Over the course of five days, community members, international supporters, clergy, local and national leaders gathered on the grounds of the Pader Girls Senior Secondary School (PGSS) for a celebration that marked CCF’s 10 year anniversary and five years since the opening of PGSS.
The theme for the celebration was “renewed commitment to serving humanity for all,” a theme made apparent during the presentations and exhibitions of the main anniversary event which took place on Friday, April 20. More than 400 guests explored the exhibition tables which showcased the work of CCF beneficiaries, including displays by CCF-supported youth peace clubs, honey sales by members of CCF’s bee keeping livelihood program, and food, purses, jewelry and baked goods for sale from vocational students of PGSS.
The event drew a global audience with supporters from Europe, Australia and the United States as well as Ugandans from throughout the country. The chief guest and presenter for the ceremony was the Reverend Archbishop of Uganda, Luke Orombi, who offered a thanksgiving service and blessing for the work of the school and CCF. Additional honored guests and speakers included members of the Ugandan parliament, Woman MP for Pader C.D. Lowila, Bishop Ochola, Bishop Ojwang, and Dr. Edmond Kelly of the Uganda Fund.
The main event was augmented by a media campaign, research and documentation, and youth conference related to CCF’s work and goals. In the week prior to the April 20 celebration, CCF board members, the Executive Director, and staff participated in radio talkshows broadcast on two stations drawing attention to the challenges facing girl child education in Uganda. A study by the Forum for African Women’s Educationalists conducted at PGSS and in the community highlighted the successes of the school and ongoing challenges facing the education of vulnerable girls and child mothers. A documentary produced by the Refugee Law Project followed the lives of a few students at PGSS and their journey from “the bush” to books.
In partnership with local churches, PGSS hosted a Christian Youth Conference from April 19-22, encouraging youth from Pader and Agago to commit their lives to the values and principles of Christianity, encouraging service, faith, love and community. Spirited dance, praise, and lessons engaged the conference’s participants and readied them for the coming school holiday.
In all, the anniversary celebration was a great success, bringing together members of the community and beneficiaries who have been touched by CCF’s work over the past 10 years.