School for children with disabilities
Julius Opolot is 38 years old and resides in Madera, in Soroti. He is the founder of St. Marry Vero Pre-school and a teacher by profession with in nursery teaching (special needs). I started the idea of this school in the year 2003 after realizing that there was a big gap in the education among the blind and visually impaired children. I’m one of those who are hard of seeing and studied in Madera school of the blind. I came up with an idea of starting a pre-school which will help build a good foundation for the visually impaired children so that they cannot be a problem to the society or their families to be used as pad locks in homes after we identified the problems faced by this children and they were left behind in everything.
In 2003, the project through local collection and donations from international friends, we have been able to purchase land and begin the construction of two classes i.e. Nursery I and Nursery II classrooms and office room attached in one block. But unfortunately because of the limited resources (funding and source of money) the project got stuck at the roofing level. From 2003 to 2016, 13 years down the road the project stalled due to financial constraints and part of the roofing level was affected by rains and weakened the wall which caused collapse of the wall plate. It was until 2017 when they partnered with Innovative Youth with Action Uganda that we managed to acquire a grant from Help Fund IFAD for the completion of the two classroom blocks and office after Mirna Franic from IFAD visiting IYAU for Experteering. This grant enabled us to plaster the wall, roof the building and fix the doors.
The aim is to complete the school by the end January 2019 and be ready for enrollment for the new school term in February 2019 but this will depend on the availability of funds. However, in order for this to happen, a series of obstacles must be addressed. More funding is required to entirely finalize the school as per government standards and this includes completing the painting of the building, Plastering the floor and veranda, purchasing the window glasses and fitting them, Wiring and connecting electricity, erecting a fence, Constructing Ventilated Improved Pit latrines, Purchasing children play equipment, furniture, purchase of teaching equipment and payment of teachers’ salaries for 12 months.
Julius will volunteer to head the school and also recruit teacher with IYAU when the school is complete and ready for enrollment. I would like to thank IYAU, Help Fund IFAD especially Mirna Franic for making the project a reality though it’s not fully completed. This will put a smile to the faces of the blind and visually impaired children who are left behind in everything.