Breaking News: Thanks to your gifts and pledges, online and by mail, the initial goal has been met and the bus will be purchased! Let's not stop there. Your continued donations will allow the school the opportunity to transport more students and save for maintenance and insurance. To join our efforts to provide safety and security for the students, click on Donate Now below. Your love is felt during these difficult days.
Uganda Needs a Bus
Join us in helping Moreau Nursery and Primary School
Meet Patrick and listen to his experience of getting to and from school, and his hope that you will help Moreau Nursery and Primary School purchase its first bus!
“My name is Murungi Patrick (in Uganda it is tradition that the last name is listed first) I am 11 years old in primary six. I come from Kyarusozi village which is five kilometers (3 miles) to my school Moreau. I travel by a motorcycle to school because my parents cannot afford the hostel fee. There are many schools around me, but they are not as good as Moreau. I love Moreau School because I get good education and they teach us to be responsible citizens.
The challenge I have is travelling to school every day by a motorcycle. I must wake up at 5 a.m. to leave by 6 a.m. The cyclist comes late to pick me up most times, so I don’t get to school on time most days. He rides as if he’s carrying a sack of sweet potatoes. We are four of us whom he carries. One of them is my little sister, who is four years old. And the rest are our neighbours. We are all packed on that one motorcycle.
“I have hope that one day our school will get the bus.”
We reach school when our legs are numb and very tired. The road to school is very bad. It gets very dusty during the sunny weather. We reach school when we are very dusty from head to toe. Our eyes get red due to the dust and the wind. Rainy weather is the worst season. The road becomes so muddy and slippery that motorcyclists loose (sic) balance. There are a lot of potholes filled with muddy water, which the vehicles shower us with while passing by us. In most cases, we don’t attend school during the rainy weather.
When it’s a little better, we decide to walk, which takes us two hours plus to reach school. We were almost getting knocked down by a vehicle one day when I saw the vehicle almost hitting the [back] wheel of our motorcycle. I decided to jump off the motorcycle and fell on the other side of the road. I hurt my leg badly.
I have hope that one day our school will get the bus to save us from this [danger] that we go through every day, especially my four-year-old little sister who always sneezes and has a running nose every morning. Thank you.”
Challenges faced by students
- The distance between the school and villages can be a two hour walk.
- With sunrise at 7 a.m., students walk in the dark along a narrow dirt road with vehicles passing close to them. Students must arrive at school by the government regulated start time of 7:15 a.m.
- Uganda has one of the world’s highest rates of human trafficking of young people, who are subject to forced labor and prostitution. Children are at greater risk for abduction as they walk to school.
- Instead of walking, some students ride dangerous “boda-bodas” (motorcycles). On average, one student per week is treated at the sisters’ clinic for injuries sustained while riding boda-bodas.
- To avoid the dangers inherent in getting to and from school, some parents have withdrawn their students from Moreau School. Others have refused to enroll them.
- Headmistress of Moreau Nursery and Primary School, Sister Jacinta Katusabe, CSC, describes the difference you can make for her students by contributing to the purchase of a school bus.
About the school
The Sisters of the Holy Cross arrived in Uganda in 1967 to support the health, education and spiritual needs of the Ugandan people. In 2000 the Sisters of the Holy Cross expanded their ministry to Kirinda, Uganda, where they initially provided educational opportunities for impoverished farm laborers in the area through an adult education center.
Seeking additional ways to enhance relationships and build caring communities, the sisters sought input and guidance from the village residents. A prominent response was their desire for better education for their young children. Thus, the seed was planted for the development of Moreau Nursery and Primary School.
Planning for the school began in 2007, the year of the beatification of Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau, founder of the congregations of Holy Cross, and the school’s namesake. What began in 2008 as a nursery school with 28 children has since become a vital community institution.
Today, following the construction of additional buildings in 2014, 350 students ages three to 15 attend Moreau School. As part of their education, students are encouraged to build on their unique talents to make a difference in their communities, country and the world. In 2018, construction was completed on student hostels for the school, assisting families who otherwise could not have sent their children to school because of distance and lack of transportation.
Obtaining a school bus to provide safe transportation for commuting students is the next major step in the school’s development. With hope, faith and your help, we are confident we will reach our goal.