In this, our tenth year of operation, we at Classrooms for Africa are reminded of one of our very first projects. The project was to come along side a Ugandan community to help them fulfill their dream of building a high school. The goal of the community was to provide a safe, nurturing environment for students graduating from the Hope Primary School in Masaka, a project they had started 10 years earlier. In addition the School wanted to help the many young people, especially girls, who had fled abuse in the north of the country caused by the war and the abduction of children.
Although the founders, with the support of the school community, had purchased a large piece of land outside of the town of Masaka, they did not have the resources needed to construct the buildings to make the dream a reality. Representatives from Classrooms for Africa had met founders Vincent and Mary at a teacher’s conference where they had shared their dream. Although Classrooms for Africa was still in the stage of being registered we were able to provide some funds to help to start the ball rolling. By 2010 the first four-classroom block was completed and an administrative building was well underway. Hope Comprehensive High School opened that year and was given accreditation by the Uganda education authorities. Initial enrolment was around 60 students in S1 and S2 (Grades 8 and 9).
Since that time several other buildings have been constructed including large dormitories for girls and boys, ablution facilities, a second classroom block and a kitchen. Donors from Western Canada funded all of these buildings. Over the years the school leaders have worked, with the support of the community, to develop the grounds, create playing fields and provide resources such as a solar powered computer laboratory.
Today the school offers S1 though S5, with S6 to be added in 2019, and enrolls over 465 students! The leadership and staff of Hope Comprehensive have played a significant role in providing teacher professional development in the area and in supporting founding and growth of ACSI Uganda. The students do well in national examinations, written at the end of S4, and the school is ranked in the top 10% in the district. Many of the School’s graduates go on to further studies at universities and colleges throughout the country.
The story of Hope Comprehensive High School reminds how rewarding is it to take the hand of a struggling, committed community and come alongside with resources to make a dream come true. Thank you donors and leadership!