Project #11272

Educate Deserving Poor Children in Uganda!

by Arlington Academy of Hope, Inc.

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.


Teacher Caroline and some of her P2 students
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?

The students at Arlington Academy of Hope in Bumwalukani, Uganda have had great success.  100% of our students pass the National Leaving Exams at the end of 7th grade in the top 2 divisions and are able to go on to secondary schools throughout Uganda.  We are so pleased with the results, that we are now reaching out to other schools in the area and sharing our ideas and resources. 

Some of the areas in which we've contributed include the following:

  • 135 books donated to two schools
  • Money for student lunch subsidy
  • Teacher training programs for the teachers at the outreach schools
  • Exam preparation materals to help students prepare for their National Leaving Exams
  • 14 secondary school graduates who are serving as volunteers at 6 schools.  These graduates have a 6 month time lapse between secondary school and post-secondary programs.  They have had some training from current primary school teachers and are using their skills to help out at nearby primary schools.
  • Scholarships given to the outstanding boy and girl at several outreach schools for secondary school tuition

Recently we received the results of the national exam given to our students who had completed 6 years of secondary school.  The majority of the students in our program passed and will go on to university/college programs or vocational schools.  Most of the post-secondary programs begin in mid-August.  During the time from graduation until the beginning of the next school year, many of these students come back to the village to help out in the schools.

Your donation will help us expand these programs to include additional students in other schools.  We look forward to your continuing support to help fulfill the dreams of these deserving children.

Primary School Graduation
Primary School Graduation

Arlington Academy of Hope's (AAH)  primary school and the Ugandan secondary schools are in recess, and both start the new school year on February 22nd.  Our primary students are enjoying time with family, and helping them out,  before school starts. Some of our secondary and university students are also back in the village, doing community service and getting prepared to head back to school. They also mentor the younger students.

We had races in Arlington, VA and in Uganda to raise funds for education. Most of our teachers and students in Uganda participated in the race there

Once again, the 7th graders excelled and passed the national Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) with flying colors!  All of our 7th graders who took the exam passed, so they are able to continue their education in secondary school.  All scored in the top two grade levels, with most getting "As".  The only sad note was the passing of Miriam, a 7th grader who had suffered from leukemia since over a year ago. We brought her classwork and materials she requested to the hospital, and provided medicines and family support to give her dignity in a terrible situation.  Such a brave girl - she insisted on travelling 6 hours from Kampala to try and take the exam so she could graduate with her class.  Unfortunately she was too ill to take the exam, and passed away shortly thereafter.  We were all very saddened by this news, as we had tried very hard to help her get better.  We can admire her perseverance and courage.  She was steadfast in wanting to continue her education.

We have three groups of teacher trainers from Marymount scheduled to travel to Uganda in the next few months.  This is invaluable in-service training for our teachers as well as the teachers at nearby public schools (our "outreach" schools.)

We are awaiting results of university entrance exams, to see who will join our students at that level. This will be the 4th year we've had secondary school graduates go to university; we have over 70 in tertiary education now!

Thank you for being a part of our success! We couldn't do it without you. Please know it is making a real difference in the lives of the children that have so little.

Staff and students enjoyed a race!
Staff and students enjoyed a race!
Our students love to read!
Our students love to read!

Reading is a priority for us at Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH).   In October, our primary school in Uganda wrapped up its 10th annual reading challenge with a reading carnival.  This Year’s theme was "Wild about Reading”, and included lessons on animals and habitat around the globe. Math exercises were included too. During the event, all seven grades presented poems, songs and skits about the "Wild about Reading” theme. We invited representatives from the government and local schools to come to the reading carnival, so they could appreciate our emphasis on reading.

Over several months, a total of 71,987  books were read! One girl, Felistus, read 608 books and broke the standing record of 600 books which was set  in 2012!  The 2nd place reader, Sebastian, read 562 books and the 3rd place reader read 560 books. Teachers quizzed the students to ensure they understood what they had read.  The guest of honor was the editor of a national children's magazine called "Toto". She was very excited when she saw first grade children reading fluently. She randomly asked some to read aloud, and they all read with ease. Their enhanced reading skills makes the students proud, and many help their siblings at home to learn to read.  One student, Mary, is even teaching her mom and grandmother  to read!

We thank our teachers, who put in lots of extra time over the last few months to help our enthusiastic readers.

Congratulations to the winners and for breaking the record! 

Learning about animals & habitat around the world.
Learning about animals & habitat around the world.
Students are proud of their reading certificates!
Students are proud of their reading certificates!

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Organization Information

Arlington Academy of Hope, Inc.

Location: Arlington, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Laura Barrantes
Executive Director
Arlington, VA Uganda

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