Nyaka works with communities to nurture and protect vulnerable children so they can learn, grow and thrive. As part of this mission, they provide free education to children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Students receive a high-quality education, nutritious meals, uniforms, books, medical care and school supplies. There are currently 780 students being educated by Nyaka from nursery through university. In addition to operating two primary schools and a secondary vocational school, Nyaka operates two public libraries, a farm, two medical clinics and gravity-fed clean water systems for the community.
Nyaka Vocational Secondary School (NVSS) currently educates 185 students. This includes 157 students in grades Senior 1 through Senior 4 and 28 students in vocational programs. NVSS is a boarding school located in Kambuga Town Council, Kanungu District-Uganda. NVSS is responsible for providing water to more than 200 students, staff and teachers year-round. This includes cooking, cleaning, drinking, sanitation and hygiene. The school receives water through a variety of sources, many of which are unreliable or not easily accessible. NVSS pays a fee to be connected to a gravity-fed water system from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, but this can be expensive and water is scarce during the dry season. There is a spring outside of NVSS almost 1 kilometer (.6 miles) away which is shared with the community. During the dry season, the spring dries up and can’t provide any water. Water can also be fetched from two streams but they are far away from the school. One is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away, and known to dry up in the dry season. The other stream has never dried up, but it’s 8 kilometers (5 miles) away, making for a long walk back and forth from NVSS.
Harvesting rainwater is the best option to obtain and store water at NVSS. In 2018, H2O for Life schools supported two large tanks to harvest rainwater, which were used to supply clean water to the girls’ dormitory. This meant that the girls no longer had to walk long distances to fetch water. Girls at NVSS are now able to spend more time studying. They have significantly reduced their risk of injury, assault and waterborne illnesses. Girls are able to better keep themselves clean and sanitary, especially during menstruation.
Because of the tremendous success of the project at the girls’ dormitory, Nyaka submitted a proposal to install a water tank at the NVSS boys’ dormitory. This tank will ensure that the 78 male students attending NVSS will have access to safe and sanitary drinking water as well as the many students who will attend NVSS in the future. Just like their female counterparts, boys will be able to spend more time on their studies and reduce their risk of injury, assault and illness.
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, Founder, Director and CEO at Nyaka, thanks Matoska International School, MN for supporting this project!