Nearly 15,000 refugee girls [between the ages of five to eighteen] from Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo live in Kampala, the largest site of refugee self-settlement in Uganda. 60% of these girls are out of school, compared to 40% of boys. These are young women who have missed multiple years of school, have lost their school certificates or transcripts or have ones that are not recognized in Uganda, and struggle to adapt to education in a new language.
The idea_ We are proposing a high-impact foundation course that uses mentoring and dual-language instruction to increase girls_ access to, and success within, education in Kampala. Our bottom-up and family-wide approach mobilizes community resources to address linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers simultaneously. How it works___We offer a year-long foundation course, divided into two levels: Level II for girls who have completed or nearly finished primary school, and Level I for girls who are three or more years away from finishing primary. The course is co-taught by a Ugandan national and a teacher from the refugee community. Classes are held at local primary schools to help students adjust to the Ugandan school schedule and curricular demands and begin to integrate into the wider school community. We will also open a library at our existing community center, to give refugee girls additional materials in English and a safe place to study after the program in the evenings. . At the same time, we will give parents whose girls are enrolled in the foundation course, access to trainings on how to save money and participate in a savings group, so that they can support their girls_ long-term success in education until graduationA holistic approach___We recruit community mentors to support our learners. The mentors have weekly home visits with refugee parents, which are pivotal to changing cultural beliefs about girls_ education, ensuring home lives are supporting students