RCE Greater Eastern Uganda - 2018

The impact of gender and youths in transformation of communities through Education for sustainable development
Basic Information
Title of project : 
The impact of gender and youths in transformation of communities through Education for sustainable development
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Eastern Uganda
Contributing organization(s) : 
Busitema University
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Organizational Affiliation: 
Busitema University
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Monday, June 4, 2018
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
Tororo, busia and mbale
Address of focal point institution for project: 
P.O Box 236, Tororo
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The area has many socioeconomic activities; some few people are employed in both public and private sector and this makes about (30%) and most of them are small scale peasants who only cultivate during the seasons. The kind of land is majorly sandy which has less water retention capacity making it difficult to do agriculture any time of the year. The area receives rainfall between march and may, then September and November. In other days when they are unable to do agriculture, some men get to burn charcoal as an alternative way of earning a living.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
There is a lot of tree cutting for charcoal burning for the whole year. the parents of the area do not want to take children to school, if they do so, the children attend public school where they do not pay at all and the children stay hungry at school, some times during rainy season, they stay home for agriculture. Girls have a high dropout rate due to pregnancies, challenges in menstruation period, lack of proper facilitation, early pregnancies and negative comments from their communities that girls are not supposed to go to school. Actually very few girls can only complete primary level and again those who go to secondary, less than 20% finish senior four. Many boys especially in secondary do not complete school and they are the ones that make the majority of prisoners in all police cells in the district.
February, 2013 to June, 2018
At least every family takes their children to school even in the early level of the education system. Starting in primary one to primary seven, the number of students keep on reducing almost every year because many children keep dropping out of school. This is because parents do not provide the basic requirements for them to stay in school. Actually, parents just send the children to school only because the government introduced free education in both primary and secondary public schools. I agree that most parents in the area are really poor and the dream of getting just one dollar in a whole week sometimes is farfetched. So with kind of background, parents are not willing to invest in their children’s’ education so they refuse do buy them scholastic materials, pay for their meals at school, do not pack food for them and yet these very public schools are in a sorry state because they are not facilitated well. Children therefore suffer with walking long distances to school and staying hungry the whole day, this results in their dropouts. By the time they reach primary seven more than 60% of them have dropped out. After completion of primary section, very few of the students cross to secondary section for various reasons among which; the secondary schools are really further than primary, most of those who sit exams do not get grades to take them to secondary schools and actually very few are taken to vocational institutions. Most of those who do not make it to secondary schools and those who drop out, make the bigger population of youths in all communities with girls not spared. The girls are then forced to marry mature men or their fellows. The education of girls in this area is the poorest because they are the marginalized group. Because of long distances to school, poor facilitations by the parents and challenges with copying up with menstruation added on to the home chores they have to do, they make the biggest percentage of dropouts. In the national examinations, Tororo district where this project is implemented is ranked among the very last in performance both in primary and secondary every year for now more than a decade. We have therefore chosen the approach of schools to encourage the students to stay in school as much as possible and we are helping teaching girls how to make local sanitary pads such that this is not one of the issues leading them out of school. We also believe that very many children at least form every homestead step in schools so we use this opportunity to meet them there and help where we can such that as they dropout, we they have some skills of proper life management. School outreaches have far reaching effect and it covers many adults to be.
To encourage girl child education
To improve sanitations and hygiene of students all around
To guide and counsel the students on the various challenges they have
To give them career guidance so that they have a target focused education
To help solve challenges of communities through education
To increase in the completion rate of students at both levels of education and reduce dropout rates
To help improve performance in these schools
To discourage early child marriages, early pregnancies, early fatherhood.
To reduce on HIV/AIDs attraction by youths
To conserve the environment through education.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Holding talks on career guidance, guidance and counselling in schools.
Teaching in schools where university students are engaged in teaching their peers.
Planting trees, donating tree seedlings for planting and starting environmental clubs in schools
Teaching girl child how to make pads and how to cope up with menstruation
Skits and drama to drive the ESD point home
Engaging the teachers and administrators of the schools to ensure sustainability of our activities
Follow-ups of every school every semester to ensure the children are on track.
Size of academic audience: 
We have so far gone to six schools and we have reached to more than ten thousand students because these schools are populated.
Environmental conservation is on as the clubs introduced are doing tremendous jobs because of supervision, tree cutting is going down and the people are finding alternative ways of earning money. The schools have been encouraged to stay in schools due to periodical visits to these schools and all the students are more focused. Because of this, we have been receiving calls form schools we haven’t visited yet calling us to go and provide the same services, and I think this is good and our impact is felt in the community. The girl children have been refocused on completion and now we are trying to engage parents such that they know the importance of schooling so that they support in any way possible. The number of youth imprisoned is gradually decreasing.
Lessons learned: 
We don’t have to neglect the primary schools because many years we use to only to visit secondary schools but we realized that the numbers reaching secondary schools are too small compared to those that dropout in primary sections. We learned that it is instead better to teach the communities how to do particular things than giving then to ensure a long lasting implication. We learnt that educating communities is the best way to handle the challenges in our area.
Key messages: 
The challenges in schools and communities in Africa can be greatly solved by engaging the youths as problem solvers because they are energetic, innovative and are willing to act if properly facilitated. However, the issues affecting girl child can be better solved by engaging female youths to address those challenges they face because they will be using their experiences to encourage and mould their sisters without any fear.
Appreciation of funding from the Busitema University for these outreach activities through Dr. Edward Andama.
Appreciation of funding from NatureUganda.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon GEURCE 1.jpg (1.12 MB) Teaching primary pupils to plant trees Adongu Simon Peter
Image icon GEURCE 2.JPG (4.61 MB) Female Busitema University student giving guidance and counseling as colleagues look on Makhosi Nelson
Image icon GEURCE 3.jpg (7.45 MB) Busitema University students, Dr. Andama and Oyege Ivan during the ecotourism walk in west bugwe forest reserve in busia, uganda Ngobi Julius
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level