Kitoola Primary School
For Yofafo founder and director Valence Lutaisire, Kitoola is where it all began. Valence grew up in this tiny, but stunning village on the edge of the Mabira Forest. Valence’s parents passed away when he was young, but he was one of a small number of Ugandan orphans lucky enough to secure child sponsorship. He combined this gift with hard work, and was able to put himself through university. But he made a promise, that if he graduated from university, he would return to Kitoola to make sure he was not the first and last one to do so.
Thanks to Yofafo, Kitoola now has its own primary school where 300 children are enrolled.
There is also a women’s empowerment centre. This is a space where women learn to make beads, or to sew, and are able to sell what they create so they can pay for things like school fees.
As part of our commitment to empowering women, we also run an agriculture program. Women in the village have been given pigs, cows and goats which they have bred and sold. As a result of programs like this, some women have been able to pay for all of their children to go to school.
Volunteers have played a huge part in the development of Kitoola. The school has hosted teachers, public health professionals have set up health education programs and health clubs, other volunteers have worked with the women to market and sell their beads, and others have helped to actually build the facilities. For the past five years, Appalachian State University in North Carolina has sent a group of students to work on a project in Kitoola. In 2012 they built the foundations for a four-classroom block building.
In the near future, Yofafo would like to finish off the classroom block, build a new kitchen where the school children’s meals can be made, a new toilet block for the school and more teacher accommodation.