The Irene Gleeson Foundation (IGF) is an Australian registered charity operating in the Kitgum and Lamwo Districts in Northern Uganda. IGF started operating over 28 years ago when an Australian grandmother (Irene Gleeson) left her home and family in Australia and travelled to the war affected areas in northern Uganda, and started caring for children impacted by the war. Mama Irene began with 50 malnourished children, feeding them, dressing their wounds and giving medicine, and providing basic education and teaching the Word of God.
IGF currently operates a number of programs, particularly focusing on education, health and nutrition, and child protection for the vulnerable and impoverished children throughout Kitgum and Lamwo Districts. IGF provides education, nutrition, medical care, clean water and counselling to over 3,500 children.
Mama Irene sadly passed away in July 2013, however, her work and legacy continues in northern Uganda under the leadership of John Paul Kiffasi, whom she mentored for over 15 years.
Education is an area requiring significant attention and support in Northern Uganda. Recent statistics reveal that 7 out of 10 children in Uganda will not complete primary school. Only 33% of children that start primary school will actually continue through to complete Primary 7, with many children dropping out of school along the way. In response, IGF operates 4 nursery schools, 4 primary schools, a vocational institution and a business institution.
The aims and objectives relating to primary education at IGF stem from the significant goal of ‘improving the quality of learning in Kitgum and Lamwo Districts in Northern Uganda’.
IGF’s education program includes both academic activities and extra-curricular activities such as music, drama and sports. Sports and recreation forms an important aspect of retaining children within school, developing skills in team work, and providing an avenue for children to have fun and gain exercise.
The sports equipment and machine for maintenance of the sports field will provide 753 primary aged children at IGF’s Palabek primary school the opportunity to play sports, particularly soccer and netball.
Through these opportunities to play sport, we expect the retention of pupils in the school as children who excel in sports will be more engaged and have opportunities for competitive playing.
We also expect to see a reduction in unnecessary injuries as children will be playing on a maintained field. Children are currently playing on an area which often has long grass and stones, with risk of snakes and injuries. Setting up a proper sports field with goals posts, and the ability to maintain the field by cutting the grass is expected to reduce
Refer to: www.irenegleesonfoundation.com for Universal Charitable Fund contribution