Mercy Anena, 15, a Senior One student of Anaka Intensive Secondary School in Nwoya district this week wrote a touching letter to Nwoya district Chairman, Hon. Patrick Okello Oryema seeking financial help for her school fees
Anena in her letter says she scored aggregate 24, (DIV 2) and she was admitted to Anaka intensive secondary school but she dropped out of school because her parents couldn’t afford to pay the fees – Shs 90,000 per term.
She said she was worried that she might end up being married off at her tender age if she was forced out of school.
Anena’s letter was widely shared on Social Media and it caught the attention of a Local Radio stations and activists.
Equator Seed Uganda, a local organization took interest in Anena’s plight and offered 500,000 shillings that was paid directly to a Post Bank account that was opened in her names.
J.B Uhuru, a re-known Gulu based Social activist also set up a Whatsaap group and many more people pledged support.
Uhuru says Anena is one of the many young girls across Acholi-sub-region that have dropped out of school because of lack of school fees.
He called for establishment for an Acholi Education Trust that caters for such need young people.
In an interview, Nwoya district Chairperson, Hon. Okello Patrick Oryema attributed the high rate of school dropouts among girls to early marriages and also some parents forcing their children to work in gardens due to poverty.
Mr. Oryema added that the district is working tirelessly with other stakeholders to sensitize parents on the importance of educating the girl child and all children to stay in school.
A report by African Partners for Child Poverty, shows that about 35% of girls drop out of school due to early marriage and 23 % drop out of school due to pregnancy in Northern and Eastern Uganda.