Development professionals agree that educating a girl is one of the best investments a country can make.  Educated women tend to have fewer, healthier and more educated children, which in turn leads to a healthier and more productive adult society. 

In spite of the significant benefits, the girl child is vulnerable to a number of factors that can threaten her ability to finish school. 

The cost of school fees and necessities such as uniforms, books and supplies, are often more than the family can afford.  

Women in Uganda still occupy a low social status, which means that cultural and gender norms tend to favor the education of boys over girls.  Especially at the secondary school level, girls drop out of school more frequently than boys for a range of reasons including early marriage, pregnancy, lack of adequate sanitary facilities, sexual harassment, etc.  In rural areas the disparity between male and female retention rates is much worse than in urban areas. 

For all of these reasons, it is not a surprise that many students who begin their studies at St. Clare’s need financial support in order to complete secondary education.  Currently, there are thirty-four girls being sponsored by international and local sponsors. 

Joseph Rainer Education Foundation is currently building up its scholarship program fund while it is establishing application procedures and its sponsor reporting systems. 

The Foundation aims to provide sponsorships for students who show exceptional promise and can prove a legitimate need. When a girl is sponsored she should be given a scholarship PLUS, which means uniforms, books, health care and money to cover transport.  Therefore, for the whole school year, each girl requires about $800.

The Foundation’s goal is to have a large enough scholarship fund ensure that when a girl is sponsored she can be assured of a scholarship for as long as she is enrolled and performing well.

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