Feature Friday Literacy Program

Buildings for Books

In addition to providing our Ugandan partner schools with the scholastic materials needed in classrooms, Sister Schools will also take on special projects that enable our partners to grow and thrive as beacons of hope in their communities.

Sister Schools began building Resource Centers over a decade ago in response to a growing need in Ugandan schools: a way to store donated supplies safely and accessibly.


While the Ugandan government pays teacher’s salaries and provides an administrative stipend to schools – approximately $2.00 per student per year – the school community is generally responsible for building and maintaining infrastructure.

Especially in rural areas, families lack the resources for even modest construction projects.

One of the most heartbreaking experiences for our staff was when we discovered boxes of books, donated by our local children, gathering dust in the corner of the Head Teacher’s office.  This school was lucky enough to have a cement building with a lock on the door – it was the only place the books were safe from theft, but it also meant that they sat unused and protected from the very kids they were supposed to help.

Sister Schools had a choice to make: either stop accepting donations of books, or find a way to protect them while also getting them into the hands of Uganda students.

Working with local companies, Rotary Clubs, and foundations as well as Ugandan teachers, Sister Schools built its first Resource Center in 2008 and now supports Centers at five different schools in the Mukono District of Uganda.

One of our earliest Centers was built at Mukono Boarding Primary School, a partner of ours since 2006.  With funds donated and matched by OAC Services and their employees as well as a generous grant from Seattle Rotary #4, Sister Schools transformed a 40 foot container into a depository, where books and scholastic materials could be safely organized and easily accessed.  Whole classrooms can visit the Center and find a book that’s perfect for them – there’s even classroom space for a morning “baby class” and afternoon literacy session with their librarian, Ruth Nakkidugge.

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