The Traditional Scholarship Scheme

Harris Namutebi
Posted August 24, 2018 from Uganda

Today as I was thinking about what to do to help vulnerable young girls access education, something crossed my mind, I kept asking myself, where did the “Traditional Scholarship Scheme” go?

In Africa, specifically Uganda, I have grown up seeing immediate and extended family members taking up a responsibility of paying school fees for their relatives in need. There was no paper work needed, relatives would volunteer on a case by case basis to pay school dues. When I got my first job, it was automatic I had school fees to pay, believe me a greater part of my salary was taken up by fees and am glad the few people I supported can stand on their own.  In Uganda, a greater number of people once employed will have a niece, nephew, cousin, sister, brother, children to pay fees for. This does not mean that those paying fees have a lot of money but they have the heart and will to support others.

I have seen people graduate and through their narrations over 5 relatives have made a contribution in paying their dues. This has drastically changed but how I wish it still existed.

Comments 9

Log in or register to post comments
sarah_2
Aug 24, 2018
Aug 24, 2018

Hi Harris,
Permit me to say that SELFISHNESS is on an increase. The fire of love is no longer burning.
Could it be as a result of HIGH COST OF LIVING?
I believe that world pulse sisters will make the world a better place
*,Hugs
Sarah

Harris Namutebi
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Hi Sarah,
Actually Sarah, I don't seem to know the reasons, I have personally kept wondering but one of these days when I visit some of our communities, I will try to ask the elders around to get a better understanding of probably how best we can maintain what was good.

Jill Langhus
Aug 25, 2018
Aug 25, 2018

Hi Harris,

Thanks for sharing your story. That's sad and interesting that relatives don't help as much with school fees. Has the cost of living gone up there, or why do you think it's changed?

Harris Namutebi
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Hi Jill,
Like I said, am thinking loud, am not sure but , we will try to ask elders and understand what went wrong.

Jill Langhus
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Hi Harris,

Yes. That's a good idea.

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 26, 2018
Aug 26, 2018

Hi Harris,

It is a sad thing when cultures shift from community in which all are helped and/or help each other, to cultures in which individuals think only of themselves and perhaps within a small radius of some close family members. What is particularly interesting to me is that you have witnessed this shift in your community within your lifetime. I believe that by reminding us all that it has not always been so individual, we are inspired to believe that we can once again support each other in all directions in community with each other. There are many who realize that we have much to gain through being as generous as possible.

Big hug,
Tam

Harris Namutebi
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

Thanks Tam,
You are right, many times being generous opens doors, I have witnessed this. I choose to support a little girl with school fees even when am not sure of my survival. What is interesting is I get this money timely. I remember one school term, I did not have the money to pay, and a great friend of mine called me, she told me she had got a new job and wanted to send me some little money. The money she sent was exactly what I needed to clear fees and I was sorted. I know the value of being generous.
Regards
Harris

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 31, 2018
Aug 31, 2018

I love it when this happens, and that it happened to you!

Hello, Harris,

It’s interesting to know that many of the practices in Africa are similar with us in the Philippines. I guess because we are more enagaged with communities compared to first world countries.

My two siblings and I were able to finish college because our relatives paid for our tuition fees and sent allowances. My husband and I are also sharing a little of what we have to my younger siblings and his nieces and nephews. This is how we support each other here.

Aside from that children are expected to provide for their elderly parents. That’s why the term Sandwich Generation is coined. The children provides for both their aging parents and also to their immediate family. It puts a lot of pressure to us.

But it is gradually changing, like my husband and I decided not to burden our children by expecting them to provide for us when we grow old. We need to save for retirement.

Thank you for opening this topic up. I hope you continue to write more.