“Newsmaker: Dedication to Education,” Ensign, Dec. 1994, 55
A recent convert has been drawing attention to himself and his dedication to education. Along with two fellow teachers, Byalusago (Christopher) Mugimu opened a senior secondary school in Mukono Town, Uganda, in 1989.
In just a few years, these three young men, all in their late twenties, have carved a campus out of the jungle. The first year, the teachers rented facilities, but after just one year they had saved enough money to buy land in Mukono, a town located in the lush countryside among banana and tea plantations.
With their students pitching in, the men made their own bricks from sand, clay, and water. “God has been very good to us to provide these essentials,” Brother Mugimu noted.
“A number of students cannot afford to pay the modest school fees, so they earn these fees by doing construction. We never turn any student away.” After the school’s first twenty-four months of classes, the teachers and students had completed two buildings containing five classrooms and two small offices.
The school has continued to grow. Currently the student body numbers 320, with 50 of the students being boarders, who live full-time in dormitories on the campus. The faculty consists of 24 teachers.
The school has achieved some distinction because, unlike similar institutions, Mukono School teaches vocational subjects such as welding, brick laying, construction, knitting, and other practical skills. Of the first twenty candidates from the school who sat for their matriculation examinations, six were accepted for university training—a remarkable accomplishment for a new school still raising money for supplies and lab equipment.
“There are many things which we cannot build with our hands,” observed Brother Mugimu, “so we must buy those things. I know that we will continue to be blessed.”—George Barrus, Johannesburg, South Africa