SHALOM COMMUNITY SCHOOL
Constructing a community based training complex in Byakabanda Sub-county, Rakai District -Uganda, had been a dream of our Director, Kiyimba JohnBosco Mikando
In 2013, after a chance meeting with community members, John shared his vision of creating a community school where people in the village could come to support each other and learn a variety of new life skills. His belief that, "everyone has the desire and capability to improve their own living standard, but perhaps not the opportunity," struck a chord with the community.
From that point on John Bosco inspired fellow community members to get involved and went about setting up the shalom Community School. John Bosco agreed to donate a piece of the family land for the school to build on. Soon the Shalom CommunitySchool began to spring to life!
'Shalom', as the school is affectionately known, now stands as a beacon of 'hope' for the many communities around it. It is a place that caters for young children and youth, to the very old. A place where people can come and learn a large variety of skills, a place to share ideas, a place for friends to meet and have fun, but most importantly it is a place where all of these people are getting the 'opportunity' to improve their own lives.
It is Shalom's holistic approach that we are most proud of. We realize that not everyone learns in the same way, or are passionate about the same things. It is with in mind that we have developed the many and varied programs and projects that run at the school.
his project started four years ago, we came to realize that some elderly people in the community were sleeping nearly outside because they had no strength to build for themselves shelters yet they were staying with their grand children whose parents died of HIV/AIDS.
During our home visits we came to discover that some of our children were coming from such families, the community members came to a common mind of helping these vulnerable people with small mud houses where a majority of construction materials can be donated locally like trees,water, reeds, banana fibers and labor.
At Shalom Community School our aim is to help the community to develop relevant life skills in the following five key areas.
1) Environment and Development
2) Entrepreneurship and Skills Development
3) Productivity and Community Based Health Care
4) Resource and Information Unit - including a community based learning center.
From livelihood projects such as Housing project, we are now shifting focus onto craft making, mushroom growing and piggery projects, through to the community based learning center and the demonstration garden at Shalomwhich serves as a guide for our organic garden project, we provide people with an opportunity to get involved in a way that suits them.
In addition to this Shalom organizes events throughout the year such World Environment Day Celebration, the Schools Music Dance and Drama Competition, talk shows, palm Sunday matching or bringing high caliber artists and entertainers to the school. We have found this to be a great way to bring the whole community together and are able to pass on all sorts of information and skills to many people at once in a fun and entertaining way.