Meet Esther and Gertrude at Gita
July 11, 2011
Over the past few weeks, weâ€™ve shared many stories about our BT supporters in the United States. Everyone from elementary school sit-for-good participants to college chapter presidents and our board members are Building Tomorrow, in whatever way they can. When we look at our partners in Uganda, itâ€™s clear that people of all ages are driving our progress there as well. The schools that we build are truly community projects. Young children who will attend the school get involved in any way possible, and parents and grandparents put in hours of labor to provide their children with a life of opportunity.
Today weâ€™d like to introduce you to two faces that stood out at the BT Academy of Gita, Esther and Gertrude. When the school opened its doors in 2009, Esther was six years old and very excited to start her career as a learner there. She and her 5 siblings previously had to walk a great distance to attend school. While the children were eager to learn, their long walks were exhausting and dangerous – posing an obstacle for them to attain the education they needed. Though Esther was too young to do any heavy labor, she and the other children were the true inspiration for the school. Because of her enthusiasm for the project, Esther served as a source of motivation for the community and a reminder of the benefits that would result from their hard work.
Gertrude, on the other hand, was one of our most active supporters on-site. She is a grandmother and local leader, who helped to make the dream of a school a reality for her community. While she individually was able to provide the means for her children to attend school, she understood that the need went far beyond her own family. She took a position as one of the five members of a committee to oversee construction and the operation of the school after completion. Gertrude also worked at the site 4 days a week and rallied the support of the women, making sure that hordes of workers came to help build everyday.
After about a year of construction, the BT Academy of Gita was opened. This was a monumental day for the community, as Gita as the first ever permanent public school structure in the area. Backed by the student chapter at the University of Virginia, studio reCOVER and the Engineering in Context Capstone Design Program, this was an incredible success for our organization. It was the first time we engaged a cross-discipline team of our supporters, to build a school as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We are trying to ensure the success of our future generations by giving every child the opportunity to attend school. That need might seem overwhelming, but there are countless number of people who are able and willing to help. Whether youâ€™re 6 years old or 55, in Uganda or the United States, an engineer or a student, there is always a need for what you have to offer and always a role for you at Building Tomorrow.