By Tomas Medina Mora & Giselle Rivard
When John and Joyce Wanda won the Diversity Immigrant Visa lottery and moved to Arlington, Virginia in the late 90’s, they were living the American Dream. But their new-found status as members of middle-class prosperity highlighted many of the issues in their home country of Uganda. In 2004, they sought to address the burning problems surrounding education in Uganda and founded the Arlington Academy of Hope.
“They started out by just providing scholarships for students in rural Uganda, but the schools there were lousy so it wasn’t really very useful,” said executive director Maureen Dugan. “Even though they were getting some kids in schools kids weren’t even graduating from grade school. So that’s when they decided to do something more radical.
Arlington Hope Academy now administers a primary school Baduda, Uganda. With 100% graduation rates for two years running, it has become the envy of schools across the Eastern African country. “Our kids are scoring higher than the sons of Diplomats and rich kids in Kampala (the Ugandan Capital),” said Dugan.
Arlington Hope Academy relies on qualified volunteers to ensure that the academic standards in their school remain high. They accept volunteers from High School onwards.
If you are interested in learning more about the organization please visit http://aahuganda.org/.
Written by students at WIS