Feb 11, 2022
An Extraordinary Ugandan Experience
posted by Portsmouth Point on February 09, 2022
by Samuel Roberts
In October 2021, I knew very little about Uganda. What I did know of was Idi Amin, the 1976 Entebbe airport hostage rescue operation, Lake Victoria, that it’s in lower central Africa and that Top Gear filmed there once. However, in the months since, I have learned so much about Uganda during my work in CAW (Community and Workplace).
In Autumn half term last year, I chose Partners In Learning with Kikaaya College as my CAW placement, something every Year 12 has to do. We all choose a placement which constitutes some form of work or engagement with the community, in this case with our partner school in Uganda. As someone who has always been fascinated to learn about and engage with other cultures and who lived in a foreign country for six years, it was the obvious choice for me.
Headed by Miss Nicholson, over the last 5 months our group has conducted Google Meet videoconferencing with Kikaaya College, one week preparing a presentation which discusses some mutual area of interest. The following week we give our presentation and receive one from the students at Kikaaya, taking notes of what we learn. So far, we have covered various topics such as tours of our respective countries and what we do in our free time. This week we prepared a presentation for after half term which discusses what the Covid-19 pandemic has been like in the UK.
The Kikaaya students have been a joy to interact with and learn from. Led by Miss Lydia and Headmaster Mr. Mubiru, they present captivating stories of their country and provide a fascinating look at what life is like in Uganda. From student Trevor’s interest in the British political system (which has been a joy to discuss as a keen politics student) to their passion for football, it has reinforced in all of us in the group that despite being 4,000 miles away from each other, we all share things we can bond over. It has been brilliant to share with each other our respective cultures, from our explanation of British cultural foods such as Haggis to their amazing stories of seeing a rare Black Panther to their annual twin festival.
I cannot understate enough how interesting and enriching our work with Kikaaya College has been. Students like Trevor, Tracy, and Deborah have been brilliant to both talk and listen to and it has been a great lesson on the privilege that we in the UK take so much for granted and how we can learn from others on how we can both improve as people and as a country. To any Year 11s reading this, please consider Partners In Learning next year. Or, if you aren’t in Year 11 and are still interested in working with Kikaaya College, please talk to Miss Nicholson.