Nyaka has two primary schools for HIV/AIDS orphans, Nyaka Primary School and Kutamba Primary School. Together they have 463 students this year. Primary school in Uganda goes from Nursery Class (similar to Kindergarten) all the way through Primary 7. Unlike many schools in Uganda, our students do not have to pay any school fees. Nyaka provides free education, textbooks, uniforms, shoes, two meals every school day, medicine, and scholastic materials for free.
We opened Nyaka Primary School in January 2003 in our founder's hometown, the village of Nyakagyezi in Kanungu District. It was the first school of its kind. It was and still is completely free to attend and exclusively for HIV/AIDS Orphans. In the beginning it was just a small two-classroom school with only 56 children. These were our pioneer students. Today Nyaka Primary School is full to capacity with students in Nursery class through Primary 7.
A few years later, a little boy named Hilary heard about the school for HIV/AIDS orphans. He was so excited that he walked 50 miles all alone to ask to be admitted to Nyaka Primary School (Hilary’s story is the inspiration for Jackson’s first children’s book, Sitwe Joseph Goes to School). After Hilary’s harrowing journey, we were inspired to build our second primary school in his village of Nyakishenyi in Rukungiri District.
Once a child becomes a Nyaka student, they are guaranteed an education until they achieve their academic goal. For many students, this will mean getting a diploma from a university, while for others, a certificate from a vocational school after they graduate from primary school. Because students are unique and special, we work to accommodate their individual needs.
Beginning in 2015, all students who graduate from Nyaka Primary School or Kutamba Primary School will attend the Nyaka Vocational Secondary School. Older students are given scholarships to attend secondary or vocational schools in the region.