My year as Ideba’s Global Education Ambassador is nearing its end, and I have recently returned from a visit to Mpondwe Lhubiriha Secondary School. It’s the school that we support in Uganda through our partnership with PODA. What an amazing trip!

Uganda Students_2016

Students reading the first school newsletter

We started in Kampala by meeting with several Ugandans that had projects that might be useful for the school. We met with Victoria to learn about making briquettes from biomass which burn cleaner, then charcoal, and could provide the school with a way to make some additional income. Next, we met with Edie from Slow Food International. He is leading a “10,000 Gardens in Africa” project, and we discussed both a school garden as well as a community garden. Our third and final meeting was with Frederick from JEEP about building more efficient stoves at the school for preparing meals.

After arriving in Bwera, the town near where the school is located, we met Nelson (the school administrator) for a tour of two of the villages in the hills where many of the students are from. We walked through and met a number of children and many families. Nelson also showed us the apiary that they recently started and we were able to try some fresh honey. It was delicious!

Our time at the school flew by. Over 4 days… we enjoyed a welcome ceremony put on by the students and teachers with singing and dancing. We taught lessons on storytelling, photography, geography, and erosion. We also worked at creating a dictionary of the local language and planning for a school newsletter, along with career planning and individual meetings with students. We played soccer and volleyball with the students and introduced them to Frisbee and lacrosse. The students were wonderful. They had fun and worked hard at the lessons. They asked us questions about our country and our lives and were happy to tell us about their lives.

Leaving was tough. Everyone we met in Uganda was incredibly welcoming and friendly. I’m excited for the school and the students and I look forward to getting updates on how things are going, reading the school newsletter, and learning about what the students are going on to do after they finish.

I’ve barely skimmed the surface on the trip. You can read more details and see photos on the blog.

Want to learn more? Check out our website and drop us a note.

—Aaron Baldwin, Senior Designer