Without access to desks and books, children who are in school will not be able to learn.
When classrooms don’t have enough desks, children are either forced to sit five on a bench meant for two students, or sit on the floor. This can be extremely uncomfortable, and distracts them from their learning. Imagine sitting on the floor, surrounded by other students, being bitten by dust mites, trying to write on your lap, and straining your neck to see the board. It’s an impossible situation.
Children also struggle without access to textbooks. In many cases, classrooms don't have any books at all. This makes it hard to follow what the teacher is saying, and means that children are far less likely to leave school knowing how to read.
We're supplying desks and books to support children with their learning. It is the first time young students have had access to age appropriate reading books, written in both English and their mother tongue. We're also supporting teachers with training so that they can give children the best possible education.
The impact cannot be overstated – now children can learn to read, making them far more likely to complete school.
Spotlight on: Ngora, Eastern Uganda
In 2018 we supplied 33,291 story books to 59 schools in Ngora, Eastern Uganda.
They include traditional stories and fables, fiction books, riddles, songs, poems and factual books.
Lucy, a teacher from Kumi District, Uganda, said: "The books are good with simple sentences for early grade reading and are designed to match the curriculum. The books are nice, with attractive pictures of animals, birds, and people familiar to the pupils."
Mercy, a student from the same district, said: "We practice reading to each other and to the whole class. Now I can read some simple short stories and I'm sure these books will help my reading skills."
Making a difference with desks
Peter is 11 years old, and is a student in Uganda. His classroom is overcrowded and there aren’t enough desks.
“It makes it very difficult to write because there is not enough space and often the other students knock you. We are pushed and squeezed.”
Build Africa are building classrooms at the school, and providing desks for the students.
“I am excited to move into the new classrooms. There will be enough space so I won’t have to sit on the floor, and my handwriting will improve.
“We don’t have any textbooks in our class. If we had textbooks I would be able to revise what we are being taught, and would be able to read ahead for class.”