As a champion of education, Mama Irene believed that every child has a right to quality education. So on Saturday 16th July 2016, we remembered, honoured and celebrated the life and legacy of Mama Irene Gleeson. Through the annual Memorial Charity Walk, IGF supported 48 primary schools in Northern Uganda with books and pens to help improve literacy and numeracy for up to 10,000 disadvantaged children.
It is well known that children in northern Uganda are well behind their Kampala and urban cousins in terms of school performance. Lacking basic learning materials, children at schools in northern Uganda often sit passively in class listening to the teacher. IGF believes that we all have a responsibility to improve this situation, not only for children at IGF schools, but for all disadvantaged children at other schools too.
This year’s charity walk raised enough money and book donations to provide exercise books and pens to children at 48 primary schools in the Kitgum and Lamwo Districts. Each child received a dozen exercise books each, and some pens. Large donations from companies such as Coca Cola, Movit, Umeme, NBS, and other organisations and schools throughout Uganda, showed just how important it is to give these children the best opportunity to receive the education they deserve.
Events in the lead-up to the Charity Walk on July 16th, included fundraising dinners in Uganda, a car wash, a bicycle race, and other small activities among friends.
On the 3rd anniversary of Mama Irene’s passing, 21st July, staff, children and friends of IGF gathered together in church to celebrate and remember her life. Students from IGF primary schools performed traditional dances and performances. The Chief Guest, Pastor Faustino, spoke of how he met Mama Irene when she first arrived in Kitgum all those years ago, and how he worked alongside her for over 2 decades. Mama Irene’s family spoke of their love for her, and also their love for the Acholi people that their mother had sacrificed so much for. It was a wonderful celebration of a life well lived, and a testament to the love that Mama Irene showed, and the love that people had for Mama Irene in northern Uganda.