As many of us spent our August evenings enjoying the Olympics, for September I want to introduce you to the WCIA’s resident expert in gymnastics, Esther Kwagala. Esther is a natural athlete, proven in her amazing dancing, her double-dutch skills, and her prowess at the popular Ugandan game Cat and Rat (a type of tag). But her athletic talent is really demonstrated through her ability to tumble, headstand, and walk on her hands – all gymnastic skills she has perfected without any professional training.
Esther has learned these gymnastic skills from different volunteers over the five years she has been a students at WCIA. Esther is very friendly and is consistently one of the first students to welcome new visitors. So full of life, she often has volunteers, from 6 months to 60 years-old giggling right alongside her in a matter of minutes and it never takes long for the conversation to turn toward gymnastics. Esther loves learning new moves and catches on very quickly. This February she learned how to do round-offs and by June she was doing them one handed.
Esther, and her two sisters Tendo Gloria and Gorret Mbaabazi, enrolled at WCIA in October 2011. Esther was just three years old at the time and WCIA pre-K classes were her first time in school. The family became connected to WCIA through Aunt Sarah, a beloved CLD employee who currently is the school librarian. Aunt Sarah knew the family through her church and encouraged their parents to enroll their students at WCIA, because of the great education her children were receiving and because Esther’s family would qualify for financial assistance. Before that school seemed like an impossibility for the three sisters, because the family makes very little through her father’s work as a driver and her mother’s small vegetable stand. Without the support of the Child Scholarship Fund it would have been unlikely for all three daughters to attend school at the same time.
Tragically in 2014, Esther’s oldest sister Gloria Tendo died from complications from burns she suffered when the family’s home caught on fire. During that horrific time in their life, where little was certain, Esther and Gorret were guaranteed a safe place to live and their education. The family was supported through the Come, Let's Dance community during that time and today are back in their home and Esther, Gorret, and their brothers Joshua and Regan are able to attend school.
The Child Scholarship Funds aims to come alongside students in a way that results in happy kids and healthy families. We want all the children at WCIA to be able to pursue their education and support them, and their families, in times of great difficulty and struggle. The Child Scholarship Fund, and your contributions, ensures that Esther and Gorret will always have opportunity through education.