About

The Rakai district, where KAASO is located, was one of the regions hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS crisis, leaving a devastating trail of child-headed families in its wake. Grandparents were left to care for dozens of orphaned grandchildren and the community struggled to cope. One couple decided to do something about it.

History

In 1999, Dominic and Rose Mukwaya created St. Paul KAASO Primary School to enable young orphans to get a decent education – at no cost. The school began with just 12 children and by the end of the first year there were 49 students. 

Classes were taught in a thatched roof hut and resources were extremely limited, but Dominic and Rose persevered. Their mission was to ensure that even those unable to pay school fees would get the education they deserved. Over time, KAASO’s reputation spread and parents wanted to send their children to the school. In order to be sustainable, Dominic and Rose agreed to take in these fee-paying students, helping to boost the school’s income and supplement the orphans. While KAASO helps to provide free education to orphans, it is not an orphanage and care is taken to ensure boarding students return home to their families or guardians during the school holidays.

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Today, KAASO educates over 600 primary school children every year, charging fees only to those who can afford to pay and supporting those who cannot, with a whole raft of students in the middle whose families offer food or services in return for their child’s education. As one of the top schools in the district, KAASO provides a high level of education and academic excellence not commonly available to those unable to pay school fees. Thanks to KAASO, students who would otherwise have struggled to go to school now have a truly bright future. 

The KAASO Family

KAASO is not just a school or a volunteer project, it’s truly a family. The staff, teachers, children, volunteers and the wider community all work together to make KAASO what it is.

Dominic Mukwaya: Director & Founder

Born in the village of Kabira where KAASO is located, Dominic struggled financially to put himself through school. Eventually, he managed to graduate not only with a teaching diploma, but finally a Bachelor of Education in 2006 when he was 38 years old. Dominic created St Paul KAASO in 1999 together with his wife Rose.

Rose Mukwaya: Assistant Director & Founder

Originally from Kayunga, east of Kampala, Rose is the daughter of a prominent magistrate. Rose met Dominic while completing her teaching certificate at Ggaba Teachers College in Kampala, and after graduating, they both moved to Kabira. Rose initially worked as an English teacher at local government schools before creating KAASO with Dominic.

Teacher Enock: Dean of Studies & P7 Class Teacher

Teacher Enock grew up just down the road from KAASO in Kasaali village. He joined KAASO in 2003 as a social studies teacher, eventually becoming the class teacher for Primary Seven. He is an integral part of the academics at KAASO and has helped guide many Primary Seven students to first grades in their Primary Leaving Examinations.

 

Teacher Sarah: School Bursar

Teacher Sarah first came to KAASO in 2002 as one of the school's first teachers. Having studied Nursery Teaching at Nile Vocational Institute in Jinja, she headed the nursery department for many years before taking on the full-time role of school bursar. She is from Kibale village in Kooki county, but KAASO is now home to her.

Nurse Shiba

Nurse Shiba: School Nurse

Shiba came to KAASO in 2010 where she took up her position as School Nurse. In 2016, thanks to the support of Share Uganda, Shiba graduated from Kampala School of Health Sciences with a Diploma in Clinical Medicine. Shiba oversees the Hampton KAASO Share Uganda Children’s Clinic. 
 

Emma Outteridge: Volunteer Coordinator

Originally from New Zealand, Emma first came to KAASO in 2009 for six months with two fellow Kiwis. She quickly fell in love with the school and now returns every year. She created the Kiwi Sponsorships programme and the Suubi Sanyu student microloan fund in addition to the various fundraisers she runs for KAASO. She currently lives in Bermuda with her husband, Nathan.

Friends of KAASO

For almost two decades, KAASO has been forming strong relationships with various organisations, schools, and NGOs around the world.