On Saturday 7th November 2009, Soft Power Education celebrated 10 years of working in Uganda. Over 400 community members came to help us celebrate at the Amagezi Education Centre. For those of you who were unable to join us here in Uganda we thought you would like to see some photos of the day.
Volunteers and staff alike had worked hard to prepare the site with a fresh coat of paint to the buildings, lots of weeding and an early start to organise tents and chairs.
With the sun blazing and VIP guests late (what a surprise!), the celebrations kicked off with an amazing performance from some of the children of Kyabirwa Primary School – the first school to be involved in the Soft Power Education programmes. Master builder Stephen did a fantastic job as our MC for the day and kept the crowds entertained.
We were very lucky to have the British High Commissioner, Martin Shearman, as our guest of honour and he gave an inspiring speech after an emotional speech from Hannah, a comical moment or two from Kibii and thankful words from Village Councillor (LC1) Felix. Representatives of the District Education Officer and District Councillor (LC5) of Jinja also gave speeches.
Much thought and hours of hard work had gone into preparing a photographic exhibition of the history of Soft Power Education in the tower of the Amagezi Education Centre – there were a few worrying moments when double sided tape, sticky pads and anything else sticky was just not keeping the photos on the wall – we finally resorted to shoe glue! The British High Commissioner took the honour of opening the exhibition and we would like to thank everybody who sent in photos.. see if you can spot yours below...
Hamish Ross, a volunteer who came out to enjoy the celebrations went onto Google Earth before he came and printed off the sequence of space to the Amagezi Education Centre - a fantastic addition to the exhibition!
A logo of faces of all our supporters over the years was created along with Hannahs Little Helpers!
A Mvule tree was planted in the grounds of the education centre to mark the 10 years whilst each of the schools we have worked at were given a certificate of appreciation and a tree seedling to thank them for their support and partnership.
Two of our Arts Centre staff were asked to design limited edition prints to mark the 10 year celebrations. The print on the left was designed by Silagi and the print on the right was designed by Sharif. Framed copies were given to The British High Commissioner, Hannah and some of our Trustees.
Whilst all of this was going on outside, the Drama theatre was turned into ‘The Kids Zone’ and several hundred children crammed in to watch cartoons, have their faces painted, play, draw and generally have fun. Our volunteers did a fantastic job looking after them all – thank you!
Back on stage, Budondo Primary School put on a brilliant performance with some outstanding acting – hot favourites to win the Drama Festival for the 3rd year running!
Some of the women from the TEFL course took to the stage and read out a letter of thanks to Soft Power Education for giving them the opportunity to learn English
This was promptly followed by some interesting dances from our builders and James, Drama tutor at the education centre
Just as lunch was being served to 400 people the heavens opened with torrential rain but this did not stop people queuing for their food!
As the rain continued and the roads around Bujagali become somewhat interesting to drive on, half the team stayed to tidy up the Education Centre site whilst the other half transferred to The Black Lantern restaurant to prepare for the second half of the celebrations. Balloons were blown up, balloon trees and table decorations created, banners hung and food prepared – the venue was transformed and looked truly stunning.
The evening party soon got underway and a great time was had by all, Hannah gave a speech...
The Blood Brothers band from Kampala played and we even got to hear Via Kalikwani and Tolofaina (aka our very own Shaz and her other half Juma!) sing too.
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying food and drink a plenty and catching up
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped with the organisation both before and on the day, we would not have been able to do it without you all. Here's to the next 10 years!