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SPOTLIGHT: How Bravo Shoes is bridging poverty and education gap in Uganda

Bravo Shoes Community Support, is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works to improve the lives of vulnerable children in Uganda.

Technocrat Media

Bravo Shoes Community Support, is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works to improve the lives of vulnerable children in Uganda.

According to the organisation, it is working to ensure that needy children receive good quality education to thrive in the 21st century in tandem with Goal 4 of the sustainable development goals (SDG).

Bravo provides scholastic materials like books, pens, uniforms, and school fees – designed to empower parents, teachers, and caregivers in how they direct their daily actions of nurturing and caring to improve their children’s growth.

“In a country like Uganda, millions of children are not learning because of poverty, or because they are too hungry to learn. These children leave school before they acquire the basic skills and knowledge needed to thrive within society. Lack of education increases the likelihood of involvement in drugs, gangs, and other risky behaviors. It’s easy to see how an absence of education spirals into a cycle of poverty,” Bravo said.

“Therefore, education in all different forms is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. It has an uplifting effect on other aspects of society that may seem totally unrelated, such as girls’ education lowering the number of prenatal deaths. The relationship between poverty and education is complex, but we know that education helps people make healthier and smarter decisions about their children, their livelihoods, and the way they live.”

Sam Bright Muhindo, one of the local children Bravo shoes is giving access to education in Uganda

The organisation believes that education also has a significant role in the fight for children’s rights, both in teaching children what they can and should expect from adults and in showing adults the benefits of respecting their children’s rights.

Status and education plan in Uganda

According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Uganda faces major challenges in providing quality and accessible basic education to children and adolescents. Today, around 4 out of 10 young children aged 3 to 5 years attend early childhood education, showing marked progress from 2011 that saw 2 out of 10 children enrolled.

Similarly, 8 out of 10 children aged 6 to12 years attend primary school and more than 1 in 4 attend secondary school.
However, access remains inequitable: the secondary level enrolment of the richest 20% of the population (43.1%) is five times that of the poorest 20 percent (8.2%).  In geographical terms, the highest Secondary Net Enrolment is seen in Kampala (52%) and the lowest in Acholi (7%).

UNICEF report further points out those costs associated with education account for 6 out of 10 people leaving school, and pregnancy accounts for 8% of girls who left school.

Bravo Shoes Community Support is working to ensure that needy children receive good quality education to thrive in the 21st century. It includes the provision of scholastic materials like books, pens, uniforms, and school fees.

This is designed to empower parents, teachers, and caregivers in how they direct their daily actions of nurturing and caring to improve their children’s growth.

In a country like Uganda, Millions of children are not learning because of poverty, or because they are too hungry to learn and some 15 million pupils have not attended school in Uganda since March 2020 when classrooms were shuttered as Covid-19 swept the world.

These children leave school before they acquire the basic skills and knowledge needed to thrive within society. Lack of education increases the likelihood of involvement in drugs, gangs, and other risky behaviors. It’s easy to see how an absence of education spirals into a cycle of poverty.

Therefore, Education in all different forms is key to breaking the cycle of poverty. It has an uplifting effect on other aspects of society that may seem totally unrelated, such as girls’ education lowering the number of prenatal deaths. The relationship between poverty and education is complex, but we know that education helps people make healthier and smarter decisions about their children, their livelihoods, and the way they live.

Education also has a significant role in the fight for children’s rights, both in teaching children what they can and should expect from adults and in showing adults the benefits of respecting their children’s rights.

Education can give citizens knowledge, skills, and confidence to build a better future. With it, they can be better and responsible citizens, who can ably and meaningfully contribute to nation-building.

The story of Sam Bright Muhindo

The story of Sam Bright Muhindo is truly that of ‘from grass to grace.’

In February 2022, Sam, a shoe-less local dancer at the age of 6 from the countryside of the southeastern part of Uganda, Bwera, Kasese District, was discovered by Bravo Shoes in a shoe-less video dancing at a local function that went viral.

Meet the affable, talented, and global phenomenon, Sam Bright Muhindo (Sam).

His video touched the world through different social media platforms. Upon seeing this video, the Bravo Shoe brand sought to find him some 500 kilometers from the capital of Kampala. After he was found, Bravo has afforded him a life-changing opportunity, and today he is registered at an education institute, where he is on a scholarship, entirely the responsibility of the Bravo Shoes Community Support to the university level.

Like many of our African kids who through no fault of theirs despite being predisposed to the pawns of poverty, he is driven by ambition, infused with talent, and anchors a humungous ambition. All he knew was his little rural village in Bwera, Kasese, yet he harbors aspirations to see the cars and the tall buildings in Uganda’s capital of Kampala.

Sam Muhindo standing in the midst of his local friend after the intervention of Bravo Shoes Community Support Organisation

He is the 7th of nine siblings, none of whom has gone to school. At the tender age of 6, although very strange to many of our global citizens, he was also a breadwinner for his family.  He was able to do this by dancing at functions in other villages, some as far as 5 kilometers from his home. His home has never housed a television nor an FM radio; he has never been trained to dance; he has never gone to school, but he has an innate talent for dancing.

By empowering Sam Muhindo, thousands of candles can be lighted from this single candle. We are happy that Sam’s rural village has joined us in celebrating what he has achieved, and he is being fashioned to raise the bar a little higher as he matures into a man of service and humility.

Please join the Bravo Shoes Community Support in unearthing, molding, and investing in the many Sam’s who live in hope, that one day, they too can impact the world with their greatness.

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