Educate! success stories in Mbale

Our Mbale Cluster Educate! mentors Esther and Violet have been very busy this term as they work with their scholars on a variety of projects to enhance their lives and prepare them for their roles as community change makers. Here are two accounts of high points and term activities. First, Esther gives a summary of the Mbale High School students’ community project hand over. Then Violet enthusiastically describes the Cluster Retreat she led.

 Educate! mentors Esther and Violet at the Mbale Cluster Retreat

Mbale High Educate! scholars’ amazing fund raising sets the bar high

By Educate! Mentor, Ester

Mbale High School is one of the Educate! partner schools from the Mbale cluster.

It is one of the schools with mainly unprivileged students. When the Educate! program started there, most of my students hardly had a shilling for lunch despite travelling miles to school in the morning.

After the lesson on resourcefulness, my scholars decided to start a flower project. The project was successful and the club made profits of 30,000 shillings, having started with a capital of 3,000 shillings. Club members used part of the money to contribute to the Mbale cluster retreat and the rest was reinvested in the club.

The club handover ceremony took place on July 10, 2010 with the Mbale mayor as our guest of honor. She donated 50,000 shillings to the club after the club president presented a report about the club history and the activities done during his time in office. The mayor also promised to connect the club to the environment officer at the municipal council. In addition, the students held an auction to fundraise for the club and they were able to raise another 15,200 shillings from this.

I was so proud of the fact that the students agreed to put all the money in the club account and made an agreement with the incoming board not to withdraw the money unless they had a project proposal approved by the club. This is amazing because the students could have chosen to use part of the money for lunch or a small party. This shows what a big change in behavior these students have developed over the two years.    

Students from all four Mbale Cluster schools got to know each other at the Cluster Retreat.

Mbale Cluster Educate! scholars listen to Mount Masaba’s Head Master speak at the cluster retreat.

Everyone is a leader at the Mbale Cluster Retreat

By Educate! Mentor, Violet

Smiles can be slow to come when scholars are around people they have never met before. But at Mbale Cluster Retreat, held at Mount Masaba High School on July 11, 2010, the ice broke easily. It was a great day with lots of entertainment that brought all the Mbale Cluster schools together. It was a great example of the Educate! family coming together. All the cluster schools—from Mbale High School and Budadiri Girls Secondary School to Nabumali High School and the hosts, Mount Masaba High School—participated.

“Everyone is a leader” was the theme of the day and it made for a lively debate. By the end, the majority of the scholars were convinced that everyone is not a leader, at least not according to the usual definition. The consensus was that a leader is an individual who has the ability and willingness to spearhead others positively. The complexity of the arguments made me realize that the Educate! scholars are future leaders.

The networking opportunity was quite remarkable and the scholars took full advantage. Had it been a competition, I would be a winner because I believe I had my scholars making a good number of friends. Everyone there believes in the importance of the social way of life today in Uganda and wants to connect with their fellow Educate! scholars.

I took a deep breath when I announced that the next item on the agenda was the No Talent Show. Oh my goodness, it was incredible! This is what everybody must have been waiting for: performances by mentors, the different schools and districts, as well as individuals scholars. I discovered a lot of talent, even though they were trying not to show it. I have not laughed so much in a long time.

Many believe the proverb “many cooks spoil the soup,” but the outgoing Senior Six Educate! scholars from Mount Masaba proved them wrong; they cooked up a mouthwatering feast. It made non-Educate! scholars really wish they could have been a part of our family. These Senior Six students deserve recognition for their part in the organization of the event.

Mount Masaba Senior Six Educate! scholars pose with the remains of the wonderful lunch they prepared for the cluster retreat.

Educate! keep empowering Africa’s future leaders.