar SOS Villages are located in Gulu, Kabarole and Entebbe, altogether providing a home and social welfare to over 13,000 disadvantaged children.
Ms. Olive Lumonya, the National Director of SOS Children Villages Uganda hailed MTN Uganda for partnering with SOS in their project to make a difference in the lives of the children under her care. Noting that this was the single biggest contribution by a corporate company so far, Lumonya encouraged other companies to support and fill the funding gap and come to the rescue of the children.
The Guest of Honour, LC 5 Chairman, Wakiso district was represented by Ms. Marion Masagazi, the Chief Administrative Officer. She applauded MTN Uganda for supplementing the government’s efforts in ensuring that the high school dropout rates are reduced significantly. “As government, our efforts can only go so far. Where companies like MTN Uganda step in to supplement our education and social assistance programs, we are grateful. We are hereby looking forward to the continued partnership.” She pledged to increase the supervision and monitoring of child welfare services in the district henceforth, warning that where the rights of children are seen to be abused, stern measures will be taken against the culprits.
The Chairman Board of Trustees and members of the board of SOS Children Villages Uganda were in attendance as well as the children from community schools within the Village.
· The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has estimated that 68% of children in Uganda who enroll in primary school are likely to drop out before finishing the prescribed seven years.