Case study: how a gift changed Aputiput School, Uganda
When Stella Christine Acom joined Aputiput School in Uganda, which first opened in 2004, there were no permanent classrooms, teaching facilities or toilets. The few books they did have were tatty as there was nowhere dry to store them at the school. There was one temporary structure that housed 150 pupils in three separate classes, all sharing just one blackboard.
During lesson time Stella and her peers had to sit on stones and logs or directly on the hard mud floor. It was uncomfortable, the children often got restless and during the wet season the floor became swamped and impossible to sit on. The hot weather brought different challenges as the nearest drinking water was a 3km walk away. Lessons had to start late as the trees did not provide enough shade from the sun early in the morning.
There was a severe lack of sanitation facilities with just one toilet to be shared by all of the pupils and the teachers, which was unhygienic and didn’t give Stella the privacy she needed.
Stella’s quality of education has improved significantly. As well as enabling her to stay at school for longer, the news of the new classrooms reached the government, who sent three new teachers to Aputiput School. There are now enough teachers for each year group to be taught separately.
The benefactor was able to visit Uganda in 2008 and witness firsthand the difference his wife’s legacy had made. He was profoundly moved by the way in which the lives of children like Stella have been transformed as a result of his wife’s gift and by the enthusiasm and dedication of the community to ensuring the success of the school that now stands as a tribute to her.
Now able to have a good education, Stella has a much brighter future to look forward to, all thanks to the generosity of one person.