May 5, 2020
Dear Friend of GTL,
I hope you are well and keeping safe during this uncertain time.
Do you know that today is GivingTuesday? This is a global day of unity as a response to the unprecedented need caused by Covid-19. Following our last email newsletter to you on March 25, that keeps you updated on the state of COVID-19 in East Africa, there are now, as of May 1, 411 cases in Kenya, 80 cases in Uganda, and 484 cases in Tanzania.
The Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on everyone and GTL scholars are no exception.
All our scholars are at home presently, as they had to pack up, and go home from their residential schools without much notice. We are asking you to support GTL as our students grapple with distance learning without much access to the internet. 89 of the 300 students in 2020 are expected to graduate at the end of the year. For some of the students, especially those who come from Karamoja region in Northern Uganda, the journey back home is long and treacherous. Karamoja region, located in rural Uganda is mainly inhabited by pastoralist communities whose main source of income is their livestock and daily wages from selling local beer, fruits, milk, and honey. With the restricted movement due to COVID 19, the families of GTL Scholars are experiencing an unusual economic hardship. The families of the scholars from Karamoja, are unable to cater for transport for their daughters to travel back home. The journey as described by Sr. Salome, GTL’s Uganda Coordinator involves a treacherous, long commute of 20-25 hours. The girls have to stay overnight in Mbale, a town en route to Karamoja. Only 2 public vans are available for transportation every day, from Mbale to Karamoja. By the time the girls arrive in Mbale from Kampala, the capital city, the vans have already left, which means that Sr Salome has to find overnight accommodation in a nearby convent for the girls. GTL has had to step in to help them pay for this cost. Please donate to help us pay for transportation costs.
See the map of the journey GTL scholars will take from their homes to school and back, 20 to 25 hours, with an overnight stay in Mbale town.
GTL is committed to ensuring that all the 300 girls in school this year complete their high school education which takes 4 years in Kenya, and 6 years in Uganda and Tanzania. We do not know when the schools will open, but we do know that the students are losing valuable learning time, as distance learning without access to the internet is a challenge throughout East Africa. The students in the graduating classes have to sit the national exams at the end of this calendar year, and time away from school will impact negatively on their performance. We are committed to paying for an extra year in school for any student who may need it to graduate. We need your continued financial support.
For more information on GTL’s missions and our scholars in East Africa, check out our website at growththroughlearning.org and follow us on social media; facebook.com/growththroughlearning/, instagram.com/growththroughlearning/ and linkedin.com/company/growth-through-learning-inc-/
We hope that you and your loved ones keep safe, sending you warm wishes and positive thoughts. We are in this together.
Wanjiku K Mwangi
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