When speaking about our sponsored children, you may often hear us say: we seek to restore them to everything God has created them to be as His image bearers. This aim has implications for how we view our children, and how we serve them. We are not only seeking to alleviate an immediate crisis and help a vulnerable orphan survive childhood. We also desire to see our children develop their gifts and maximize their God-given potential as people made in His image and likeness. In pursuit of this goal, there is no more important tool in our tool belt than education.
If not for their sponsorship, the majority of Covenant Mercies children would not be able to attend school – and certainly would not be able to complete their education – due largely to the prohibitive cost of school fees. Covering those fees and keeping our children in school has always been a top priority for Covenant Mercies, but at times this may mean placing them in a classroom with 100 other students, one teacher, and only a handful of textbooks to share. This is better than seeing them drop out, but our goal is to provide higher quality learning opportunities for our children. As a result, the Lord has increasingly led us to make a more direct investment into their education by building and developing our own schools.
After a year-long process of site planning and preparation, I am thrilled to announce that on March 4th we broke ground on a new primary school campus in Kiburara, western Uganda. Since that time, we have already made great progress on Phase One of this project, which includes five buildings: a three-classroom block, an administrative building, a kitchen, a recreation field, a head-teacher’s house (required under Ugandan law), and latrines. Our plan is to begin with Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grade 1 classes in the 2020 school year, then add a new grade each year until the school serves approximately 300 students annually in Grades Pre-K through 7.
The first phase of construction is expected to cost over $200,000. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and partners in 2018, we are well-positioned to get this project under way. However, we will continue raising funds between now and this fall to complete the first phase, while simultaneously working to recruit the teachers and leadership we need to start our inaugural school year in strength. If you would like to make a contribution toward the Kiburara school project, please click here and select “Western Uganda Primary School” from the campaign box.
While we envision a beautiful campus that will serve us well for many years to come, at the end of the day this project is not about bricks and mortar, or impressive school buildings and campuses. It’s about building into young lives. It is our hope and prayer that this school will function as a means toward that end. And it is our hope and prayer that these boys and girls will not only grow to become successful doctors and teachers, engineers and entrepreneurs, but disciples of Jesus; pillars in their homes and churches and communities who affect the lives of others for both time and eternity.