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BRE Students learn from Ugandans

BRE fifth graders excited to get their hands on footballs made by Ugandan children.

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of BRE Principal Ally Berggren

Students in Mrs. Phelan’s fifth grade class at Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) are learning life skills such as pride, perseverance, and responsibility from an unusual source—their new friends in the village of Agwata, in northern Uganda. Through a first-time collaboration with Outreach Uganda, students are making personal connections across the globe by shipping DVD movies back and forth, sharing what life is like in their part of the world.

BRE students recently watched the first DVD from Agwata, in which the students introduced themselves and their families. New to the English language and videocameras, the Ugandan students were formal and a bit shy, but the viewers were impressed with their concept of chores and helping around the house.

Ugandans carry heavy jugs of water, often on their head, from the nearest source to their village, which in this case is two kilometers. A similar water jug was provided for the students to try out and they were amazed at the kids’ work ethic. One student remarked, “They have more life skills than we do! They work hard to help their families by building houses, carrying water, and cooking.”

Phelan asked, “How are they like us and how are they different?” Students found common ground in that both schools have vegetable gardens and both classes like to laugh and play.

Carol Davis, president of Outreach Uganda, brought footballs (we would call them soccer balls) made from reeds, that the Ugandan children like to kick around. The BRE students enjoyed the footballs and are excited to make their own movie and ship it to Uganda. Then, they get to look forward to hearing back from the Ugandan students.

For more information about Outreach Uganda, which aims to lift women and children out of poverty, go to

Left: Just like the Ugandan children, BRE students enjoy kicking the ball around. Right: Students were impressed to learn the Ugandan children carry water jugs on their heads, especially after trying it themselves!



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