(05 June 2009)
INDIANAPOLISâ€”Parents this morning in the village of Kiyamba, Uganda did what theyâ€™ve anticipated doing for nearly 18 monthsâ€”sending their kids off to their first day of school inside classrooms they built with over 25,000 hours of donated labor.
Amidst much excitement, the Building Tomorrow (BT) Academy of Kiyamba officially opened its doors this morning to more than 180 students, many of which have never had the opportunity to learn inside a classroom before. The Academy, a 10-room structure constructed with the support of the Butler University campus through the schoolâ€™s chapter of Ambassadors for Children, will eventually house 325 kids in grades Primary One through Primary Seven (US equivalent of 1st-7th grade).
â€œYou can tell how excited the community is just by walking around,â€ said BT Uganda Country Director Joseph Kalisa. â€œThereâ€™s a renewed sense of hope that this building has brought to parents and children alike.â€
Students at Butler University raised over $45,000 for the construction of the Academy during the 2007-08 school year through a campaign titled â€œThe Power of Children.â€ Last summer, Butler students traveled to Uganda to help dig the schoolâ€™s foundation and prepare the land for the commencement of construction.
â€œI could not be happier our school is opening,â€ said Butler rising senior Jennifer Pignolet. â€œWe saw so many kids in Uganda who were desperate for a place to learn, and we are proud to be able to give even just a few of them the opportunity to receive an education.â€
BT Academies are constructed out of all local supplies, including over 50,000 hand crafted bricks, local timber and other aggregate materials. BT partners with the local ministry of education to fund the ongoing costs related to teacher salaries and provides continuing teacher training for BT Academy staff.
BT is an international social-profit organization encouraging philanthropy among young people by raising awareness and funds to build and support educational infrastructure projects for underserved children in sub-Saharan Africa. BT works with a college network of nearly 20 chapters nationwide and has a partnership with the 245,000 members-strong Key Club International, the worldâ€™s largest high school service organization. The BT Academy of Kiyamba is the fourth location built and opened by the organization, which now has space to accommodate over 1,250 students throughout Uganda.
For more information, please contact George Srour at 317.632.3545 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the construction update page.
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