Innocent wakes up to the sound of roosters crowing every morning. They are his alarm clock, and their timing is perfect. It gives him just enough time to get dressed and walk to school in his neighborhood outside of Gulu City in Uganda.
Just a few months ago, this 7-year-old had to wake up an hour earlier. His school wasn’t close, about two and half miles away from his house.
“I used to get to school late because of the long distance that I had to walk,” he said.
Innocent and his siblings weren’t doing well in school either. Many times, they were so tired from their walk and the early morning wake-up call that they couldn’t concentrate in class.
“School was very far for my children, and this used to worry me a lot I used to see them struggle on a daily basis,” said Innocent’s dad, Michael.
Because the school was so far, many of the younger children in the community just didn’t attend – the distance was too far. Parents would keep their children at home until they felt the kids were strong enough to endure the long walk.
A result of that: the literacy levels in the area were very low and dropout rates were high. But now all of that has changed for Innocent and his neighbors because of donors like you.
With your help and because of the need in the area, Feed the Children opened a feeding center and primary school in Innocent’s community. For children like Innocent who were traveling a far distance to go to class, they immediately transferred. And for children who weren’t attending because they couldn’t make the walk, they started showing up for school.
“I now reach school early because my school is near us,” said Innocent.
Another benefit for Innocent is that he now receives school supplies, which has lifted a huge weight from his parents’ shoulders.
“The scholastic materials given to Innocent has reduced a huge burden, allowing me to take care of his other needs,” said Innocent’s mother, Concy.
Innocent and his classmates also get breakfast and lunch at school. The food helps students stay healthy and prepared to learn each day, and it's an incentive for parents to send their children to school. The meals have even improved school attendance and retention rates.
Plus, the community is enjoying clean and safe drinking water, thanks to your help. Feed the Children drilled a borehole next to the school, and it’s helped reduce the rates of waterborne illnesses in the area.
Innocent's family and the entire community are now more invested in their children’s education. The school has brought new life to the community and hope for a brighter future for the younger generation. And it’s all thanks to you.