The Spirit of Uganda is back on the road travelling across America, once again. While they tour, one of our students’ favorite things to do is visit American schools. Part of the mission of Empower African Children is to “create global connections” and what better way to make a connection than to spend the day alongside young people from another continent!
For the American students, it provides them with a rare opportunity to form a relationship with a student from Uganda. Rather than rely on the media to form their impression of Africa, they get to experience the beauty of Ugandan culture by seeing the Spirit of Uganda performance, sharing in a conversation, or learning a new dance. Even something as simple as receiving a big smile or warm hug from one of our students makes a meaningful, personal connection.
For Empower scholars, it exposes them to new experiences and allows them to explore similarities and differences in the lives of their American counterparts. As ambassadors for Uganda, they also get the privilege of sharing their culture with large audiences, which helps them grow in their confidence and ability to communicate with each visit, as well as make new friends.
For the students to live to their full potential and bring about positive change, our scholars need to experience life outside of Uganda. It is one thing to complete their education; it is another thing to be equipped to become a change-maker. The Spirit of Uganda tour and our other educational exchanges are part of the unique experience that sets Empower scholars apart. Plus, they are a lot of fun too!
An written by three students from Davis, California, summed it up pretty well. “Maybe lessons can be learned from these new friends. They all have difficulties in life, but instead of dwelling on their problems, they decided to come here and share their culture with us. Their American mission has changed us. They have brought us the Spirit of Uganda.
Here are a few of our favorite moments from school visit so far:
Greenwood: “There is always great anticipation of the bus rolling over the hill full of joyful, talented, amazing children from Uganda.” The students at Greenwood raised money for SOU by committing to hours of community service for their communities.
Keys School: “From all of us at Keys School, THANK YOU! As always, the performance was phenomenal. What a show! However, that display of talent may have come second to watching our students interact in the small-group sessions. You have a wonderful group of young men and women. Your students are true ambassadors to your program and I’m sure for all of Uganda.” Larry Purcell, teacher
Parish Episcopal School of Dallas: “The talent that each of these students possess are absolutely incredible. I have been inspired and hope to follow and sponsor students along their journeys.” http://www.parishepiscopal.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=3114
Sequoia High School: “As always, you have not only given us an amazing performance but you have also touched our hearts, inspired us, and left us longing to see you all again!!” Elizabeth Ouren, volunteer city coordinator.
Ursuline Academy: “We at UA are thrilled to be hosting these special guests. They are already blending into life at UA, rehearsing in the UCPA and joining our students for meals in Haggar. It’s going to be a fantastic December!”
A visit the site here selection from an edited book or anthology!