Approximately 800,000 children in Uganda 6-12 do not attend school, and few teens have had formal schooling. Almost 1.5 million children work to help support their families, while 25,000 have been abducted or forced to serve in the armed rebel forces according to Helping Education in Africa Researching Together, which has united with Convent of the Sacred Heart HS to bring education to Uganda.
English teacher Theresa Padden and HEART founder Irene Cullen RSCJ, brainstormed a plan for Convent to raise funds for the primary sister school in Uganda — and the result was Walk for Uganda.
“This walk raises funds to build and maintain the buildings for the primary School in Kyamusansala,” Padden said. “The money raised goes directly to water, solar projects and maintaining faculty housing. These projects are not diverted elsewhere.”
Previous walks raised funds for a new academic building, providing the students in the primary school with improved working space. Students attended school in classrooms on the second floor and 25-30 girls per room slept on the first.
“When I visited Uganda two years ago, one of the students asked how can you love us so much when you don’t even know us?” Padden said. “I just said it was because they were so easy to love and we couldn’t help ourselves.”
Other Network schools have joined in on fundraising to increase funds for the school in Uganda.
“During this walk we meet a lot of people from our community including students and teachers from our sister school in Atherton,” Moral Philosophy teacher Paul Lorentz said. “Spending a whole day with them as one big community is a great way to experience the city and help our students in Uganda with their education at the same time.”
The annual Walk for Uganda has raised over $30,000 since 2005.
“It’s fun, easy and relaxing,” Pad den said. “Students run the bridge — some walk, and some bring dogs. You can even “sleep in for Uganda” — just make a donation and stay in bed.” This year the Walk for Uganda is planned for Oct 16. Participants can gather at 10 a.m. for coffee and socializing before the walk begins. At 11 a.m. the participants will hike up and over the Golden Gate Bridge while having the view of the Bay.
Interested Walkers can register online at http://sacredsf.org.