Despite ending his permanent stay in Uganda last year, Alain Goetz continues to support the Entebbe Children’s Welfare Primary School, especially now that the Covid19 global pandemic has affected the finances of several of the school’s other benefactors.
The school that caters for children with special needs has often relied on support from well-wishers like Goetz, the former chief executive officer at the Entebbe-based African Gold Refinery (AGR).
He aided the construction of a two-storey building that was commissioned by the First Lady and Minister of Education, Janet Kataha Museveni, in July 2019, increasing the school’s classroom, storage and sanitary facilities.
Goetz meets the entire school’s feeding budget for the children and the teachers. He has been doing this since 2015, and has pledged to continue doing so. He also ensures that any child that needs a wheelchair gets it. Already a number of wheelchairs have been donated to the school.
While commissioning the new building last year, Mrs. Museveni noted that no child deserved to be left behind, no matter their physical or mental status.
And now in keeping with the First Lady’s call, Goetz has increased his support to the school. He has further pledged to continue meeting the full costs of clothing, footwear and medical bills. This is in addition to funding the children’s birthday party celebrations, tour trips and other celebratory events like Easter, Eid (Idd) and Christmas.
Goetz has also provided teachers trained in special needs education to the school to ensure that “the children receive the love and attention that a normal child deserves,” he said in an email.
“I always ensure to visit the children at Entebbe Children’s Welfare Primary School whenever I visit Uganda. Hopefully when commercial flights resume globally, I will be able to come over and visit my lovely little friends,” Goetz, who currently resides outside Uganda, added.
An individual with special needs has a mental, emotional, or physical disability and may often need help with communication, movement, self-care and decision-making. These individuals have often been abandoned by their families and communities over the years, though perceptions are changing.
The Entebbe Children’s Welfare Primary School was started in 1985 by Mrs. Felicity N. Kizito with two pupils. It now caters for up to 70 pupils including 33 girls and 37 boys. The school has nine teachers on government payroll and one special needs teacher who is paid by a Non-Government Organization, according to Mrs Christine Mugwanya, the headmistress.
“We cannot thank Goetz enough for his continued generosity. It gives me much pleasure to express the heartfelt gratitude and appreciation of the management, parents, teachers and pupils to him for his support. May the good Lord bless you abundantly,” said Mrs Mugwanya.