December doesn’t seem five minutes ago. We were busy shopping and making preparations for the 27 sponsored students to start their new school year. Four months have flown by.
Over the last month we have been busy visiting all the students to hear their news, stories, challenges and experiences from their first term.
For many students, the new year meant staying at the same school, moving up a class to more challenging subjects and different teachers. For other students, January brought some bigger changes; moving from primary to secondary school and being taught solely in English, or the move from primary to vocational and learning a new practical skill whilst living away from home for the first time, or transferring from Government to Private schooling, or going from vocational training into the big world of work.
Each individual faced a new situation, new experiences and new challenges which, once again, altered their own personal benchmark of what ‘success’ means or looks like to them.
Catching up with students, as I have mentioned previously, definitely grounds me and reminds me why B2A do what we do. It allows you to see changes that can have a significant impact on an individual and their ambitions or expectations.
Each student had a personal achievement to be proud of, however big or small, yet at the same time they all spoke about challenges that they continue to experience on their journey to them being ‘successful’. Not one of them considered themselves as being wholly ‘successful’……yet!
Each of them continues to aim for something higher.
Jackson, who in January, had transferred from Government to Private secondary school celebrated as he achieved some amazing exams results; an average of 89%, which put him, not at the top of his class, but at the top of his year of 89 students! While he was obviously very proud of his achievements there were still challenges that he is yet to overcome and he explained how he has to work even harder next term in order for him to achieve success. For Jackson, success means achieving 100% in his next exams and ultimately being able to get a good job so he would be able to support his family back at Bukumbi.
Success is a hugely personal thing, and every single student is working towards their own goal. Things have come a long way from the time when B2A first visited the community at Bukumbi where there was a collective feeling of pity and dependence and an acceptance they were never going to be ‘successful’ .
These students and their fighting spirit will, without doubt, be successful in their own ways. All it took to get the ball rolling was a little belief. Belief in ourselves and in others; -not a particularly well guarded secret to success, but definitely something worth reminding ourselves of once in a while.