As Sam said in his opening speech “The work Niteo has accomplished in the last five years will not be forgotten, both the staff, the students and the rest of the community regard the project as successful and are happy to have benefitted for five years than none at all. The opening of this new center will be an opportunity for Niteo to reach out to an entire new community.”
The grand opening kicked off in a typical Ugandan fashion… not as planned. A half an hour of heavy rain means we were a tad delayed, but thanks to prior training I am used to being flexible.
The ceremonies began with a keynote speech from Mr. Hussein, the headmaster at Kawanda Secondary School, who welcomed surrounding schools, special guests and highlighted the work Niteo has previously been involved with at the school. Next, Niteo’s country director Sam Turya gave a commanding speech about Niteo’s work – our mandate, our previous projects and our future plans. After the formalities we invited guests and students to officially open the center with us and we all crowded towards the center doors.
The children were eager and made comments to our Niteo staff about the ‘amazing opportunity that has been given to their community’ and about ‘how beneficial a center like this will come to mean to all the students’. It was an overwhelming response. The most exciting was to see the big smiles on their faces as they got to go in and see what books were available. Children crowded around the shelves, shared books with their friends and thanked us continually for bringing such a literacy center to their community. All in all, the day was a huge success and all of us are looking forward to changes this center will invoke on the literacy culture in Uganda and more specifically the community in Kawanda.
Thank you again to all of Niteo’s friends, volunteers and sponsors! You have made a huge impact in the lives of these smiling children.