The Forum of Women African Educationalists-Uganda (FAWEU) presented their prestigious Sarah Ntiro Model of Excellence Award on Thursday, March 29, 2012 to CCF Pader’s Director, Alice Achan.The award, which is given to honor women achievers who have overcome obstacles, achieved personal excellence, and become an inspiration to women and girls, is named after the first woman university graduate in East or Central Africa, Dr. Sarah Ntiro. Dr. Ntiro spoke briefly at the event and warmly greeted the recipients of the award which bears her name and celebrates trailblazing women who value and encourage education.
Alice was joined for the celebration at the Nabisunsa Girls Secondary School in Kampala by a proud delegation of students from the Pader Girls Secondary School (PGSS) who sang and danced for the celebration’s guests. The students of PGSS had the honor of welcoming the Chief Guest, the United States Ambassador to Uganda Jerry Lanier with a traditional bwola dance which set the celebratory tone for the event. Other notable guests included the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Makerere University, Lillian Ekirikubinza, the Executive Director of FAWEU, Martha Muhwezi, the Chair of the Board of FAWEU, Rose Izizinga, Pronch Murray of Irish Aid, and a representative from the Ministry of Sports and Education.
The event drew students from several regional primary and secondary schools and universities. The youth in attendance were encouraged by guest speakers who shared their own inspiring journeys of struggle and accomplishment in academic and personal achievement. Lillian Ekirikubiza, the first Professor of Law in East Africa, encouraged girls to reach beyond gender discrimination and the common idea that a woman is most useful for her sexual capabilities. “You know your value to the world and I know your value to Uganda,” she told the girls, “Those of us who have been there [struggling to obtain an education] will encourage you to exploit your full potential.”
The students of PGSS in attendance were fast to make friends with other students who had traveled from throughout Uganda to attend the event. Many spent lunchtime mingling with the impressive young women who had shared their testimonies of struggling to achieve academic excellence despite financial barriers.
“Being here made me want to study so hard,” shared one student of PGSS. “There was a girl who shared about coming from a poor family and becoming a doctor and I realized that I too could be like her.”
Alice joins an elite group of women who have been honored by the Sarah Ntiro Model of Excellence Award over the past 12 years representing prominent women torchbearers in various fields.