Interview with Milton Opoyo

Milton Opoyo runs the school we work with in Uganda. He is a great man with incredible passion.

Q: How did the school get started?

A: In Uganda, there are millions of children who have no access to quality education because of constraints such as extreme poverty, cultural barriers and conflict affected environments. Eastern Uganda are with such communities where no NGO has reached with any special project in regard to education. That is why African Child Academy School started. With small funding from Nick Foster, we have been able to go through triumphs and failures; victories and defeats; to run the school on the very minimum resources available; in a bid to promote equitable access to education to our disadvantaged community and children. The school began in 2010 with 50 students and has grown to 350 students. 

Q: What are the biggest challenges students in Uganda face?

A: The challenges students in Uganda face are deeply entrenched with barriers like child poverty, conflict, inadequate facilities, distance, expensive fees and a lack of teachers and materials. This continues to keep young people from receiving an education. 

Faced with early marriage and domestic responsibilities, girls are even less likely to attend. If a girl has not started primary school by age 8-10, chances are that she will never go to school. It is also difficult to keep girls in school during their monthly period. 

In Uganda, less than half of children are enrolled in school. 

Q: What are the students most excited to learn about?

A: The students are most excited to learn and care about the environment, wildlife, farming, poultry and cattle keeping. 

Q: Do the children receive a meal or snack while they are at school?

A: These children come from very poor families, its a miracle to have a meal. They come to school when they are hungry and thirsty. With our limited resources we try to provide the students with warm porridge and delicious meals. When they get to their home, there is no food to eat. Their families cannot afford food at home. After having food at school it will be another day before they will eat. We feed the children warm porridge for breakfast and posho, rice, potatoes and beans for lunch.

Q: Do the students have running water?

A: There is no running water, no hospitals, no health centers, no electricity. Water related diseases are rife and child mortality is high. Illness caused by drinking dirty water and lack of sanitation are the biggest killers of people in Uganda. In 2016, 12 kids died due to waterborne diseases at our school. 

Q: About how many students are orphans?

A: We have over 200 orphans enrolled in African Child Academy School that are not sponsored. 

Q: What is the furthest distance a student travels to get to school?

A: For many children in Uganda, a walk to school of up to 3 to 4 hours in each direction is not uncommon. This is just too much for many children, particularly those children with a disability, those suffering from malnutrition or illness or those who are required to work around the household. Many children, especially girls, are also vulnerable to violence on their long and hazardous journeys to and from school. Our students walk about 3 hours without shoes or breakfast. 

Q: What is included in the student's tuition cost?

A: The student's tuition cost includes domestic assistance e.g. mattress, blanket, bed sheets, mosquito nets, sanitary pads, shoes, tooth paste, books, pens, pencils and breakfast and lunch at school. Most of the children are too poor to afford the above items. 

Q: What is the students favorite game to play?

A: Students love to play soccer, netball and jumping rope. 

We have students from this school in need of tuition assistance. You can use the link below to donate to them. Donations of any size are greatly appreciated.