Bringing peace back into school
Before the start of the child labour free zone project in Erussi sub-county in 2014, Peace (15 years old) had dropped out of school in Primary four from Avubu primary school because her mother, Ocanda Lillian (widdow), couldn't afford it. When she dropped out of school, Peace went straight into child labour brewing Waragi (Local brew called “Nguli”), babysitting, digging gardens for money and also transporting and selling product to help feed the family of four siblings.
After forming and training the child labour committee and charge them with roles and responsibilities they immediately came into action, by sensitizing the community on child labour and its dangers. The committee also carried out household-to-household mapping exercises to identify households with child labour issues for possible counselling, withdrawal from child labour and placing them into school.
Peace and her mother were sensitized on the danger of child labour to their household and community. Peace agreed to go back to school there, but her mother explained her situation of being widow with many children that she cannot really manage to provide this children with food and school fees. With some help from CEFORD, later on she understood that she had to open up her mind and sent her daughter back to school with the little she was having. This excited and motivated Peace a lot and she was very happy when she joined school in third term 2015.
According to teachers, Peace has good conduct and didn't miss any classes since she was brought back to school. Peace's mother is joining the saving group of Nyekakura village and she is already saving for education of her children. “I thought I would not manage the family. Thank to those who brought the idea that all children should be in school. I'am already saving for Peace she must become a teacher" she says.
The story is most significance because Peaces family was known in the whole village of Nyekakura as a family that had no hope. The community members didn't know how they could help them, but now they realize that there is hope. The family has become a reference point in the village for the all households. Peace has become a role model to many girls in the village that dreams can come through and at school most of the teachers refer to her as the most discipline pupil in the school.