Uganda: Congolese primary student scores highest
31 March 2011

Student, Landry Kalembo, proudly receives his certificate from JRS after completing his English language classes, Kampala, Uganda. (Susi Moeller/ JRS)
“Who knows, JRS might have sponsored one of Uganda’s most successful businessmen or scientists of the future!”
Kampala, 31 March 2011  This academic year, a JRS-sponsored Congolese primary four student, fulfilled a promise to himself by scoring the highest grade in his class.  

The ambitious 12-year-old Landry Kalembo attends St Peter‘s Primary School in Nsambya, a part of the Ugandan capital Kampala. 

Arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008 with his parents and eight siblings, the family settled in Kirombe, a suburb of Kampala. At the time, his chances of attending school were very slim. His family just didn’t have enough money to pay for the nine children to attend school.

Determined to excel

A year later, they heard about the JRS English classes and Landry decided to enrol. He was one of the best students in the course and by the end of the term was nearly fluent in English. 

“We were so inspired by his achievements and courage; we decided he would be the first JRS-sponsored student to attend a regular primary school in Kampala. In January last year, Landry enrolled in St. Peter’s,” said Stephen Kuteesa, JRS Project Director in Kampala.

Throughout the school year, Landry presented his score papers to JRS. He soon turned out to be among the best in his class. During the second term he became the third best. “By the end of the year I will be the first,” Landry said at that time. When the results were announced recently, it turned out he fulfilled his promise.

Education support continues

Encouraged by Landry’s astounding academic performance and determination to succeed, JRS continues to support his schooling costs.

“Who knows, JRS might have sponsored one of Uganda’s most successful businessmen or scientists of the future!”, said Mr. Kuteesa.

Meanwhile, some of Landry’s older sisters have also started to attend the JRS English class, following the good example of their younger brother.

JRS programmes

JRS has assisted urban refugees in Kampala since 1998. The Urban Emergency Programme responds to the urgent unmet needs of the new arrivals, asylum seekers and most vulnerable refugees. It helps refugees survive in a situation new to them through provision of information, food and non-food items, rent payment, medical assistance, transport and psychosocial support.

JRS also offers English language lessons and advocates for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. Since its inception in 1998 the project has supported more than 18,000 refugees and asylum seekers with material assistance, advocacy and English lessons.

Approximately 33,000 refugees and asylum seekers live in Kampala. Like most forcibly displaced persons, they are destitute and disoriented, unsure of how to proceed and face difficulties accessing basic services. Most of them come from the neighbouring or nearby countries from where they have fled armed conflict, civil strife, persecution and other serious human rights violations.

Education is the core of many JRS activities in eastern Africa. In 2009 alone, JRS provided education services to approximately 55,500 young people in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Press Contact Information
Angelika Mendes
+254 20 3874152