Holy Archangel Michael Middle School and High School
Gulu, Uganda: Serving 568 students
In 2008 we launched our most ambitious project to date. Using our own donor base, we set out to design, fund, and construct a school from scratch. This project, completed in 2009, was the first in a three-phase master plan. Partnering with the local African community, we formed a local construction board and oversight committee. The community of Gulu donated the land, and construction began on a new middle school with dorms for 300 students, fresh water wells and pumps, and latrines. New student enrollment began in January 2010, and the District of Education accredited the school.A high school was completed in January of 2011, with classrooms for 150 students. We also built and furnished a science laboratory. At the end of the year we built a kitchen, shower facility, recreational grounds, and teachers’ quarters, and established a Parent-Teacher Association.
Because of the long distances students must travel to attend school, dormitories are essential, so we built one dormitory for boys and two for girls. Out of 455 students (201 girls and 254 boys), 408 are boarders. The school has a total of 26 staff, 17 of whom are teachers.
Since its founding, students at the Archangel Michael School have competed in and made the semi-finals of the first Coca Cola Regional Football Competitions, increasing visibility of the school in the community. The school is now officially registered with Uganda’s Ministry of Sports and Education. The Uganda Orthodox Church (UOC) has been instrumental in the success of the schools, as well as International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which has assisted in completion of many projects such as lighting and fencing. The school well has dried out, and we are in the process of identifying the location for a new well, which will be funded by IOCC.
We began working with IOCC to find the location for our next school, which would be the first sub-Saharan project for IOCC. After the completion of the Holy Archangel Michael schools, a Ugandan member of parliament, Theodore Ssekikubo, visited and said, “My own government can’t do this. I’m going to get materials and land for your next school.”