KAMPALA – MTN Uganda through its Corporate Social Responsibility arm, MTN Foundation, on Thursday commenced the construction of a new girls’ dormitory at Salama School for the blind worth Shs295 million to improve accommodation services for the learners.
The 36-bed facility with a capacity to accommodate up to 72 learners will be equipped with safety equipment, furniture, washrooms and caretaker living quarters.
MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Mulinge, said the company’s decision to set up the facility is in fulfilment of its commitment to doing good and touching the lives of the population.
“We hope that this dormitory will ensure the safety of learners and free up office spaces that are currently being used as improvised dormitories,” She said.
“We at MTN Uganda remain committed to ensuring that no child is left behind especially in relation to access to education because these are the leaders and captains of various industries of tomorrow.”
Ms Mulinge said MTN Uganda is committed to improving four thematic areas that include education, health, youth and information and communication technologies.
This development comes nearly five months since MTN Uganda pledged to construct a dormitory at the Salama School for the visually impaired in December last year following a request by the First Lady and the Minister for Education and Sports, Mrs Janet Museveni.
In October last year, fire burnt down a girls’ dormitory at Salama School killing 11 children and dozens injured.
Dorothy Ssebaduka, the head teacher at Salama School for the Blind thanked MTN Uganda for the contribution that will help restore the school’s glory.
“We thank MTN Uganda Foundation for the decision to rebuild our dormitory and restore our glory,” she said.
She, however, noted that a lot is still needed including setting up a parameter wall, teachers’ houses and a motor vehicle to facilitate leaners transportation among others.
Francis Kinubi, the school’s director applauded MTN Uganda’s support saying it will go a long way in transforming the lives of learners. He urged parents with visually impaired children to specialized schools such as Salama School for the Blind as it is the only option to improve their lives.
“Education is the only way that can enable our blind children to see because they become very productive,” he said. “More than 1,000 children have gone through this school and later Makerere and Kyambogo Universities among others, graduated and are now living a meaningful life,” he said.
Kinubi revealed that out of six candidates who sat for their Primary Leaving Examinations last year, two passed in first grade and the rest in second grade.
Sarah Ayesiga, the Assistant Commissioner for Inclusive and Non Formal Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports expressed gratitude to MTN Uganda for coming to rescue Salama School for the Blind with a new dormitory facility.
“We recognize MTN Uganda for rubbing away our tears when we lost our beautiful souls here. We also need to thank the teachers and the support staff for taking care of children,” she said.
Build in 1999 in Mukono District central Uganda, Salama School for the visually impaired currently has 56 learners.
MTN Uganda in partnership with Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), a non-government organisation, has over the years implemented various infrastructural projects in various educational institutions across Uganda such as constructing classroom blocks and sanitary facilities at Kichwamba PEAS School in Kabarole District, Noble PEAS High School and Aspire PEAS School in Ibanda District which has positively impacted thousands of students in the Western region.
The company has also constructed classroom blocks and staff quarters for Bigodi Secondary School in Kibale District and Rwengobe Primary School in Kamwenge District respectively in the same region.
In relation to ICT in education, MTN Uganda has supported more than 42 ICT labs in various educational institutions including six in technical institutes such as Amelo Technical Institute located in Adjuman District, St. Simon Peter’s Vocational Training Centre in Hoima District, and St. Daniel Comboni Polytechnic in Moroto District.
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