Mvule Trust beneficiaries are selected for their academic potential and financial need. Ninety percent come from families involved in subsistence agriculture, an increasingly unpredictable livelihood due to climate change. Population growth also means that most farmers do not have sufficient land to restore fertility through fallow: harvests are poor and farmers’ incomes very low.
In 2009, about 680 Mvule Trust beneficiaries sat for their O level exams, performing better (55% pass rate) in science than students nationwide (50% pass rate), despite coming from schools where science teachers are few and labs virtually non-existent. Mvule’s Razaki Omia, 18, had the best O level results in Yumbe District.
In 2010, another group of 100 beneficiaries sat their A level exams: 65% of them achieved the passes required for entrance to university. Mvule Trust beneficiary Paul Anguria from Teso College Aloet was the top science study in Soroti district and got a government scholarship to study land surveying at Makerere University.
In 2011, another 431 sat their A levels. By April 2012, Mvule Trust had results for 327 of the students. Four “2006 cohort” boys from Kisoro and Kasese achieved sufficients points and win a government scholarship to university. Mvule’s best performing girl was from the hot dry cattle-corridor district of Nakasongola. Mvule Trust is working hard to help them find places.
In 2009-10, a large group of 222 students completed professional courses. Winfred Tabu graduated with a diploma in forestry in 2010 and now works as a forestry officer. She earns 900,000 shillings ($400) a month and pays school fees for her younger brothers and sisters. She says: “Thank you, Mvule Trust, for uplifting me and my family”. This is the multiplier effect of educating a child.
Dorcus Adong, who trained at Jinja Nursing School, is now supporting her mother and two siblings by working at a private clinic, earning $60 per month.
Mvule beneficiary James Eleku now works as a lab technician at the prestigious Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe.