Burim's 2012 Uganda Blog #2–First Classes!!
March 14, 2012 | By wickley wickley
Feb 23, 2012: It feels great to be back in Uganda and start teaching again! This year we started a new program at the Gulu Public Primary School, and we are still at Gulu Central High school and the Pabo IDP Camp.
In Pabo we added a new primary school, so now our music program is in two primary [elementary] schools in Pabo–Agole Primary and Labala Primary Schools. The village of Labala is about 10 miles from the Pabo camp. We are also teaching the “street kids” of the Pabo camp (children who don’t go to school) and we are now trying to bring the street kids and the school kids together in one class, and this is working very well. They all like it this way, and even though these “street kids” don’t go to school, they come for our program and all the children have fun together. We decided to try this because it takes so long to get to Pabo from Gulu and we want to teach as many children there as possible.
We also have a new group of young adults to train. They are “dropouts”–they all either quit school or never attended. They are also in the village of Labala, near Pabo. There are no organizations doing anything for the children or teenagers of Labala, so the school director is letting us use the school to teach this group. The first class with them was very challenging, because they do not speak English and they can’t write or read, even though they are all between 18 and 25 years old. Fortunately I had Cambel (one of our youth volunteers) there to help me, and the next time I had Denis and Isaac helping (all are young volunteers from Gulu).
I also taught my first class (of this trip) in Gulu Central High School, where I met some of our old students. I went there last week and together with the teacher Margaret Atimango, who is in charge of our program at Gulu Central, entered each classroom and gave a short presentation and announced that new students could register. 120 students signed up to attend our classes before I even started teaching!
At Gulu Central our program is now officially part of their school program, but the students are not required to join the music program– it is only for those who want to come. Irene, our Youth Volunteer who goes to school at Gulu Central, helps me teach there, and we are going to have to teach two groups now, the group of our old students and the new students who have signed up to attend our classes. I’m really looking forward to working with Irene at Gulu Central, and the other volunteers at our other locations!