£2,000 will help furnish a dining area for pupils at the Isaac Newton High School

THERE are very few educational facilities in Africa that encourage pupils to embrace positive attitudes towards LGBT people, but the Isaac Newton High School in Katera, Masaka, is one notable exception, providing lessons based on Humanist principles rather than on divisive religious dogma and fear of ‘the other.’

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Director of the school is Peter Kisirinya who says:

I am very open to the gay community the world over and I have a positive outlook. As you know I have been creating a supportive environment in school for children of all sexual orientations. I am happy that PTT [Pink Triangle Trust] and other gay groups have been supporting humanist Schools for some time.

When the PTT learned that the school had a pressing need for dining furniture it donated £2,000 of the £3,000 required to provide 100 chairs and 50 dining tables.

When Steve Hurd, chair of the Ugandan Schools Trust learned of the donation he responded by saying:

Peter will be delighted to be able to get the dining hall up and running. He has wanted the facility for years so that dining can become a social occasion in the school.

PTT Secretary George Broadhead added:

The PTT has always tried to support struggling Humanist organisations and, prior to this, has provided funding for two other Humanist schools in Uganda. It has also funded the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust and Nigerian Humanist Association.

The school is also supported by UK-based North East Humanists who provide scholarships for students.

They point out that Isaac Newton is a humanist school which accepts children of all religions. It provides education for around 130 students, who study subjects such as biology, physics, chemistry, agriculture, fine arts, music, political education and history

The school caters for orphaned children who are running families on their own, children in disadvantaged families who cannot afford secondary education, abandoned children who can be placed in foster homes near the school, and children who can pay fees to generate income and support the disadvantaged children.

NEH raises funds to support students through a year at the school, with the children sponsored ranging from 12 to 17 years of age.

The annual cost of tuition for each child is £300, including a school uniform.

Jean and Barrie Berkley from NEH, as well as Roger McAdam and Jack Jeffrey have all visited the school which continues to grow and thrive with the support of North East Humanists and other Humanist groups.

• If you support the Pink Triangle Trust’s mission to promote humanism, fight bigotry and fund LGBT groups, you can make a donation by clicking this link. If you wish to report any typos or errors, please email barry@freethinker.co.uk