When the map was complete (it took six weeks), I wrote “Our World” around the perimeter of the map in the 15 most widely-spoken world languages, as well as in Luganda. For the second half of 2016, one of my favourite things to do was give short geography and history lessons to students visiting the library. What amazed me most about the map was the curiosity of our children and their hunger for knowledge of the wider world. Along with the geography lessons and games, I played music from around the world and sang in other languages.
I also implemented a library monitor programme training 20 mini-librarians. These students were trained on how to teach the library's rules, guide readers on proper book selection, and how to use the book organisation system. As responsibility and accountability was handed over to these children, they relished in the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise to their peers. Over time, use of the library increased and more and more children started using learning materials.
In terms of its impact on the wider community, I believe that of all the initiatives, projects, and activities that I participated in at Katuuso Primary, working to develop the functionality and proper usage of the library was the most valuable and will have the most positive impacts for years to come.
Now, two years later, my work as a Peace Corps Volunteer at Katuuso Primary has now come to a close. I feel overjoyed at the opportunity I was afforded to grow personally and professionally while also helping a Ugandan community to develop.
The life lessons I learnt living in a rural African village about living simply, appreciating what I have, and above all, the power of literacy and education will stay with me for the rest of my days.
In Katuuso Village, I saw first-hand the power of education to change lives, broaden horizons, and empower people with knowledge to change the world.
The slogan of School for Life – “Education Changes Everything” – should never be taken as just a slogan or platitude. It is a fundamental truth of the human experience. I got to live this first-hand for two years and for that I will be forever grateful to the School for Life and Peace Corps Uganda staff, fellow teachers, and students who have left their mark on me forever.
As I now finish my two years of Peace Corps service at School for Life Foundation, it's worth reflecting about how much has changed in this time. The community, the school, the staff, and students have grown and developed and it has been the opportunity of a lifetime and such a privilege to witness this growth first-hand over two infinitely rewarding years.