Send Sparky to Nursing School
Organized by: Carey Carpenter
Carey Carpenter via Crowdrise
October 11, 2014
As many of you know, I moved to Kampala, Uganda last March. During my first weeks here, I had the privilege of meeting seventeen-year-old Namugosa Shakirah Barbara Houser, whom I know as “Sparky.”
Sparky is talented. Honest. Motivated. A creative thinker and pensive writer you might find graduating from a top liberal arts university in America or the UK, had she been born there rather than here. Most importantly, and the reason I write you today, is that Sparky has dreams of earning her Nursing Certificate at St. Francis Hospital Training School in Kampala.
But I’m not just here to tell you Sparky’s story. I’m asking for help on her behalf. As in most countries, quality education does not come for free. Sparky’s 2.5-year course of study comes with a prohibitive price tag for low-income Ugandans. Her school fees include one semester tuition of USHS (Ugandan Shillings) 1,607,320 ($607.70), a one-time development fee of USHS 100,000 ($37.81), plus bank charges.
In addition to the fees above, Sparky must bring a long list of supplies: Uniform, treated mosquito net, jerry can, bed sheets, blood pressure machine, and anatomy textbook – just to name six of the thirty-one listed items. My back-of-envelope estimations put the supplies at roughly USHS 1,000,000 ($378.08).
In total, her first semester at Nursing School will cost Sparky nearly $1,000. Keep in mind that in 2009/10, the entry-level salary for a registered nurse in Uganda was $177.30. It’s easy to see how school fees become prohibitive for young, aspiring medical students like her.
Working in global health, I hear every day about the epidemic shortage of trained health workers in Africa. The continent needs some 7.2 million additional doctors, nurses, and other practitioners to address the health needs of a ballooning population. For me, supporting Sparky’s ambition is one important drop in the bucket to address this challenge.
I am asking for your financial donations to support Sparky. I am personally contributing and will work with Sparky to deposit the tuition funds raised in the school's bank account. Again, it’s a drop in the bucket, but a drop that promises tremendous ripple effects. Please feel free to share this link with others.