My Favorite Photo after 5 Years in Africa

08/21/18

 

This will probably go down as my all-time favorite picture of Uganda so far. Let me tell you why.
 
For five years, I have been performing assessments on our children and reporting the data to the teachers. I'm not one to force my ways on people. It just doesn't seem to have a lasting impact. So for five years I've been doing those assessments. Letters and numbers and addition and multiplication and reading, etc.
 
Last week in our admin meeting, one of the administrators said, “Lindsey, we like what you do with your assessments and we'd like you to help us make some for middle class (4-year-olds).” 
 
I said, “Great! But I can't be the one to give the assessments because kids in middle-class don't understand my English. So you would have to do it.”
 
They gave me a funny look like, “but wait, you always do these for us.” But they understood and agreed to what I was saying. So after the meeting I made a basic assessment to see how our preschool kids are doing in identifying letters, numbers, and colors, and I gave it to the administrators. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what would come of it.
 
Lindsey has been the Children of the Nations education specialist in Uganda for five years. It's a joy to see all the progress the children have made during that time, thanks to the teamwork of Lindsey, the Ugandan staff, and you!
 
But then, on Friday morning, I am walking around and what do I see? Our administrator doing the assessment! One child at a time. Smiling with them. Giving them high fives when they finish. If I could only tell you how proud I was in that moment! 
 
Five years! Five years of consistency. Five years of showing data and results. I kind of wanted to cry I was so excited.
 
This is what sustainability looks like. It’s the local people taking ownership and doing something not because an outsider told them to, but because they know it’s their work and they want it to be the best it can be.
 
Then to top that off, I heard our top class (kindergarteners) doing something in their classroom. So I went to check it out. They. Were. Reading!
 
 
Then, as I was walking out of that class, I saw something in baby class. So I headed over there.
 
 
The teacher had pulled out independent activities for these little three-year-olds to do.
 
Now, many of our young ones had done independent activities before, but I had yet to see this particular teacher do them without being prompted by a visiting American or an administrator of the school. But this day, she did it on her own.
 
 
And the kids loved it.
 
Friday was awesome. All that happened before 9 a.m. God is good. Very good.
 
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