Najjanankumbi Young Christian Secondary School is a mixed boarding and day school located in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. Educate! has worked in Najjanankumbi since 2013, and the program has made a huge impact on both students and teachers. One teacher involved in Educate!’s teacher training component has been selected in a nationwide innovations in teaching competition for ideas he developed in Educate! seminars. This teacher is a huge advocate of Educate!’s model and interactive teaching methods and will be involved in the final round of the innovations competition in February 2015. Najjanankumbi’s head teacher has also been extremely supportive of his students’ Educate! projects. The head teacher keeps a scrapbook in his office full of photos of the Educate! Business Club activities and is always encouraging his students to aim higher.
When Educate! started working with 2014’s newest class of Scholars, none of the students had personal businesses and many were intimidated by the idea of balancing a start-up enterprise with their schoolwork. As part of the Educate! program, students formed a Student Business Club at the start of the summer and together determined to create a student bakery and a stone paver business.
Since students had little startup capital, they initially created the bakery by borrowing equipment from family and friends in the community. They made a variety of snacks and treats and sold them to students for a fair price that made a good profit. By the end of the summer, the students were so successful with this endeavor that they used the profits to buy their own oven. Students are now able to produce enough baked goods to sell to several grocery stores in their district.
The Educate! students at Najjanankumbi also began making stone pavers in an effort to make a profit and to help their school construct a driveway on the compound. Students learned the ins and outs of stone paver making and selling, and similar to the bakery initiative, began advertising stone pavers to businesses outside of the school. As a result, Najjanankumbi now sells pavers to shopping centers and construction sites and reinvests this profit back into the Educate! Student Business Club.