C.R.E.A.T.E. ACADEMY will be different from any other school in Uganda, a progressive educational institution for underprivileged children that supports all learners obtaining academic achievement through a thoughtfully planned curriculum and a warm, caring approach by teachers and staff who listen, motivate and empower.
C.R.E.A.T.E.'s Campus will be on a beautiful 2-acre plot of land located in the rural region of Nakasajja, specifically Madu Village. The entire campus will be gated, surrounded by barbed-wire fence, armed guards on duty 24/7, security cameras and emergency exits. The safety of our students and staff will be paramount. The campus will be an open layout, with beautiful gardens and artwork throughout. Located just off the main road will be the roadway, followed by a security gate and post that leads to a large parking lot. The first building to reach will be the Administration Building, with open-air lobby, main office, directory, and other staff offices. There were be two tiered classroom block, featuring ten classrooms and one fully-equipped laboratory, as well as restrooms with running toilets and sinks from our own pump. To the left of classrooms will be an indoor/outdoor cafeteria that serves fresh, healthy, organic food. And to the far left of campus, will be the gymnasium, complete with stage for assemblies and performances, music room, dance studio and weight room. There will be a fully stocked library, computer lab, medical center, a basketball court and baseball/football field.
At C.R.E.A.T.E., we have strong beliefs that Arts Education tremendously benefits children. It helps them to come out of their shells, express themselves and their creativity. It is very rare for schools in Uganda to offer art courses, and we are thrilled to be able to offer our students the exciting opportunity to be exposed to the Arts! C.R.E.A.T.E. will offer music, dancing, photography, creative writing and be the only secondary school in Uganda to offer Filmmaking! These courses will not only provide the children fun, but expose them to the importance of art and creative expression. Create will offer a vast array of extracurricular and elective courses which will allow students to explore different interests and find their passions.
Jennifer Kirabo's acting and filmmaking initiative "Filmanthropy" gives young Ugandans a voice through learning the art of acting and filmmaking. She has introduced the craft to over 200 children in Uganda, which has not only helped them to learn valuable technical, creative and communication skills, but has opened doors for these young people in the means of having unique training in a niche job field. The film industry in Uganda is rapidly growing, from Hollywood features being shot (Queen of Katwe, Black Panther) there, to Ugandan films and television series shooting regularly, to the music video industry flourishing and rivaling that of Nigeria. Every week there is a new production filming in Uganda that needs both actors and crew, but few people with the skills and experience necessary to be hired. But film students at C.R.E.A.T.E. will possess these skills and have the opportunity to visit local film sets, apply for internships and even be chosen for paid work on film productions. This is a very unique opportunity, as no other Secondary school in the entire country offers such a program! In February, a few of Jennifer's students even had the opportunity of joining her on set as she was shooting for French Montana's video "Unforgettable" which shot in Uganda. They got to meet the artists, take photos and help out on set, and even got paid for their work!
Eco-friendly & Sustainable
C.R.E.A.T.E. will be an eco-friendly, largely sustainable campus. Our buildings will be made from old shipping containers and bricks made by recycled plastic bottles. Recycling is very rarely practiced in Uganda, and you often find plastic bottles EVERYWHERE because there aren't even trash receptacles in most places. In Uganda, all trash is burned. Instead, we will collect these bottles and fill them with inorganic trash and wire them in to form walls, before cement stucco is applied. This is the most environmental-friendly option, and also saves a great deal of money. The buildings will be outfitted with solar panels, and designed with strategically placed windows, which will influx natural light into classrooms and corridors, cutting down on a need for electricity. Though not commonly practiced in Uganda, our school will recycle. We will also compost, and try to limit solid waste. Our campus will also feature a fruit & vegetable garden, which will help provide healthy, organic, plant-based meals for our community. CREATE will also feature gardens throughout, and encourage respecting, preserving and co-existing with wildlife among us.
With circumstances in Uganda being very different than in the U.S., the health and wellness of children is often overlooked, or not seen as a priority. For most, the main concern is having enough food to eat, clean water, beyond that, "health" isn't generally considered like in America and many other countries. Most schools feed the children the same food every meal, every single day of the year, (usually posho & beans or plain rice). Schools often provide the cheapest, most filling meals for students as to save money, but they lack proper nutrients for developing bodies and minds. It is rare to see fresh vegetables as part of school meals (though tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, eggplant, etc. all grow in abundance in Uganda). For breakfast, students are often given tea and a slice of bread. They are not given fresh juices, fruits or vegetables. Often, students are also thirsty and are not given enough water throughout their days in the hot, dry climate. They are often dehydrated, and are certaily not provided the vitamins and nutrients necessary for optimal health. At C.R.E.A.T.E., we believe children deserve better. They deserve fresh, healthy, balanced meals comprised of organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains and other nutrient rich foods. As C.R.E.A.T.E. will be an ethical, sustainable institution, we will be providing our students healthy, cruelty-free plant-based diets. In Uganda, children largely eat a vegetarian diet anyways (due to the costs of meats being expensive), so this won't be an adjustment by any means. We are committed to doing our part to save the environment (to make just one pound of beef wastes 1,800 gallons of water!) and we value and respect all life - including our animal friends! C.R.E.A.T.E. values peace, respecting the environment and ALL living creatures.
The school will also feature a medical center, where a qualified doctor/nurse will be on premise at all times to care for students and address their health concerns. Having a nurse at Ugandan schools is not typical, and those that do, aren't always properly educated or certified. In Uganda, because of a lack of finances, seeking medical care is often seen as impossible, but we believe students should have access to free medical care, and that at boarding schools there should always be trained medical staff on premise for emergencies, illnesses and general health concerns.
What will make C.R.E.A.T.E. the most unique, is our approach to education. Though in most schools in Uganda, children are often dictated to, discouraged from speaking up or sharing their ideas, we will run our school differently! We believe children will thrive and only reach their fullest potential if they are Empowered! Inspired! Motivated! Respected! Encouraged! It is our prerogative to give students a voice, to cater to their specific needs, and to encourage creativity, independent thought, and self-confidence. We believe that with this approach, paired with an innovative curriculum, and qualified, passionate staff, that our students will not only get the most out of their education, but evolve into well-rounded, confident young people! At C.R.E.A.T.E., every student will matter, and be treated as a human being, not a number. There will always be time made to tutor, show support, and address our students questions and concerns. We will not only be a school, but a community centered around compassion, respect and kindness.
At C.R.E.A.T.E. Academy, our students will have the opportunity to learn and participate in a wide array of sports. While most students in Uganda play football (soccer) it is not common for most secondary schools to offer any other sports like baseball, basketball, swimming or track & field. Ugandan children are naturally very athletic and enjoy being active, and so we want to offer our students access to learning different sports and joining teams to play competitively, where they will learn the value of hard work, discipline and teamwork, as well as having fun! We want to open doors to our students to find their passions! They will have the opportunities to play on teams and complete with teams from other schools. C.R.E.A.T.E. Academy will regularly hold pep rallies and special sports events to celebrate and encourage school and team spirit! We will also help to expose our athletes interested in playing sports in college, to universities worldwide, and support them in their athletic endeavors.
Wellness & Values
It is our mission to provide students with a safe, healthy and happy environment. We believe education is about so much more than what is taught in the classroom. It is about life experience, building friendships, exploring creativity, and coming into your own. We will provide students with an environment brimming with positive energy, where they can learn, explore and grow.
Though C.R.E.A.T.E. Academy will not identify with any religion, we support students practicing their own beliefs. On the center of campus will be a meditation center - a large, circular facility where students can pray, read, meditate or just enjoy some quiet time. Regular yoga classes will also be offered, where students can get in touch and care for their mind, body and soul.