Simbi Foundation

Jul 15, 2016

3 min read

Uganda Day 2 — The Walking School Bus

As the sun rose over the Ugandan mountains and the rain cleared, we woke to the scent of sautéed vegetables and omelets. While gathering around the main table, a car pulled up carrying Michelle and Samantha Gilman. Marvelously bright eyed after their four-day journey to Nbagoye Hill, they had a coffee and hit the road again to meet the children they would be testing for TWSB’s reading program.

Meanwhile, the creative minds and illustrators on our trip, Ruchi and Sukriti set out to find students from the High School and Elementary school to help illustrate our second book focused on interfaith collaboration. This book will be illustrated by the students through these art lessons and the process is incredible! The children drew stunning pictures, scenes of Africa, schools, sunsets, houses, synagogues, churches and mosques, true to the interfaith basis of the school. Ruchi and Sukriti inspired the students to express themselves through abstracts and realism and with a multitude of colours and painting and drawing tools.

After visiting Semei Kakungulu High School, Michelle, Samantha, Lainie, Aaron and our expert photographer Leo made their way to Hadassa Primary School to collect baseline data to assess the efficacy of the Global Reading Program.

Michelle Gilman collects baseline data for our Global Reading Program while teaching other volunteers how to objectivley conduct these tests.

Michelle taught the volunteers how to test the children and they set to work assessing reading levels. The work was broken up with intermittent periods of fun; dancing, singing, playing tag and throwing frisbee. The volunteers all met for lunch back at the guest house. After lunch we returned to the school to continue our reading assessments. When the school day finished, we made our way to Mbale Town, the closest city to the Nagoya Village. We purchased a massive water tank that Aaron impressively hauled onto the roof of our truck. Additionally, art supplies were bought to continue with Ruchi and Sukriti’s project.

Transporting a 1000 Litre water tank used for rain catchment in our agricultural program.

And as the day wound down, our group of volunteers grew closer. Since arriving, we have all discovered that there is no better way to form connections than by working towards a cause we all believe: empowering access to education. Although we all come from different walks of life, our wonderful group of volunteers has hit it off remarkably well.

Now off to another busy day empowering access, nutrition, and curriculum!


Originally published at on July 15, 2016.