The Building Tomorrow Academy of Gita, a Ugandan initiative aimed at providing quality education for young children, is producing results and recently received a visit from former President Bill Clinton, who showcased his support.
"The Building Tomorrow Academy of Gita, about an hour outside of Uganda’s capital city of Kampala, is an amazing example of what can be accomplished when local communities and international organizations work together toward innovative solutions to educational challenges," reports NBC News. "Building Tomorrow’s mission in Uganda is to do more than just build one-room cookie-cutter school houses. So far they have built eight 'academies' — each with seven classrooms and space for up to 325 elementary school students."
"On his first trip to Uganda since 1998, President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea made a 90-minute stop at the Building Tomorrow Academy of Gita, visiting teachers and students in classrooms, watching dances by the school choir and greeting hundreds of community members gathered at the academy," according to a post on buildingtomorrow.org.
The Gita school opened in 2010 and was made possible by the collaborative efforts of students from the University of Virginia.
"In the 2007-2008 school year, undergraduate architecture and engineering students at the University of Virginia’s Architecture Studio reCOVER and its Engineering in Context Capstone Design Program designed Gita’s seven classrooms, its library, its latrines, its office space and its outdoor play and learning space (including a sports field and garden)," NBC News reports.
Students from other parts of the country are working to make a difference in Uganda as well, with four Furman University students pledging to raise $60,000 to build a new school.
"The main fund-raiser, Bike for Uganda, is planned for fall 2012, using stationary bikes in central locations on campus," according to a Furman post. "Additional fund-raisers, such as cycling the Swamp Rabbit Trail, may also be planned with cyclists from the community."
Although the initiative has made much progress, leaders are not remaining stagnant. New improvements and goals are being tackled every day.
"At the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Building Tomorrow committed to launching BT 2.0, an initiative aimed at enrolling 15,000 primary-level students annually in 60 Building Tomorrow Academies by 2016 throughout East Africa," according to buildingtomorrow.org "BT 2.0 will also aim to train over 450 Building Tomorrow Academy educators, grow the enrollment of girls and develop a classroom curriculum designed for students living in rural areas."