Country Director Asia Kamukama is careful and objective when she selects schools for us to visit. After working for Sister Schools for almost eight years, Asia finally recommended Namulaba, the primary school she attended as a child, for our consideration. Asia’s parents still live in same village, in the same house, where Asia grew up and they invited us to come for lunch after our school visit.
As a young child, Asia carried three heavy bricks on her head from home to school every week as part of her family’s contribution. Students at Namulaba still make bricks for the school, which only has one permanent block of classrooms.
Two classes are taught in a rough timber structure and still more are housed in what used to be teacher’s quarters. Since the container hasn’t yet been released from customs yard (should be this coming Tuesday or Wednesday), all we had to leave with them today was a soccer ball and a small playground ball. You wouldn’t have known the limited nature of those gifts by the cheers all around when we pulled them out of the duffel bag.
After the formal tour and presentation, we drove down the hill to Asia’s parents’ home. Asia’s mother and sister had prepared a filling and delicious meal of rice, matoke and groundnut sauce. Then Asia’s mother took us across the road to see the station where the community collects its water, where an underground spring surfaces. We also met the family cows, used for milk and to breed cattle for sale, and some of their sheep.
Asia’s family supported their children’s education any way that they could, from building classrooms by hand to chairing School Management Committees. It’s harder here in Uganda than in the US, but they’re like families everywhere. They want the best for their children and grandchildren and know that education is the key.