God Kado Secondary School
The need for a secondary school (grades 9-12) in Kager was tremendous since most students from the village’s three primary schools (grades 1-8) can’t afford to travel long distances to neighboring schools (8 miles) or pay boarding fees. During the October 2009 Village Visit #4, the villagers expressed in a town meeting their desire to start a secondary school in their village. Over the next three months, the JVP leaders in Kager and Indiana developed a plan to utilize an empty school building (already constructed by the government but never successfully used) and open a school by the start of the 2010 school year.
With the leadership of Andrew Aduda, Education Champion, and Lead Champion, David Kayando, the village of Kager rallied together and recruited a full class of 43 students, a headmistress and 5 teachers to run the school. The JVP Global Partners in Indiana committed to supplying school uniforms, books, and desks and other one-time supplies. By the time the new school year began in February 2010, God Kado Secondary School (GKSS) had officially opened its doors!
When Linn Asbury, Education Global Partner, went to Kager for Village Visit #5 in May 2010, the school’s teachers and headmistress were the first people to greet her. Even though the community is still in the process of raising money for their salaries, this committed staff team has been working hard. The headmistress even came out of retirement to help start the school. Linn was able to encourage them and show JVP’s appreciation by giving solar lanterns to each person on staff.
Linn was introduced to the Schol Planning Committee and Fundraising Cmmittee members who are responsible to finalize the school’s registration with the government and raise money for the teacher’s salaries – both big tasks! Many of them were also parents of the students attending GKSS. They were very pleased to meet Linn as a special guest all the way from America, and also grateful for JVP’s partnership and support through school uniforms, desks, and books.
The best part of the visit came when all 43 students, the pioneering first class of GKSS, came to join the assembly. As they filed in the room with their matching uniforms and shy grins, they were an impressive sight to see. And it was more than just appearances – some of the top students had performed better than those from neighboring schools on the first trimester’s exams! In addition to awarding solar lanterns to the top 12 students, Linn also gave a second set of uniforms to the school and 3 soccer balls – it was a big hit with everyone!
Because of JVP’s holistic approach, the opening of GKSS is improving more than the education sector of the community. Relating to the area of food and farming, the land behind the school is used as a farm project that will one day help provide for the students’ lunch meal. In terms of economic development, GKSS is providing jobs to school cooks, teachers, and local seamstresses who made the uniforms, one of whom is Jayne, a successful JVP Kijiji Benki participant.
Most of all, GKSS is an encouraging partnership between JVP and Kager because it is based on strong community involvement that will ensure the continued growth of the school. Because so many have invested in this project, it is JVP’s prayer that GKSS will have a lasting, transformational impact on the village. The long-term plan is to add one new grade each year so in four years the school will be a fully functioning secondary school with 180 students. For the rest of 2010, the plan is to make improvements to the school (kitchen, latrines, windows) that will allow GKSS to receive government certificaiton and begin receiving governmental funds for teaching salaries and operating expenses.