Aga Khan, NGO open schools in West Nile

Thursday August 27 2015

Dr Hajee Safir (2nd R) one of the funders of the Child Development

Dr Hajee Safir (2nd R) one of the funders of the Child Development Centre and Mr James Baba (R), the State Minister for Internal Affairs, open the centre in Koboko District last Friday. Photo by Clement Aluma 

By Clement Aluma

Koboko/Arua- The Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with a Canadian NGO, the Institute for Rural Education and Development (IREAD), have commissioned three newly-built Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) in Arua and Koboko districts.

The ROEL centre in Wani, Arua, the Hajee ECD Resource Centre in Deku, Koboko, and Mary’s Shining Stars centre in Padrombu, Koboko, are three of the 40 ECD centres in Uganda with caregivers trained by the Madrasa Early Childhood Programme, Uganda (MECPU), an arm of the Aga Khan Foundation.

The project was initiated by IREAD, with the aim of supporting disadvantaged communities in Uganda.
The organisation was approached by MECPU for assistance in identifying ECD centres with poor infrastructure in communities.

After visiting a number of ECD centres in Arua, Koboko and Yumbe districts, the IREAD chairman and CEO, Mr Noor Jaffer, selected three centres for construction.

Three Canadian families, via IREAD, fully financed the construction of three buildings to replace the old ones.

All three families were closely linked to Uganda as many were born here but left in the 1970s. Among those that had returned is Dr Hajee Safir, the CEO of Graphic Systems, a leading graphics agency in Uganda.


Mr Hajee donated the funds necessary for the construction of the Hajee ECD Resource Centre in Deku, Koboko District.

The project director of Madrasa Early Child Development program under the Aga Khan Foundation, Mr Shafiq Ssekalala, urged the communities to maintain the buildings and pay teachers well.
The three Early Childhood Development centres cost a total of $ 24,000 to construct and locals contributed local materials.

The State Minister for Internal Affairs, Mr James Baba, urged the people of Koboko to open up their societies and welcome foreigners to encourage development in those regions.