|Around 3.75 IQ points are lost per parasite infection and an MIT study “found that deworming was by far the most cost-effective way to increase primary school participation.” Kasese Humanist Primary School student (source).|
I truly believe there is no greater force for positive change in the world than bringing knowledge and critical thinking to young minds through dogma-free evidence-based education. However, no mind can flourish if the body withers. This is why my first fundraising project for the Kasese Humanist Primary School was an egg-providing chicken coop.
Intestinal parasites, which are a common problem in the Kasese region's primary schools, work directly against this goal.
Worm infections interfere with nutrient uptake; can lead to anemia, malnourishment and impaired mental and physical development; and pose a serious threat to children’s health, education, and productivity. Infected children are often too sick or tired to concentrate at school, or to attend at all.
Hank Pellissier over at Brighter Brains Institute has started up a new fundraiser to establish a low-cost parasitology laboratory at the Kasese Humanist Primary School. This new facility will serve children at the school and the broader Kasese community. It will include both equipment and a medical technician to diagnose, treat and educate children and their families.
BBI’s laboratory will have a microscope, medical book, fecal-testing and malaria ID equipment, plus multiple medicines: Albendazole, Ivermectin, Praziquantel, Metronidazole, Coartem. We will employ an Ugandan medical technician to analyze patients, dispense curatives, and train students and community in prevention techniques. BBI will manage the laboratory, ordering supplies, issuing paychecks, providing up-to-date scientific info and epidemic alerts. The lab will provide free parasite care to the school children, and affordable care to the Kasese community.
All of this will be available for $2,775 to establish for the first year. The initiative is already half-funded due to a few very generous donations. However, some money is still left to be raised. Go check out the GoFundMe below to learn more.
Don't believe all this is possible for under $3,000? Read the full budget breakdown and complete fundraiser motivation and description over at the Brighter Brains Institute blog.
If you've donated to the school before, you'll want to give a little to this project. Think of it as protecting and enhancing your previous investments.
You may remember that Hank has already worked with Kasese Humanist Primary School director, Bwambale Robert, on a $12 per dress distribution program for young orphan girls. A local dressmaker was employed to make dresses which were distributed or mailed to orphanages around the Kasese region. This other micro-project was a stunning success.