BOARDING SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY & VOCATIONAL SCHOOL

Educational Opportunities Optimized for Each Child

Our goal for each child sponsored is that they are able to fulfill their potential and achieve independence in the knowledge that they are beloved of God. 

Boarding School: For about 75% of our primary and secondary students, we have seen that they flourish best at boarding school, where they can focus on learning rather than subsisting. 

University or Vocational School: After completing secondary school, university or vocational education is a necessity for most young adults to live independent, productive lives. 

As boarding and vocational school and university are far more expensive than local schools, additional funds are needed to help these students. Sponsorships alone cannot cover these costs.   

Many sponsorship programs do not take students across that finish line. Students are “aged out” by 18 years old, some never having had the ability to graduate high school or attend job training schools. In 2023 MCM saw 20 students graduate from either University or Vocational schools and complete the MCM program with employable skills.

Help our students graduate, earn a living, be independent and care for their families all to the glory of God!

“I love sponsoring children through MCM. The directors know and love each and every child uniquely: not only their history and situation, but their unique needs and aspirations, so that MCM can place each child in the academic setting most conducive to their flourishing. Over the years I watch ‘my’ children grow, and through our exchanged letters we develop a real relationship of love.”

WHY BOARDING IS SO IMPORTANT FOR MANY

Boarding School Makes a Difference!

For about three-quarters of our students, boarding at school is making a big difference. Although many sponsors are initially concerned that children will feel homesick away from family, there are many reasons why most of our children thrive in this setting.

If a child shows extraordinary scholastic potential, we want to support this gifted child with a move to a more academically stimulating, competitive school. This always makes them smarter  because they find other students and teachers who can challenge their intellect.

After COVID we noticed many students made disappointing declines in class. We attributed this to the two years they were out of school combined with every child skipping forward a year on their return. The skipped class content would never be recuperated in rural schools because they did not teach the lost year. However, the urban schools were helping their learners go back and cover this content very fast. They understood if they did not, students would fail and so would their institutions. High final exam marks result in higher admission numbers the following year.

Home Situation - Overwork and Abuse

Many of our teenage girls (and occasionally boys) are culturally required to become like servants of the household. They do the cooking, fetch water, look for firewood, babysit siblings, wash their uniforms and many more chores await them after returning from school until late into the evening. When MCM learns of this, the child is removed from the situation and placed in boarding school so she may have ample time to focus on her studies. MCM does not support a culture which allows guardians to use children as laborers. 

Less common, but sadly it does occur, is physical or emotional abuse of children. MCM has seen fathers released from prison, drunkards, guardians who resent the very children they have taken in, and mentally ill caregivers resort to abusing children. In this case the children are obviously much safer boarding away from the abusive family member.

Boarding Schools are an Upgrade

  • The best teachers tend to shun rural schools so competition is greater for urban  boarding school jobs. This allows them to hire the best teachers.
  • Urban teachers are well paid and provided housing close to the school. With stiff competition they are motivated to get the best out of their students. 
  • Urban schools have better food & sleeping conditions with beds and bedding vs dirt floors with mats 
  • Urban schools are well exposed to the latest teaching tools, technology and have electricity maintained with generators. 
  • Urban schools have on site tutoring from both teachers and other students. 
  • Extracurriculars as well as daily chapel are a blessing!

And They Yield Results!

  • We always pray for more resources to board as many of our students as possible because the results have been almost instant in improved academic success and the children’s welfare reported to me.
  • For our sponsors whose children have moved to boarding, this change is visible when you look at your children’s progress reports. It is very satisfying seeing the improvement. Some students went from scoring third grades to getting FIRST grades on P.7 exams. It is just short of a miracle! Last year we moved four of the girls who had been struggling in our village school. All  four scored FIRST grades in their P. 7 exams! This would not have happened if they had stayed at home in rural schools. (see story on Bonita Ayebare on the next page). 
  • Last year we had 8 students sitting UAC exams (taken after six years of secondary school). All but one qualified for university! These are not easy exams so we are proud of our children who excelled.

Praise God these Ugandans are going to transform our community with their diplomas!

Boarding is Expensive

  • Boarding school is ten times the cost of the local village schools, so MCM has had to add it gradually. In addition to tuition it is also costly to provide mattresses, bedding, jerry cans and other supplies necessary to live away from home. 
  • MCM is also very blessed that the boarding schools we partner with give discounts on tuition because we are like-minded ministries. Their discount can take off up to 50%! Without it, costs would be prohibitive.

We thank our American partners for extra resources to move students into dormitories, but we are currently running a shortfall for funding these students.

UNIVERSITY AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOL

Our Program Works!

Preparing for Productive & Independent Adulthood

As everywhere, students right out of secondary school are rarely ready to support themselves. Most need additional preparation for a career or job to live independent, productive lives. For those children who have worked earnestly during their primary and secondary school years, we want to ensure that they are fully prepared to not only support themselves, but contribute their talents to their communities, by providing assistance to complete their education and training at a university or vocational school.

Tuition multiplies seven fold for these students who move from secondary school to university. Those that join vocational institutes, the number increases five fold depending on the course they pursue. Courses in the medical field increase ten fold. When I look at the monetary costs every term I marvel at the goodness of our God of miracles. This gives MCM the drive to go beyond our comfort zone, trusting God all the more to provide sponsors and support for as many in need as we can manage because they too will broaden the cycle and continue to change  more Ugandan lives. 

We are so excited about the future when we see what is happening now. In over a decade we have witnessed God’s great faithfulness: graduates changing their families and communities, students committed and working hard, and you as sponsors and supporters blessing us with your generosity and perseverance (even through a global pandemic!) to meet the goal and desire to share the Love of Jesus and the truth we ALL matter to God.

The Fruits of Higher Education

Since our founding over a decade ago, our vision has grown along with our sponsored children. Educating and providing stability to young Ugandans not only enables them to thrive as adults, breaking the cycle of poverty and subsistence, but helps lift Ugandan society as a whole. Educated young minds will help solve the problems of tomorrow.

MCM currently helps over 340 children, including both sponsored children and those helped by local primary school scholarships. But when we count all the children who have completed the program the number is bigger still…over 400! God has really been good and the testimonies we have are endless. 

  • Ivan graduated with a certificate in Electrical Engineering and Electronics. He was recruited by a company in the capital city of Kampala and does very well there because of his good work. 
  • Obed was ‘booked’ before he graduated university because of his aptitude in Social Work. It is almost unheard of in Uganda for an organization to go hunting for an employee even before they graduate. 
  • Annabella, too, is doing outstandingly, carrying on her teaching skills so well she was recruited from her first teaching job by an even better school in another part of Uganda.

Attending University and Vocational schools, at this writing, MCM is grateful to support five Nursing students, one Midwife student, two Clinical Medicine students and one Medical Records student. Our hospitals have struggled with having few quality medical professionals. We are honored that as an organization MCM is going to make a contribution to health care when these nine students complete next year. Praising God many future infants and delivering mothers will survive while other preventable deaths will be reduced with more well trained Ugandan hospital staff.

In addition to the medical field we support three Social Work students, two Education students, a future Accountant and another in I.T. We are also proud of our students studying to be Carpenters, Tailors, Knitters, Automotive Repair workers, Tourism leaders, Hairdressers, Civil Engineers and Environmental workers. We praise God! Without His blessings and your support these young people would have remained uneducated; financially unable to develop their gifts, skills and talents. 

Our village is also blessed with every child that graduates because we have seen some we started ten years ago come back and help other children. Like Owen, another Electrician who has installed over 40 solar units in our MCM children’s guardians’ homes. Or Blessing who volunteers to help younger students write their letters! It is becoming a cycle and it is amazing to see.