Rev George Amoli, global family leader for World in Need Northern Uganda, has a passion for giving the children in his area an education, and creating a brighter future for these children in need. Realising the need for a new nursery and primary school he set about building a school in Lira, called Jesus is The Way. Since the school opened in 2018, it has grown consistently to meet the needs of educating the children that come, and today educates 520 children from the surrounding areas. Children from age 3 to 13 attend Jesus is The Way, with World in Need supporters sponsoring 53 of those children.
Many of the children attending the school travel long distances to get there; so important is their education to them that many of the day pupils travel from 5 to 10km! Other children come from out of the district and some even from southern Sudan. Due to the huge distance for these children to travel to school it has been better to offer them the option to stay at school overnight. Incredibly, in 2020 George managed to build new dormitories - two for the boys and three for the girls. Now, having these dormitories, 225 of the children sleep at the school, but currently the majority only have mats on the floor to sleep on, with a few others sleeping on thin mattresses on the floor. This is why we have launched an appeal to allow our World in Need supporters to help provide the beds and mattresses needed for these children to sleep on.
New beds will obviously allow the children a better night's sleep, which improves their development and ability to study, but it would also give them a place of belonging. To these children, the beds will be a place of security, giving them a sense of ownership and a small area they can call their own, where they can keep their personal items and their cases, and not have other children running across the mattresses during the day.
However, the dusty floors are not only uncomfortable, they are unhealthy, with nowhere to enable mosquito nets to be hung from and significantly increasing the children's risk of malaria. According to the World Health Organisation, sub-Saharan Africa is home to 94 per cent of the world's malaria cases and deaths. This is not just a theoretical danger: tragically, the school lost two of it's pupils to malaria last year, and George himself, is currently recovering from a recent infection of malaria. The new metal bed frames will allow mosquito nets to be hung over the sleeping area, providing critical protection against this deadly disease.
A reputable local company has been allocated to make the beautifully crafted beds as the funds become available, accommodating as many children as possible, as quickly as possible. The beds will be bunk beds to ease the crowding and allow good use of the space in the dormitories. Every £100 that is raised will provide one bunk bed accommodating two children - that's £50 to give a child a bed of their own.
Every child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Providing a child with a proper bed is a fundamental step in respecting their rights as a human being. This simple act conveys a powerful message that they are valued and cared for, promoting self-worth and fostering their confidence. By ensuring children have a safe, comfortable place to sleep, we can make a significant impact on their lives and help set the stage for a healthier, more promising future. If you would like to be part of this project of providing beds for the children at Jesus is The Way school, you can donate to our Give a Child a Bed Appeal here.