We found out recently some truly incredible news. Joseph Munyambanza, one of the Educate! students, was admitted to first class of students at African Leadership Academy. ALA is a model advanced level secondary school opening in South Africa this year. They only accept 100 students and received applications from all over Africa (including over 100 from Uganda alone!). The admission process was tough. Two rounds of applications as well as a day long practical interview. It is truly amazing that Joseph was admitted to ALA, but I am confident that he deserves it. His work in and out of school from starting a tutoring program benefitting over 60 students, to receiving top grades, to helping COBURWAS develop programs for the youth in Kyangwali Refugee Camp is unprecedented. I believe his personality and attitude on life will make him an integral part of the first ALA student body. You can also read a blog post from Joseph below.
Educate! Leadership Institute
We recently held the first phase of the Educate! leadership institute at our partner school, Mt. Masaba HS in Mbale, Uganda. It was a one day program which focused on socially responsible leadership and social entrepreneurship for teachers and administrators at Mt. Masaba. We of course want to hold the institute for students eventually, but one of the things that we have learned is that the culture of a school from the headmaster down to the teachers, to the students is one of the most important factors in promoting creative thinking and the values associated with social responsibility. As a result we began by holding the seminar for teachers and administrators at Mt. Masaba. Once the students begin to develop social enterprises through the social entrepreneurshp club developing at Mt. Masaba, we will hold the seminar for the students as well.
It was good to have a working draft of the curriculum set and ready to go, and while I think there are some improvements we need to make, overall I thought the first run was a success. We used some material from Cornerstone, a trend-setting school here which focuses on teaching universal principles that cut across time and place – concepts such as integrity and respect. (Josephats, an alumni of Cornerstone, who now works for the organization presented that material.) Madanda and Margaret (two of the founding members of Mt. Masaba who are on our advisory board) and I presented the rest of the material which included the importance of a vision and mission in leadership, leadership is global, social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, and case studies of Nelson Mandela and Fabio Rosa (a classic example of a social entrepreneur in Brazil).
Over the past two weeks we’ve been cultivating the relationships we have with our partner schools, introducing the Educate! program to many different organizations and individuals, and working to receive permission from the Ministry of Education to begin implementing the four aspects of the Educate! program at our partner schools.
The goal of the leadership institute, as well as the Educate! program as a whole, is to encourage and support students as they do work similar to that done by Joseph Munyambanza. The leadership skills are important, but the self-confidence is just as important to a student’s success. The Educate! program aims to encourage both on a large scale among diverse students across Uganda.