ON LOCATION // The ultimate field trip

I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to Gulu, Uganda with my work wife/partner in crime/cohort/other staff writer, Azy. For 10 days we toured Invisible Children’s Recovery programs, met with our communications team at our IC Uganda office, and loved it all despite hazardous roads and mosquitoes being obsessed with us (we think it’s because we’re so sweet.)

Some of our field trips included visiting the partner schools in Invisible Children Uganda’s Schools for Schools (S4S) program. The program emerged in 2006 from IC’s overarching goal to raise the standards of secondary education in northern Uganda. Its function is to build and renovate school structures while also improving the school’s overall education through career guidance, curriculum, and teacher training. There are currently 11 schools in this program, and after seeing firsthand the strides we’ve made for schools in communities affected by the LRA, it has become my favorite IC program (ok, one of my top three favorite IC programs.)

stay in school sign

Stay in school, people. Knowledge is power.

One particular field trip took us to Lacor Secondary School on a very, very (very) hot day for a ribbon-cutting ceremony as construction had recently completed on a two-classroom block. Members of the ICU staff were invited to attend so they could hand over the keys and join in the celebration. How long could that possibly take? 30 minutes? Guess again. Lacor SS knows how to throw a party and pulled out all the stops. After hours of singing, dancing, a Mass and communion with all 800 students, and speeches honoring all those involved in the construction, the eventful day came to a close with a tour of the new classroom. Actually the day ended with the school staff feeding us roasted goat (delish!) and other Acholi goodness. But that’s neither here nor there.

The new two-classroom block. I love the blue.

Super festive.

Super festive

During the speeches. I'm in the grey shirt. Hi me!

During the speeches. I’m in the grey shirt. Hi me!

Inside the classroom. There I am again. Oh hey!

Inside the classroom. There I am again. Oh hey!

Lacor dorm

This is a dormitory that IC previously built for Lacor. It houses 200 girls and is absolutely stunning. I sort of wanted to move in.

Visiting Lacor and getting to be part of their celebration was a definite highlight of my trip. It made me realize how much the S4S program truly contributes to the education of students in our partner schools in northern Uganda. Investing in this program makes a tangible, profound difference in their future and I am honored to have witnessed it all.

And in true Uganda-style, they sent us off with this song:

To become a member of The Fourth Estate and pledge a monthly donation to our Recovery programs like Schools for Schools, visit HERE.

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