Educate! kicked off the 2015 school year in Uganda last month, further scaling our model to reach 250 schools and more than 87,000 students! This means that we’re reaching 350 youth per school, a number verified by recent monitoring data, which found that in addition to the 40 Scholars who directly receive our leadership and entrepreneurship training program, at least 310 additional students per school benefit from other components of the Educate! Experience. These include working with Experience Association teachers and other school-wide activities such as Student Business Clubs, required peer mentorship by Scholars and Community Days. This is a significant increase from our initial very conservative estimate of 60 additional students impacted through our model.
Educate! also launched the year with Mentor initiations and community days that were filled with the experiential learning methods on which our model is based. This year almost 100 Mentors participated in these events, which embodied Educate!’s passion for making learning fun. Our Program Officer, Jane Sebuyungo, shared that the Mentors, many of whom are top Graduates of the Educate! program, were giggling with excitement and unable to contain their joy. Mentors were divided into teams and participated in a series of games and a challenging competition to show off their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. The activity that generated the most excitement was the Olympic 100 meter race to pick letters of the alphabet from the buckets at the other end of the race and return to construct a word related to the Leadership and Entrepreneurship Course.
The initiation also included a community service day where Mentors experienced the power of teamwork and giving back to their high school community by cleaning up trash, gardening and cleaning over 700 chairs. Our Program Officer, Jane Sebuyungo, told us that the teamwork, “was done swiftly with beads of sweat trickling down their smiling faces. The Mentors got their joy and passion from the contentment of having done a community activity that betters society.”