Blog

Surpassing Expectations

Three months ago in November, the candidate class at Solid Rock took their Primary Leaving Exam. This exam is standardized, administered by the government, determines their future, and is hard! Our students often come in with little educational foundation. Their parents usually aren’t able to help them study, as many of them can’t read. They don’t have older brothers or sisters who have done this before. They don’t have so much as a table at home to study at. Everything about their environment and upbringing is working against them.

So what do these students do with so many factors working against them? They work harder than we have ever seen a student work. Most importantly, their teachers come alongside. Staff and students come to school on Saturdays throughout the school year to run practice exams. The week of the exam, students sleep at school, joined by a few staff each night, so that they don’t have to walk the miles between school and home. They are encouraged to meet with teachers on breaks, do homework before leaving school, and work together to help each other study.

The class. A “funny face” picture.

The grading system used in Uganda is different but can be translated into our system of As, Bs, Cs, Ds, and Fs. Last year, the graduating class of 2018 surpassed expectations with a 100% pass rate. Those 32 students were Solid Rock’s first class, and they essentially started their education at fourth grade. When all students passed, the vast majority with Bs, everyone rejoiced! They performed the best in the county, were going to high school, and stood as an example of hope for the younger students.


Students with their diplomas and graduation gifts- a new blanket and backpack to take to boarding school!

This year was an improvement beyond our wildest expectations. From mostly Bs and a few Cs and Ds in 2018, this year’s class progressed to entierly As and Bs, with three students scoring A+s, and one appearing in the local paper! In Arua district at large, 2% of students passed this same exam with an A. At Solid Rock, 22% did. According to the school director, Solid Rock is “the talk of the subcounty.”


Ugandan culture prizes education– people follow the local school’s exam results like Americans follow their football teams. In a communal society like this one, people identify with the performance of their group (family, school, tribe, etc) more than their individual performance. So when a school does well, everyone in the vicinity rejoices. Right now, Arua is rejoicing! Because of Solid Rock’s students the whole community, from the graduates themselves to their siblings to their teachers to families that don’t even have students at the school but just live nearby, has reason to be proud.

In the lives of these families, this pride is of much greater value than the test scores themselves. After all, the core of their suffering does not lie in low test scores but in low self-esteem. An abiding belief that you are unloveable and un-useable wrecks havoc in the hearts of children. But a belief that you are valuable and worthy– now that’s life-changing, empowering, and chain-breaking. Test scores alone do not confer worth, but rather reveal the inherent worth that these children have always had but have never seen in themselves.

Thank you to sponsors, supporters, teachers, and families for making this possible. God is doing a great work in this community and in each of these children’s lives, and His plans will never fail. We are humbled to be a part of it, and so thankful for all of you who have come alongside these children. As the students and teachers say, “to God be the glory!”


2019 In Pictures- A Review

2019 was a year of blessing and growth for Solid Rock Christian School! Each year we are surprised anew by just how much God provides. This year, yet again, we have been blown away by the growth made possible by our sponsors, supporters, staff, and, of course, our God.

We spent some time collecting a few pictures, old and new, to show you the amazing blessings that the children are now receiving. 👇🏽


The Kitchen

What before was a corrugated, hazardous shack of open cooking fires is now a state-of-the-art facility. The cooks are no longer at such a health risk working in a smoky room, and there’s now enough cooking power to feed the 400+ people that eat on campus twice a day!

The old kitchen

The Teacher’s Housing

Three short years ago, in 2017, a patch of land near the school was purchased with the intent of building quality housing for Solid Rock teachers on it. This year, it was finished! Ten teachers, both single and with families, now have water, electricity, and a home walking distance from work. Since nearly no one owns a car, such a gift is a life-changer.

The land, in 2017
Now 4 buildings just like this one house ten teachers total!
The opening day was joyous

The Soccer Field

There’s nothing more galvanizing than a sports team, and Solid Rock was eager to have it’s own. Thanks to the work of one of our founder’s sons, enough funds were raised to buy, level, and seed a soccer field! The whole community now turns out for matches.

The land, freshly purchased
A championship match! What this photo doesn’t show is the reams of spectators around the edges.

The Great Hall/ Church Building

At the beginning of 2019, there was one main space used for big gatherings of all sorts- the church on Sundays, the student chapel on Wednesdays, and community meetings throughout the week. It was a concrete slab covered by a tent that by January of 2019 had seen better days. Thanks mostly to local initiative and planning, they now have a massive hall to use on the daily!

The old multi-purpose tent. Imagine when it rains!
The new great hall- complete with walls, stage, and roof!

The STUDENTS

We saved the best for last. All of the developments above would be nothing if built for their own sake. It’s all for the children– to bless them, feed them, teach them and love them. The first photo below shows the whole student body as of 2018. Now, with preschool, primary, and secondary school, there are too many students to capture in one photo!

Student population, circa 2018
In 2019, we have the primary students…
… the preschool students…
… and the secondary students!

Thank you to all of the sponsors and supporters who have made this year a year of abundance for these children! We are prayerfully anticipating what God has for these children in 2020. Thank you for joining us.

Sponsor
Donate
Volunteer