December 15th, 2015
Sustainable, Accountable, Empowering
During the year 2015, Cosma Foundation continued to focus on its mission of sending 50 kids to school, the Score Card Project and improving family livelihood through the Agriculture Program.
All 50 students have been able to complete the year successfully while well equipped with all scholastic materials and school fees to attend classes. We are glad that all the children were able to get good grades and be promoted to the next class.
Dennis, the first Cosma beneficiary, started his third year at his university college doing clinical medicine. He emerged to be the best performing student in his class for the academic year 2014-2015. He is very happy with his studies and is confident in making his dream of becoming a clinical doctor a reality.
Pen Pal Program
The Cosma kids were able to exchange letters with their friends from the Wilshire Baptist Church in the USA! The program is a great learning experience for both the Cosma kids and Wilshire Baptist Church. The program improves students’ writing skills, fosters cultural exchange and builds long-term relationships.
Some Cosma adolescent girls were able to complete the year successfully after acquiring modern sanitary pads through the counseling with their counselor minister. During their monthly periods, most of the adolescent girls miss school, which is a challenge that negatively affects their academic performances. We thank Suzan Hennessey, a Cosma friend, who donated 22 sanitary pads to our girls, enabling them to be able to attend school during their cycles and thus improve their grades this this year.
Pictured: Kiza practices in our tailoring room.
A vocational training system is one of the models the Cosma Foundation has implemented, following its objective to combat growing unemployment among youth in Uganda.These youth struggle with academics and often do not have the opportunity to attend higher levels of education.
The Foundation is proud that this year two students, Harmza Mayanja and Kizza George, graduated from vocational colleges.They are looking forward to using the skills they have learned to establish themselves and also support at least two students from the Cosma Foundation in primary school.
Pictured: Kizzaon his graduation day! He is looking for the startup capital of 1.7 million shillings to buy two sewing machines and invest in other capital to use.
Pictured: Scorecard committee meeting with Kristine.
After the introduction of the Scorecard Project, which aims to improve the education system in primary schools in our community, students absenteeism has reduced, teachers daily class attendance has improved,and students’ interactions with their teachers is improving. Additionally,the participation of parents and school management committees has also increased, bringing a smile on pupils’ faces after a slight improvement in their academic grades. These improvements were announced during Charles’ follow up with the elected committees and during the meeting held with Kristine, the African Hope Network country director, during her visit to the site. The committees are doing great work in tracking records and reaching out to all school stakeholders in an effort to maximize the full participation of the community.We aim to generate information that would be helpful in creating feedback and plans for change through the open dialogue at the committee meetings. The community is so excited with the Scorecard Project because it brings a common voice in the governance of schools by way of addressing the challenges that affect their performances.
Since agriculture is the backbone of Uganda, 99% of the families in communities depend on farming at a small scale. The Cosma Foundation started improving families’ lives through the provision of improved seeds and fertilizers to farmers to expand their sources of income. This was done in order to support more children to be able to financially attend school, as Cosma was not receiving many applications for children in need of scholarships.
For the last two years, Cosma has aided 50 families,in the 2015 year, families have each been able to send two children to school with all the fees and scholastic materials paid for using revenues from the successful harvests.
Ssembabule cattle and farming is the main source of income in our communities. This poses many challenges that hinder performance. One of the long-term effects is drought that poorly affects crops, resulting in poor harvest seasons.Cosma came up with a resolution to reduce this burden through planting trees to have a good conducive environment for agriculture. This year, the Foundation planted 100 shading trees, 70 of which thrived.
After farmers are empowered through the Agriculture Program, Cosma always encourages them to develop a saving culture. A group of 90 people had joined this saving culture and met on a weekly basis, and 15 families out of the 90 have secured solar power using their savings as well as became able to send their children to school, not through Cosma.
Pictured: Robert is learning the skills of raising a cow and goat.
Robert and his family are very thankful for the donation of a cow and goat by African Hope Network, which are intended to generate the funds to allow him to receive a quality education in the future. Robert’s father believes that raising these animals will help him to save for Robert’s school fees and for his other children who may struggle with fees in future.
Pictured: Cosma Director visited Jane’s family.
Over the school term, the Cosma is always proud when conducting family visits to identify challenges the community faces and look for solutions. During these visits, we also measure the impact made by the Cosma Foundation in the community.
The Director visited the family of a child named Jane Nakabugo, who was sick of head circumference disease (macrocephaly). Her mother Nakate Gertrude is so grateful to the Cosma Foundation for saving the life of her young child. Jane is expected to start school next year!
Pictured: Hosting visitors from USA
It is always a learning experience for the Cosma Foundation to host visitors from the United States of America! The Uganda Hope Network students from Yale University visited Cosma Foundation in March 2015 along AHN country director Madam Kristine. They learned a lot about Cosma’s projects and community life in the Ssembabule district.
Pictured: Dr. Sister Asumputa receiving a donation of medical supplies.
The Yale students donated medical supplies to the Cosma Foundation, and Cosma gave those donations to Katimba, one of the partner health centers where we normally take the kids when they fall ill.
Achievements for the year 2015
1, All50 students have completed the year 2015 successfully.
2, Two students from vocational college graduated with diplomas.
3,Cosma received support from AHN and was able to keep every student in school.
4, Five students are enrolled in University this year.
5,Cosma maintained strong relationships its external donors.
6, Ten energy wood saving stoves were constructed for ten families in order to help the environment.
7,Two students Mayanja Augustine and Ssempijja Nicholas completed high school excited to join University or vocational institution next year.
8,The school governance and performance has been improved compared to previous years after introduction of scorecard project in primary schools.
Challenges for the 2015
*Increased number of needy children applying for scholarships.
*Limited resources to coordinate Cosma activities.
*An unexpected increase in costs of some expenses.
*Receiving grants and building new networks.
Next year’s plans
-Cosma will stick to its core objective of sponsoring children in need.
-Children who finish candidate classes like senior 4 and high school will be enrolled in vocational school for a two-year program. This is due to the increased number of students that want to start University but have limited resources to support themselves.
-Agriculture will remain the next Cosma project to focus on to improve family livelihood.
-Education of life skills to the youth to curb the unemployment problem.
-Internal and external fundraising which will allow the Cosma team to visit the USA and gain exposure to outside networks.
Thank you all for your undying support of the Cosma projects over the years! Your generosity is the key to making change in the lives of vulnerable children and families in Uganda. May the lord shower you with abundant blessings.
For reference, visit http://www.cosmafoundation.org for more information or at http://www.africanhopenetwork.org/donate. Or, feel free to contact Joan Gass, Executive Director for African Hope Network USA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cosma Foundation children and team wish you a lovely and Merry Christmas and prosperity for the New Year 2016.
Yours in service,
Director, Cosma Foundation