MTN Uganda, in collaboration with the government, on Tuesday commissioned a state-of-the-art dormitory at the Salama School for the Blind in Mukono District. The ceremony was presided over by the First Lady of Uganda and Minister of Educateion and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni.
MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire who welcomed the First Lady said the Shs295 million facility was being inaugurated as MTN Uganda marked its 25th anniversary, a representation of a significant stride in enhancing accommodation and overall learning environments for visually impaired pupils.
Salama School for the Blind, a beacon of hope for visually impaired children and young adults in Uganda, tragically lost 11 students on October 25, 2022, underscoring the pressing need for improved facilities to ensure the safety and well-being of its pupils.
“The newly constructed dormitory, built with a 70-bed capacity, is fully furnished with 40 beds and mattresses. The facility includes self-contained units and caretaker quarters, providing a comfortable and secure living space for the school’s 70 boys and girls. Safety measures include state-of-the-art firefighting equipment, security cameras, and fire detection systems”, Mbire said.
This development is poised to significantly benefit the 36 girls currently attending the school, ensuring their comfort and safety as they pursue their education.
In addition to the dormitory, the Salama School for the Blind has been equipped with a cutting-edge computer library designed specifically for visually impaired children.
The computer lab features ten computers, internet connectivity, and specialized software tailored to support their unique learning needs. This facility is a crucial resource that will empower students, granting them access to vital educational resources and fostering academic excellence.
First Lady and Minister for Education and Sports, Mrs Janet Museveni, commended MTN for its support, highlighting the transformative impact it will have on the education of visually impaired children.
“Today’s commissioning of the dormitory and computer lab is a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together across sectors, transcending boundaries and affiliations. It embodies the spirit of unity and shared purpose,” she stated.
Mrs. Museveni encouraged optimism and collaboration, emphasizing the collective ability to overcome challenges and build a better future for all.
Over the years, MTN Uganda has collaborated with various organizations, such as Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), to support the government in delivering education for all.
Through partnerships and initiatives, MTN Uganda has implemented 15 infrastructural projects in various educational institutions, expanding access to quality education for thousands of learners.
MTN Uganda has further played a pivotal role by providing 42 computer labs in various educational institutions and contributing Shs 36 billion to the Uganda Communications Universal Service and Access Fund for the year 2023.
The collaboration with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance gave rise to the MTN ACE program, empowering 185 youths with digital skills.
MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer, Sylvia Mulinge, expressed the company’s commitment to making a positive impact in the communities it serves.
“The completion of this dormitory and the provision of a state-of-the-art computer library underscore MTN Uganda’s mission to empower communities, support education, and create a brighter future,” she said.
MTN Uganda firmly believe that education is a powerful driver of development and one of the most potent instruments for reducing poverty, improving health, achieving gender equality, promoting peace, and ensuring stability goals that resonate with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.
Ms. Mulinge said the new initiative aligns seamlessly with MTN Uganda’s Ambition 2025 strategy, which aims to lead digital solutions for Africa’s progress, including education.
She said MTN is steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that every child, regardless of status and economic background, enjoys the benefits of a modern connected life.
This commissioning marks a new chapter in the collaborative efforts of MTN Uganda and the government to empower communities and create a brighter future through accessible and quality education.