Rising from the ashes of civil war to become a beacon for the community
- Prize Category: Overcoming Adversity
- Format: Panel discussion
- Country: Uganda
- Languages: Streamed live in English with automated captions in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Filipino, Malay, Serbian and Hindi.
- Learn more about the Top Ten Shortlisted Schools in the Overcoming Adversity category on the World’s Best School Prizes website.
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About the school
Project Shelter Wakadogo in Gulu, Uganda, has flourished from a school with only two classrooms founded in the wake of war to now educating over 450 children with one of the highest student retention rates in the country.
In the aftermath of two decades of civil war and the violence committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, which displaced over a million people in Northern Uganda, families in the village of Pece Acoyo in Gulu were slowly returning to their homes. Amongst the wreckage left by the war, calls for a safe, quality school began to grow. Through a large community effort Project Shelter Wakadogo was born – land was procured, roads leading to the school were levelled and vegetables were planted to be used for school meals. In 2009, the school opened. The name Wakadogo reflects the school’s mission to extend a duty of care to those who walked through its doors, meaning ‘for the little ones’ in Swahili.
Its commitment to provide free school meals, healthcare and a quality education for the surrounding community, has seen the school become a second home for many.
When Uganda imposed a long lockdown during the pandemic, Project Shelter Wakadogo quickly determined that online schooling wouldn’t be possible for its students. In Uganda, only 2% of the population has access to personal computers and less than 9% of the rural population has access to the internet. Instead, Project Shelter Wakadogo pivoted to conducting 36,000 home-schooling lessons during the pandemic. This dedication to continue to provide education to its students was crucial as the school closures across Uganda saw children forced into the labour market, a rise in teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence.
Join us for an important lesson on overcoming adversity.
Moderator: Akena Jacob
Akena Jacob is a Primary Teacher, he graduated from Gulu Core Primary Teachers’ College. He has Grade III Teachers’ Certificate in Education. He is having six years’ experience in teaching English language .Currently serving as P.7 Classroom Teacher and the Head of English Language Department. He is the Senior Male Teacher at Wakadogo School.
Speaker 1: Odong Charles Kigundi
Odong Charles Kigundi is the Headteacher Wakadogo School in Gulu, Uganda. He graduated from Ndejje University Kampala with a Diploma in Primary Education and a Bachelor Degree of Guidance and Counseling. He also has a certificate in HIV/AIDS counseling from The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), Uganda. He has nineteen years’ experience in education management and implementation in Uganda. His main role is to manage the teaching staff and ensure quality learning and growing our partnership with education stakeholders.
Speaker 2: Alanyo Judith
Alanyo Judith is the Senior Teacher and Teachers’ Representative in Parents Teachers’ Association in Wakadogo School. She graduated from Kampala Business Education and Research Institute with a Certificate in Nursery Teachers’ Education in Early Childhood and Development. She also Certificate in secretarial studies from Gulu University. Her main role is to deliver quality education to the learners. She is in charge of students’ welfare in Wakadogo School. She has 14 years’ teaching experience in education management in Uganda.
Speaker 3: Kukunda Martha
Kukunda Martha is thirteen years old girl in P.7 Class at Wakadogo School in Gulu, Uganda. She is the Head Girl. She advises her fellow students in the community to stay safe in order to complete their studies. Girls should always be closed to their parents, avoid bad peer groups, avoid gifts from the strangers and should be respectful in the community.