Our first visit to Gulu in northern Uganda was in the summer of 2006 as the 20-year war was winding down. In the following year we went back to encourage the refugees in the camps. We fed the children and carried out medical outreaches in those camps. After visiting different camps a few more years, we asked our local team members to find out where the need is greatest so that we may focus our work there. The team recommended Arut, a community that had been used by the rebels as a base. Arut was devastated by the war. There was no school, no clean water, no church, and no health services of any kind.
Our first outreach in Arut took place in July 2010. Many of the villagers came to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and a church plant in the village was spontaneous, beginning under a huge tree which serves as a community center and market. Since the children of kindergarten age could not walk the long distance to school in the nearest village which was several miles away, they stayed home. One of our team members, Ms. Charity Ochaka, was moved to gather the children under the huge tree to teach them. Adonai Community School, Arut was born! What started as a single class under the tree for children in kindergarten in 2010, is now an impressive structure for a fully-fledged Nursery and Primary school with 382 children running from Kindergarten to Primary seven.
The class under the tree became the foundation of Adonai Partners education program. But the journey continues. At the end of this year, our pioneer class will be ready to continue to secondary school. The Thrive Campaign will help fund the construction of a new block of five classrooms for them, complete with furniture and classroom fixtures. It will help create an environment where the pioneer students who are fast becoming young ladies and gentlemen can pursue their secondary education in the same locality.
What is the impact of your investment in the Thrive Campaign? You will be building a future for the leaders of the Arut community just a few years from today. The presence of the secondary school in Arut will serve many purposes, chief among which are to:
i. Give us a platform, at a critical stage of the students’ development, for further discipleship as they learn Christian values through the school.
ii. Curtail the rampant dropout rates that have hindered many from becoming productive members of society.
iii. Provide the stable learning environment and solid foundation that will increase the students’ chances of continuing their education to university level.
iv. Check the incidence of child marriages and teenage pregnancies that cripple young girls at a very early stage and set back development in the community.
Your investment in the new school block in Arut will have a real impact on these children, giving them an opportunity and a brighter future for themselves and their families. We appreciate your coming alongside us as we seek to transform the Arut community in northern Uganda through education.