For “One Year Only”? What Happened to That?

Elspeth Dugdale | December 7, 2021

For “One Year Only”? What Happened to That?
Successful School Leaver With a Plan - the 'after' photo

Remember the ‘Bring Them Back’ campaign? We started this in early 2021 to raise funds, to enable WTA to offer bursaries/reduced fees to returning students, so that they could come back as soon as possible once schools reopened. And that turned out to be the key phrase… ‘once. schools. reopened.’


The short version is that the full reopening never happened. A few classes made a brief reappearance back to WTA, some to take exams and some to resume lessons. But this return was frustratingly short-lived. Earlier this year, it was almost impossible to imagine that Ugandan schools could still be in the same position at the end of 2021. Because of this, ServeDirect continues to fundraise and has expanded the ‘Bring Them Back’ campaign for the whole of the next academic year in 2022. Donations and standing orders made throughout 2021 will still be held for returning students – for as soon as they start to come back.

A few students like Tina* (pictured here) were able to return briefly to WTA to take their O’ levels and are now planning the next step. Tina's story is a great example of the bursary scheme working effectively as a 'safety net’ to allow a vulnerable student to finish school and an important foundation of WTA's existence: to allow those in genuine need to access good quality education at an affordable rate.

In the photo above, she is looking extremely happy due to her exam success, having passed all her relevant subjects this year - despite the lengthy school closures. Now a ‘WTA graduate’, she hopes to start nursing training next month. Her situation has not always been this positive.

Sadly, the last time we saw her in early 2020, she was in a very difficult place. Her father had died suddenly, leaving her family with little money to pay for the rest of Tina’s education. The point is that she benefited hugely from the WTA bursary scheme, which allowed her to finish her education at a minimal rate.

The bursary scheme has been set up by ServeDirect in partnership with the school. It allows hundreds of students like Tina to break the chains of poverty and move on in life. If you would like to play a part in helping another vulnerable student, please consider the ongoing bursary scheme. Any donation is significant, but to put it in realistic terms, just £20 per month (or £200 per year) will support a boarding student through secondary school. As ever, we use 100% of each donation towards this scheme.

And with the ‘Advent Alternative Gift’ scheme in mind, donating to support a returning WTA student is a brilliant & inspirational gift for a teacher, educator or another student that you know. Please donate via the green button on the homepage:

 *not her real name, creating a bit of distance


A 'before' photo, from S4 last year