In a bid to give back to the institution that moulded them to become the successful and responsible citizens they are today, Gayaza High School Old Girls (O.Gs) have constructed a new administrative block for the school, which is worth hundreds of millions of shillings.
According to Monica Tibamwenda Nsita Rubombora, a Gayaza High School Old Girl and a member of Gayaza High School Old Girls Association, the block comprises over 120 individual staff workstations, each designed with the aim of giving teachers their own dedicated area to prepare, assess, and inspire learners.
She says the inclusion of a study room capable of accommodating six teachers provides a serene and conducive environment for learning and preparation.
“Beyond the workstations and study areas, the administrative block also recognises the need for dedicated leadership spaces. With individual offices for three Deans and the Headmistress, the building enhances the efficiency and efficacy of the school’s operations,” she pens.
Tibamwenda says the project which was made possible through fundraising from the Gayaza Old Girls Association, is a towering symbol of community spirit, collective responsibility, strategic planning, and unyielding commitment, all embedded deep within the generous hearts of these former students.
“By constructing the administrative block, the Old Girls transformed what had always been a dream for the school administrators into an ultimate reality. By so doing, they created a beacon of inspiration, not only for their immediate community one that will echo across educational and philanthropic initiatives worldwide throughout the generations.”
The administrative block, which poses a challenge to old girls and boys of other schools in Uganda, was officially commissioned on July 29, 2023, by the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira.
The idea for the construction of this block, which now marks an indelible milestone in the chronicles of the school’s journey, was born from the remarkable decision to expand the school, which was carried by the administrators decades ago.
The administrators and Board of Directors made the decision after they realized that the original staff room, constructed in 1960, had been projected to be used by about 30 teachers, yet as times changed, a need for more space arose as the number of teachers increased.
At the time the idea was conceived, the number of teaching staff had increased to over 75 educators, yet the original infrastructure was struggling under the strain, and it became inevitable that the school urgently needed a larger space to accommodate the increasing teaching staff.
It was after the realization of that need that the Gayaza Old Girls Association envisioned a new, spacious, and well-equipped administrative block, which could comfortably accommodate over 120 teachers, in a bid to plan for the projected growth and expansion of the school.
Having realized the dream, the new block now stands as a tangible testament to thoughtful planning and meticulous implementation of the project by the Old Girls Association.
Besides that, the new state-of-the-art block includes a staff nursing room that doubles as a baby day-care room, an innovative move that acknowledges and supports the needs of staff with young children.
Actually, every detail of the block was designed with staff welfare in mind.
This focus is evident in the comfort amenities like modern, hygienic toilets and showers, a cosy lounge with an extended veranda for relaxation during breaks, and personalised pigeon holes for each teacher, thereby enhancing the ease and efficiency of communication within the staff community.
This brand-new, fully furnished block represents a significant enhancement to the school’s infrastructure and provides a much-needed, optimal working environment for its dedicated staff.
However, the journey from the conception of this ambitious vision to its physical realisation was fraught with challenges. The most prominent among them was securing sufficient funding to bring this project to fruition.
The Old Girls of Gayaza High School, with their spirit undeterred and resolve unwavering, confronted this challenge head-on. They embarked on an ambitious and multifaceted fundraising journey, employing diverse methods to garner the needed support.
This extensive fundraising strategy embraced a plethora of activities, from grassroots, community-driven initiatives such as bake sales and charity runs to larger, more high-profile endeavours like grand gala dinners and auctions.
They harnessed the power of the digital age, using online platforms to reach out to a wider audience and rallying support from former students, community members, and well-wishers from across the globe.
They even explored the avenue of corporate sponsorships, offering businesses an opportunity to align their brands with a noble cause, thus creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Every stone was turned, every opportunity explored, and every potential avenue of funding meticulously pursued.
Among these varied fundraising efforts, one innovative strategy stood out: the “Wall of Fame” strategy.
In this unique initiative, any contribution exceeding Shs1m ($270) was recognised with a special acknowledgement-the donor’s name getting engraved onto a wall within the new block.
This approach provided a visible, enduring testament to each contributor’s generosity, creating a lasting bond between the donors and the institution they had supported.
This strategy went even further, touching the chords of the community’s collective memory. Donations could be made ‘in memory’ of a deceased Old Girl.
This thoughtful gesture ensured former students continue to contribute to the school’s growth, their memories etched into the very fabric of the institution, their legacies living on in a profound and enduring manner.
In a heartening display of inclusivity, the Old Girls took a step beyond the conventional, whereby contributions were made on behalf of all staff members, from cooks to gardeners, security guards to teachers.
This initiative made sure that everyone’s name found a place on the wall, serving as a daily reminder of the importance of every individual in the everyday life of the school.
The strategy was a resounding success, significantly boosting the fundraising efforts and emphasising the value of every member of the school community.
Today, the new administrative block, blessed by the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, is more than just a building. It is a symbol of shared vision, unity, and the limitless potential of a determined community.
The Old Girls of Gayaza High School, through their inspiring campaign, have etched a remarkable tale into the annals of institutional development.
Their story is one of unity in diversity, of shared vision and collective effort, and of the belief that even the most ambitious dreams can become a reality. Additionally, their story of success against challenges inspires others to follow, giving hope and motivation to future generations.
As the sun sets on this memorable day of the commissioning, the new administrative block casts a long shadow, a symbol of the school’s past, present, and future, a beacon illuminating the way with the enduring glow of success.
The author is Monica Rubombora, a Gayaza High School Old Girl and a member of Gayaza High School Old Girls Association and she lives by the school’s motto; “NEVER GIVE UP!”
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