Stacey and I arrived in Uganda on the 1st. Boris had done an incredible job setting up productive meetings for us. In the past two days alone we have met with someone from Kyambogo university one of the top universities here, Leslie Wayhill, who has lived here for three years and started her own NGO in Uganda, and we are about to meet with the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Education in about half an hour.
In the taxi buses, between meetings, or at nights before bed we have been talking about where best to take Educate! in the future. As we are talking about how to best improve our operations, the previous month Boris has spent here and the first hand understanding of our programs he has gained have been invaluable.
Although we disagree on many of the smaller issues, we are both in agreeance on our organization's broader mission. We are determined to help students develop into leaders and empower them to influence change here in Uganda. We now need to figure out the best way to develop such leaders. In Boris's blog he mentions some of the ideas we have had. As donors and supporters of Educate!, we need your input into these ideas and will greatly appreciate any suggestions you have..
The highlight of the trip for me so far came on the first day. We found out that Marcel Bahati, Wereje Benson, and Daniel Muhwezi, three Educate! students originally from Kyangwali Refugee Camp who graduated from secondary school this year, were accepted to the top two universities in Uganda: Makerere and Kyambogo. Not only that, but both Bahati and Muhwezi were accepted in IT, one of the most desirable and employable concentrations of study, and Wereje was accepted in teaching, which was his top choice and will be integral to him accomplishing his dream of setting up an orphanage after university. These three boys are among the first Educate! students to graduate from secondary school and apply for university. Their success is a powerful indication that we are accomplishing our goal of helping the students we sponsor to receive a quality education and become leaders in the future.
Finally, I am excited for Aimee and Beth Heckel to join us on the 14th of August. Not only will they be able to hopefully see the success our current student have had, but we also hope to show them where we would like to take Educate! in the future. Personally, I believe Educate! is so lucky to have suporters such as Beth and Aimee who care enough about the organization to travel all the way to Uganda!