Head Teacher Kick-Off Meeting
The first Yiya workshop of 2018 was our beginning-of-the-year kick-off meeting with school leaders from our six partner schools. All schools sent their Head Teachers and Directors of Study to this meeting to give feedback on the 2017 Yiya program and to collaboratively plan with the Yiya team for 2018. These school leaders had a great workshop! We spent time envisioning what the ideal outcomes of education are, as well as how Yiya helps schools to achieve that vision for their students.
Stories of Impact!
Head Teachers also shared powerful stories of impact in their schools. The Head Teacher from Rapha Girls School said the Yiya program has helped her students to imagine a wider view of possible career choices for themselves, countering the stiff societal pressures that push girls in this community to marry at very young ages and not complete their high school education. She said the girls are all talking now about becoming scientists and engineers first, and wives later! In addition, the Head Teacher from St Katherine's Secondary School shared that one of her students had won a national engineering competition with the bike-powered phone charger that she built in her Yiya lessons! This student then traveled to Kenya with her homemade phone charger to compete at an international level! The Head Teacher brought photos of the Yiya bike that traveled with the student on the plane, and even passed around the "Checked Baggage" tags that the bike wore while airborne. This star engineering student and the Yiya bike are now Lira celebrities!
School Leaders Committing to Yiya!
All School Leaders agreed that the Yiya program has provided big benefits in their schools to both students and teachers; they explained that the Yiya program has created an energy and excitement around high school education in Lira. Although these schools are mostly low-income, Head Teachers offered to contribute to the Yiya program financially to show their commitment and appreciation for having it in their schools. On their own, they pledged as a group to contribute 100,000 Ugandan shillings per school (approx $28) in Term 3 as a "school subscription" to the Yiya Inter-school Engineering Competition & Showcase that Yiya holds at the end of the school year. This is a big financial commitment from these schools, and it meant so much to our Yiya team that they volunteered this contribution.
The Yiya field team is working with school administrators now to secure spots on the timetable for the Yiya program in all partner schools. We are so excited to jump into the new school year in early February!