Aren’t there public schools in Bwindi?
Yes, but because of Universal Primary Education, many public schools, especially rural schools, are often overwhelmed with too many students and limited facilities and staff. The equality of education may be very poor. As a private school, Watoto accepts no government funding. This makes it possible for them to keep classes to a maximum of 30 students. Educational results are some of the best in the District. However, because there is no government funding and because most students come from families of extreme poverty – and many are orphans – there are never enough operating funds.
Why do the sponsored children have to board at school?
Children perform better academically when living at school. Many children’s homes are far away from schools. It can take one, two or even three hours to walk each way to school.
Children who go home each night sometimes do not return to school the next day Most of our families live in absolute poverty; many are single parent homes. A child may be needed to help with younger children or to work in the family garden rather than return to school, or the parent may simply not have the time to bring the child back to school.
How are the student sponsorship fees used?
Your annual Student Sponsorship pays for your child’s school fees each year, including tuition, room and board, two sets of uniforms, a small medical plan with the local hospital, limited school supplies, safety, protection and, most importantly, the opportunity for a bright future. Food, including beans, and small amounts of other proteins, are a crucial and expensive part of the fees. Many of our children get little or no protein at home. After a few months in boarding, one can see a visible change in the faces of children, especially their eyes and skin, as well as in their behavior.
Your sponsorships also helps pay for teachers, infrastructure, clean water and many other things that benefit all the children in the school.
I was told that the cost of one year is $450, but when I went online to pay on the website, the fee was higher.
The online payments go through Paypal (even if you pay with a credit card) which charges us a fee. We build that fee into all online payments to ensure that $555 is actual received after those fees. To make things easier, we ask for $570. This is slightly more that is needed from US sponsors but slightly less than the total needed from International sponsors.