For our 4th day in Uganda, we woke up early to head to Matugga to see the children. Support the Amahoro Children’s Home in Matugga was our original reason for coming to Uganda years ago.
Our dear friend Caleb and his wife Peace have provided strong and consistent leadership for the Amahoro Children’s Homes. What started out as just a dream has continued to grow and now consists of two very successful children’s homes, a primary school, a farm and several vocational programs. We started with 100 students when the Amahoro Community School opened in 2018. In the 2021-2022 school year, there were more than 300 students enrolled.
The Amahoro Community School looked better than ever when we pulled in the gates at Matugga. We were greeted by 460 children who were perched in every available vantage point to see the bus pull in. When the doors of the bus opened, all 460 of the Amahoro students converged on the bus with cheering and pure joy. It was beautiful chaos!
After this energetic greeting, the students went back to their classrooms and our group went by each classroom to say hello. As school resumed, we got a tour of the grounds. The school looks immaculate. We also enjoyed seeing the changes and adjustments that have been made since we visited last. The original children’s dormitory that started the project in 2011 is now the nursery school and kindergarten. The dining hall is now the first and second grade classrooms. The main school building houses third through seventh grade classrooms. Up the hill we have two large dormitories one for boys and one for girls.
As we continued up the hill, we were in for a big surprise. A secondary school building is under construction with plan to open by February 1 of 2023! In case you are not familiar with Ugandas education system (modeled after the British system), a secondary school is similar to High School. The walls and roof of the new secondary school building are in place. A different group from the US has given a generous sum towards the construction of the secondary school. Finally, the last thing on the hill is a large soccer field, located next to the secondary school.
In the near future we would like to build a guest house for visiting teachers and groups like ours that would allow us to stay on site. This would also provide an opportunity for teachers from United States to be involved in supporting the Amahoro school. Teachers could come spend a month or two or more and work closely with the students and children at Amahoro.
Although Caleb is still ironing out the details, we anticipate the secondary school will need some additional buildings for science labs, culinary arts, and for vocational training such as the Amahoro Sewing School. Interestingly there is a vacant property adjoining the Amahoro property which has electricity running to it. The fact that it borders our school grounds is very intriguing. Our goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of children in Uganda and to help them have bright futures. As we continue to dream about how to serve more children in Uganda, we may look into the property next to Amahoro as it would give us room to grow.
Sustainability is also a major goal of our work. Currently the costs of running the Amahoro Community School is $14,000 US a month. The Amahoro children attend the school for free and children from the community who can afford tuition, pay tuition to attend. This generates a little over $12,000 a month. As the school continues to grow, Caleb expects full sustainability within a couple years.
During our day at Matugga, many of the children would come and ask us to send messages to previous trip participants hoping that they may return on another trip. There were too many names and friends to mention but the kids miss those previous trip members.
We will return to the Matugga Home on Sunday for more celebration. After enjoying a beautiful day at Matugga we drove to Jinja and the Nile River. Upon arrival the Nile was spectacular. Our room overlooks one of the rapids and it couldn’t be any more beautiful and tranquil. As I write this, the sun is setting over the Nile and I am filled with hope for what the future will bring.