Meet Sam, the newest member of the Arlington family. Not only is he our new Procurement and Facilities Officer, but he is also an AAH alumni! Sam entered Arlington in its first year (2004) as a P5 student. He didn’t know any English and couldn’t read or write in the local language. “But when I went to school, through Arlington, I really changed. I transformed. I am now able to speak and write well in English and Lugisu, I am able to do so many things.”
Fast forward 12 years and he is now a grown man. He’s confident, well put-together and well spoken in both English and the local language. He’s also an active member of his community and he has just finished his courses for a degree in Business Administration from Uganda Christian University!
Growing up, Sam never would have guessed that he would continue his education up to university, let alone get a prestigious job soon after completing his courses, but he doesn’t take it for granted. He knows how much Arlington has helped him out and he wants to make sure that others get same opportunity. “I take this as a very good opportunity. It has opened a world of hope for me.”
Sam also knows this isn’t just an opportunity to continue his personal and family transformation, but he knows he can use his position as a way to inspire younger students. While working at Arlington and interacting with the students, Sam hopes to “act as a model to them.” He says, “ they are going to see me as a person who has gone through AAH and is now someone who is working. I think it is good, because AAH students will be encouraged to work hard at school … and they will really realize the benefit of having an education.”
Sam’s desire to give back to his community doesn’t stop in being a role model. As the head of the Arlington Old Students Association, he already has plans to also become a sponsor for an Arlington student and to encourage his fellow alumni to do the same. He is confident his fellow students can get together to keep the inspirational change Arlington has instilled in his community to continue.
July 1st was a joyous day for the entire Arlington Academy of Hope community. After 12 years of working towards getting our children to a higher education, four of our students received their diplomas. Co-founder Joyce and many members of our Uganda staff were in attendance at the Mukono campus of Uganda Christian University (UCU) to watch them walk across the stage and celebrate their success and bright futures.
Three students received Bachelors of Arts in Public Administration and one received a Bachelors of Science in Development studies.
Attending a top university in Uganda is a dream come true for students from Bududa. They couldn’t have done it without AAH. Nabutsale says that, “I would not have reached where I am today and would not have seen my dreams come to pass. I would have dropped out of school and would have been married off already with many kids in the village if I was not a part of AAH.”
As the graduates are getting over the initial excitement around receiving their diplomas, they are now focusing on getting jobs and setting up their career. Nabulo is one student who has always put in extra effort to make sure she has a bright future. As a student, she competed and won the position of Female Youth Councillor of the Bududa District. Now, with a diploma she knows she will go even further.
“With my degree in Public Administration and Management, I can head an institution or even start my own. I can mobilize my community and even sensitize them on any matter,” say Nabulo.
Arlington Academy of Hope has done what it set out to do. Provide children with not only a quality education and the skills to achieve their goals, but it has also provided them with a positive outlook on the future. “AAH has given me hope” says Nabutsale. “I believe that in a few years to come, my goals will be realized since I have already achieved one of graduating."
Aug 10, 2016
Caroline Returns to Arlington Junior School
By Dick Burk - President, AAH
Teacher Caroline and some of her P2 students
Meet Teacher Caroline Muyama, who a mere nine years ago was a student at Arlington Junior School and is now back as its P2 (Second Grade) teacher. After Arlington, Caroline attended a boarding secondary school far from the village, earning both "O" and "A" levels before securing her teaching diploma. During secondary school breaks, all AAH students are required to return to the village and contribute to school, health clinic and community projects, so it is natural for many to return after graduation. In addition to Caroline, we have two young nurses, former AJS students, that have returned to work in our Tierney Health Clinic in Bupoto.
This is the kind of strategic, long-term investment in young people made by our many wonderful donors that is now really paying off for these individuals and the community as a whole. In addition to the primary school (AJS), Arlington Academy of Hope is supporting almost 300 secondary students and 79 university/vocational stuidents this year. Many of them report a desire to return to their villages and continue contributing to their economic development. These former students also serve as role models for the younger students to excell in school and then give back to their communities.
Look at this picture and determine who is happier: Caroline or the students she is teaching?