Uganda has highest school drop-out rate in East Africa

By September 12, 2011

Uganda (MNN) — A report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) shows that Uganda has the highest school drop-out
rate for females in East Africa.

The rate shoots up to claim roughly half the class before the girls finish
primary school. The reasons are many: lack of interest, pregnancy, early
marriages, hidden costs at school, and family responsibilities have driven
thousands out of school.

The future for a girl who doesn't finish school is grim. 

The Ugandan Education System won't allow a
girl who drops out in primary school to return.
Boys can come back and continue, but for a girl, once she leaves, she
has missed her opportunity for an education. As a result, sexual exploitation
and abuse is the most common scenario, but sometimes it includes far worse.

The "what" factor is keeping the girls in school. It's
the "how" that gets complicated with limited resources. Although AMG International has
sponsorship programs, Child Development Centers, and many other programs geared
for the children in Uganda, there was something missing in the family structure
itself. Florence Musiime established a
ministry to teenage girls called the Dorcas Ministry, an AMG mentoring program.

Why "Dorcas?" Musiime explains, "In Acts 9:36, there was a
lady who was called Dorcas. She had a ministry for orphans and widows, and
that's how I came to the name: to be there for the girls."

AMG's Stephanie Pickard works with the child sponsorship program.  She explains that the vision grew from the
seed of hope and the $10 that started it. 
"They started with the ladies, the teachers, and got the teachers
together and were able to help counsel the girls, help keep them in school and
provide for some of their basic needs."

However, at-risk teenage girls need more than just a
program. They need a friend. Pickard
says, "This ministry is helping bridge that gap between not having a
mother figure in their lives to being able to raise them up in the power and
the knowledge of Christ."

Every girl aged 13 or older who is enrolled in an AMG CDC or
sponsorship program is a part of the Dorcas Ministry. Every female staff member
is, too. "There are approximately 430 girls in the program. It's even
extended to their mothers and their grandmothers," Pickard notes. "The program specifically has extended
to a discipleship program. It isn't
simply providing for their physical needs, but also there's an emphasis on their spiritual growth and questions
they have as they grow into women."

As the girls age out of secondary school sponsorship,
there are still questions about their future.
Some take on vocational training; others become mothers. There are a select few who have more
opportunities.  Pickard explains, "The
Dorcas ministry is actually sponsoring two girls who have qualified for university. Through their own faith and their own initiative, they're putting them through
school. In the future, a lot more girls will be look for that

Many times, sponsored students who graduate from college also return to the
organization that helped them achieve their potential.   

Most importantly, Pickard shares, "The girls have gained
self-confidence. They've learned how they're supposed to grow up, that they have worth and value in
God's eyes. That confidence brings them to a point that they're able to stay
pure in their relationship with Christ."

Scripture notes Dorcas as a disciple of God. She is not only seen as a compassionate woman,
but also as an evangelist. 

Like its namesake, the Dorcas Ministry shares the love of Christ with more
than 500 girls who are part of this AMG outreach. Because of its rapid growth,
there are financial challenges. Click
here for more ways you can help.


  • Thank you Dorcas for sharing the love of Christ. The problem of school dropouts with majority of them being girls is real!. Tackling the problem requires adequate collaboration and more advocacy initiatives to support our children to remain in school. Remember, “They are all our children:” GBU

  • I am so inspired by this program,am a Ugandan and i have seen this,its real and i have a passion for young ladies .I believe a lady who fears the lord and has got a chance to go to school is what the world needs to be a better place,thank you for the ministry and God bless you dearly.

  • oduk solomon says:

    thanks. join us as we move to schools distributing certain scholastic materials and encouraging girls to stay in school

  • Wamani Asumani says:

    Thanks Dorcas, come to Hoima and help, distribute scholastic materials and encourage ladiesstay in schools.

  • juliet says:

    How do i contribute towards the life skills training to these girls?
    Am a nurse working with nurses concern for adolescents an organization formed by nurses to empower young people to address the sexual reproductive health challenges through right information i.e awareness , imparting skills and support for and in behavior change

  • ongia emma says:

    its of pleasure u are encouraging young girls we also wish ur hands in DOKOLO district as school dropout is very high

  • thank dorcas for the love you had for our young girls . may god inspire you to do more to our young girls. thank yours in christ . ococan kalisto.

  • BRENDAH says:

    Thanks for having a caring heart mi frd als0 i have seen here in bugongi rely amg is playing a vital role thanks

  • Thanks Dorcus for your concern and struggles for the GIRL CHILD,may God give moe resources to inspire your work…..

  • kia sandrah says:

    Thanks so much Dorcas for the great job you’re doing and may God bless you.To all girls,mothers and grand mothers,let us encourage our dear young girls out there and support them to great women of tomorrow and that’s is why God chose us to be a changing agent to our dear sisters.You cant run alone you need people to support you,lets support our sisters.Thank you so much God bless you all.

  • Thanks Dorcas u can extend the services if resources allow to entire Uganda including my home district of Ntoroko in the Rwenzori region.

  • Thanks for the great effort dorcus..your services has really touched many lives of an African child.may the almighty God reward you abundantly..

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