Wakiso Christian International Academy (WCIA)
Education is something that’s always been extremely important to us, especially with respect to the kids. If we want to help raise the future leaders of tomorrow, obviously those leaders need to be intelligent. However, after a few years of sending the kids to a couple different local schools, we realized that, in order for the kids to attend the local schools that taught to the standards we expected, we needed to be paying much more in school fees than we could afford. So instead of asking our sponsors to cough up $100 a month per kid or more, we started WCIA.
Why it’s important:
Education is a huge issue in Uganda. Uganda does have what’s called Universal Primary Education, so every kid is supposed to be able to go to school for free, but most don’t have access to the government schools. And, if they do, those schools are often way underfunded and inefficient. Many times the teachers won’t show up for days at a time. Many of the private schools, on the other hand, are rife with corruption. Some schools will pass students on to the next grade, regardless of how well they are doing, just to make the school look good. Other schools will hold kids back a year intentionally, even if they are doing well, in order to get an extra year of school fees from them. Often the leaders of the school don’t take much interest or care with their staff, training them and encouraging them, so the staff does the same to the students. Most schools are understaffed and have very little resources.
WCIA was created to meet these needs. As an international school, we teach an international curriculum (ASCI), and we focus on giving our students, and our staff, the care and resources they need to excel. We have a full library of books, we have a computer lab, and we continue to do teacher training every Friday afternoon to ensure that our teachers are continuing to grow and learn as well.
When the school started in 2011, it went from Preschool to 5th grade. Since then, we've added another class every year. In 2013, when we added 7th grade, we became a full primary school. Our goal is to continue building out the school, adding one class every year until we have a full secondary school as well. Apart from that, though, we have also been growing the community outreach element of WCIA. We have been using the school as a central location to engage with and build into the community around us. We have several savings circles that meet at the school every week, we have a medical clinic that is open to the community, and we will continue to grow and offer more services as well, including English and financial classes.