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Karuma Dam Contractor Introduces Scholarship for Girls

The corporation on Thursday morning disbursed 4,000 US dollars approximately 14.6 Million shillings towards paying the full tuition of two teenage female students joining secondary schools for four years. Each female student has 2000 US dollars for tuition, exercise books and sanitary towels amongst others.
Sinohydro's Li Ji Flanked by UEGCL's Simon Kasyate At St. Katherine Girls School in Lira

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China's Power Dam Construction Corporation, Sinohydro, has upgraded its corporate social responsibility initiative to include bursaries for needy female students around Karuma project area.

The corporation on Thursday morning disbursed 4,000 US Dollars, approximately 14.6 million Shillings, towards paying the full tuition of two teenage female students joining secondary schools for four years. Each female student has 2000 US Dollars for tuition, exercise books and sanitary towels amongst others. 

Li Ji, the Sinohydro Administrative Manager, says the bursary is an expansion of the company's multi-million dollar education initiative in which schools have been refurbished and equipped with scholastic materials and several boreholes sunk to improve lives of Ugandan communities in Karuma project area.

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Li had led a team of Sinohydro Corporation officials to launch the bursary scheme at St. Katherine Girls Secondary School in Lira district, where one of the two female beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme is studying. 

The first beneficiary, Angella Akello, is a 14-years-old daughter of a small-holder peasant farmer in Iceme village in Oyam district. She has a dream of becoming a medical doctor. She instantly won the scholarship after emerging the best student in last year's Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) in Oyam district, Karuma's northern bank host district. 

Fourteen-year-old Rashida Alituha,  the other instant winner also emerged the best student in PLE in Kiryandongo, the district hosting Karuma electricity dam on the Southern Bank of the Nile River.  Her parents opted to register her at St. Andrea Kaahwa Mixed Secondary School in Hoima district after failing to meet her tuition in Kampala-based schools. 

Alituha, the daughter of a market vendor in Kigumba town and a stay home subsistence peasant mother, also dreams of becoming a medical doctor to contribute towards changing the lives of the low income communities in the project area.

Li says the corporation was inspired to name the scheme “Take a girl to school” to inspire girls to enroll for secondary education. This, after community leaders appealed to Sinohydro Corporation to establish a girl-child bursary scheme in addition to sinking numerous boreholes in primary schools in the project area. 

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Simon Kasyate, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), says the bursary scheme is significant in building Uganda's human resource for achieving the middle income economy.

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Rashida Alituha, who sat for her PLE from Kigumba Intensive Primary School, scored aggregate 8 while her counterpart Angela Akello also obtained aggregate 8 from a rural school in Oyam district. 

The two pledged to inspire other young girls to excel in schools through hard work. 

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Levi Abongo, the Deputy Head teacher in charge of Administration at St. Katherine Secondary School, says educating girl children is never a priority for many parents in Lango sub region.

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Sylvia Omodo, the Oyam district education officer, says many girls drop out of school in Oyam district due to teenage pregnancies, high poverty levels and the absence of sanitary pads among others.

Karuma hydro power project is the third biggest dam being built by Sinohydro Corporation in Africa at 2.2 billion Dollars to supply 600 MW of electricity to the national grid.