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Mugalula Community School gives free education to children who cannot afford the basic requirements to attend free public school (shoes, uniforms, pencils, notebooks, and lunch each day). Lillian is the director of this school and has dedicated her life to advocating for the impoverished women and children of her community. She leads the mothers and guardians in the community to make Vaseline and soap to support both their families and the school and teaches the women to read and write.
In addition to her community leadership, Lillian is caring for twenty-two children, many of whom lost their parents to HIV/AIDS.
Mugalula Community School
Mugalula Community School serves the children of Namavundu village from Nursery through Primary 5. HIV/AIDS has ravaged this area of Uganda and most of the students of Mugalula are orphans, HIV positive, or both. There are very few fathers in the entire community because they have either abandoned their families or died. The mothers and guardians can barely afford to feed their children, much less meet the basic requirements to attend the local public school. Lillian’s school gives free education and lunch to these impoverished children every day. But she does not own any land and each year the landlord increases the rent of the land she uses for her school. Lillian and Heart for People are currently raising money to purchase land so these children can have a permanent home.
Lillian surrounded by her adopted children
Lillian’s family was very poor and barely managed to send her to high school where she met a kind and generous girl named Immaculate Joy who helped her purchase school supplies and shoes. The two girls became best friends. Immaculate Joy had a dream of starting a school for the impoverished children in her village, Namavundu, which had been ravaged by HIV/AIDS. The two girls worked hard and saved their money to be trained as teachers to pursue this dream.
Soon after receiving her teaching degree, however, Immaculate Joy was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and she died shortly thereafter. Though she was devastated, Lillian felt compelled to honor their dream. She rented a piece of land and a building in Immaculate Joy’s village, Namavundu, and created an income-generating project with the local guardians in the community who gather each week to make petroleum jelly and soap. They sell these handmade essentials in the surrounding villages to fund the school and keep a portion of the profits to feed their families.
Lillian has adopted many children who were abandoned by their parents or guardians, including Immaculate Joy’s only son. Her biggest challenges are feeding her adopted children and paying rent, which the landlord increases each year. With aid from Heart for People, she has bought permanent land for her school.