After a day like today it is hard not to feel inspired and energized by the reception we have had at St. Patricks.
Having only first visited the school yesterday, we arranged to return today to officially hand over two hundred and thirty books as a kick-start to our pilot program with the school. We arrived in the morning expecting a casual exchange and small audience. What we found was that the principal Alex Oyuga had engaged the local community, and organized an official ceremony with Mohammed H. Abass, the District Commissioner, and the District Education Officer present. He had even arranged for the local press to come.
With the students filling the hall, this was actually our first time talking to all of them at once. We were so moved by this gesture, as it truly made us feel like a part of their community. One thing we have been acutely aware of is that you must have that community engagement and support to roll out a program of any kind if you expect it to have teeth. Being hosted like this has also given us any assurance we needed that we picked the right school to use as our pilot for boy’s schools. They are so receptive and eager to collaborate with us, an enthusiasm which, to our surprise, is not always immediately evident in some of the other schools we are engaging with.