Update from Uganda – Back to School

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Just in time for the start of a new school term, Phase Two of our rehabilitation of Atanga Girls Secondary School is complete.

When AG Hair’s CEO Lotte Davis first visited this girl’s school in 2009, right after the 20 year war waged by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army had ended, it was little more than a dilapidated shell consisting of three classrooms and a dormitory without toilets.

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Women Leading Change was just two years old at the time and this was our biggest project yet. Over the following year, we managed to raise $250,000 and build four classrooms, three science labs, a library and a dining/study hall.

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Previous kitchen at the school.

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Overview of the new school buildings.

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Teachers’ mud huts at the school.

This past year we began the next phase of construction at Atanga. Enrolment was growing, and with it the need for decent housing to attract qualified new teachers. In rural Africa, the roads are unpaved and potholed, cars and buses are infrequent users, and traversing distances of only 25 km can take most of the day on foot. Teachers literally have to move to the school with their families if they are going to work there. At Atanga, the only structures for teachers to live in were the mud huts left over from the internment camps during the war, and these were deteriorating and inadequate.

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New teachers’ houses.

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New latrines.

We’ve now built six teachers houses and eight latrines to support the teaching staff.

Most girls also stay at the school in dormitories to avoid long distances on foot, as well as to prevent being sexually attacked while walking alone. The 120 girls who board at this school were sharing two outdoor latrines and have a single standpipe to wash themselves under. They will now have 10 showers, sinks and indoor flushing toilets to share in a new washroom facility that lies behind the safe walls of a courtyard adjacent to their dormitory.

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(left-right) Old and new latrine.

This investment of $280,000 in Phase Two was made possible though AG Hair’s Every Bottle Counts campaign. Ten cents from every bottle we sell goes to help build these schools, and with over a million bottles a year sold, and growing, we can go a long way to helping girls in Africa realize their dream of building a life without poverty and injustice through education.

Learn more about how AG Hair gives back through Every Bottle Count.