At 13 years, he is tasked to fend for his family and attend school

Justine Olanya

Justine Olanya

Justine Olanya 13 and pupil of Labworomor primary school in Gulu district is in dilemma of attending school and fending for his family.

Olanya who is also a primary seven candidate for this year says that,” I cannot concentrate when it comes to class. At times I get to school without eating food yet even at school food is not provided sometimes I have to dig for people so that at home we can get what to eat which means some other days I have to skip the lessons. Olanya stays with maternal grandmother Jessica Akello,68 who is also vulnerable to fend for the entire home.

He lost his mother in 2006 but the where abouts of his father are not known. “am told that my father died. but what I can recall very well is that I lost my mother when I was seven years,”
he does odd jobs for people to raise shs 4,000 school fees which he pays per term.

His biggest worry is that if he joins secondary how will he be able to continue with his education because at the moment getting school fees he struggles hard with his ill health.

Head teacher of Labworomoro School Ms Lucy Ayot  Odong says that there are over three child headed families who are ranging from 13-16 years.

“Olanya’s cases is difficult to handle.  He cannot even afford the basics at school like books and uniform which has frustrated him the more,”

He is bright boy but concentration remains a challenge.  Many children are involved in child labor to make ends meet in the recovering North as majority were orphaned as a result of the long war in the region while others due to HIV/Aids.