Changing Fear to Hope

Bootstraps Education is an NGO, not-for-profit program, working in cooperation with Future for Refugee (www.futureforrefugee), and other NGOs teaching English, Math, and Computer Literacy. This school is provided free of charge to refugee children. The program is designed to help these students develop knowledge and skills which will enable them to be agents of their own change, as they move beyond basic subsistence, and beyond reliance on prostitution for basic necessities; to full employment and participation in society, when they come of age, whether that is in their host country, country of origin, or another country.

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Agents of Their own Change

Most children in refugee camps throughout Uganda are not receiving any formal education. 81.9% of children (ages 7-12) are not enrolled in a school, and 85% of children (ages 13-17), are not enrolled in a school. Not being able to go to school was rated as a primary stressor of children, according to a Save the Children, Needs Assessment Report on Child Protection and Education, among Ugandan refugees. Too many refugee children have been forced into the red-light (prostitution), due to the lack of money for basic necessities. Most youth in the world’s refugee settlements, and those living as Urban Refugees, do not believe that a bright future is possible for them, due to vulnerabilities, poverty, trauma, and stigma.

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Inclusive Population

By current definitions in first-world educational systems, most of our students qualify as having special needs due to the level of physical and psychological trauma they have experienced and continue to experience, including forced migration, poverty, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, and being unable to attend school, according to a UNESCO report. In order for these children to get an education, the school needs to be a safe haven in their community, with adult role models who are aware of their daily struggles. All of our instructors are multi-lingual Ugandan refugees who understand the importance of treating our students with compassion and respect.

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