Muwanguzi and her children live in a rural Ugandan village forty minutes from the nearest town. Here in Bubugo village, attending school above Primary 7 (the American equivalent of 7th grade), or even regularly attending school at all, is rare. Studies show that 68% of Ugandan students are likely to drop out before even completing primary school (Mwesigwa). Why, 20 years after primary education, and 10 years after secondary education, was made free, is finishing primary school a rarity, rather than the norm? This is a look into the Ugandan school system and what makes it the way it is today.
Sugar came up again when I spoke with Ahamed, our Beads Project Coordinator, and asked about the effects of the recent and serious drought in Uganda. Among other shortages, he told me that the women were having a hard time affording sugar. Since the 9 month drought, sugar prices doubled from 3,000 Ugandan shillings to 6,000 or even 7,000 shillings. In my “America-ized” mind, this didn’t mean much. In US dollars, the price of sugar went from $0.83 to $1.67 - pocket change in our understanding. Also, why even mention the price of sugar, if there were dire shortages of actual food?