Education has no substitute, one is either educated or not. Give Hope Uganda as an advocacy and development-oriented organization, our commitment and work around education and it related issues remains a priority. As a very vital component to nation’s sustainable growth, we believe it must be embraced by all. Following our partner International Book Project, we launched the Books as Bridges program to meet the growing need for higher reading levels and greater cultural awareness in Uganda. Since its founding, the program has expanded to engage students overseas partner classroom, providing a unique opportunity for cultural exchange to occur. The students write and send three (or more) letters to each other over the course of the academic year, reaching greater depths as time passes. The increase in detail not only allows for an organic friendship to develop but also strengthens the writing skills of the students. The program goes beyond letter exchanges to amplify learning for students.
International partner classrooms receive small shipments of books to help grow their school libraries. Students also exchange a cultural package during the school year, including pictures and small trinkets and toys that represent life in their respective country. Local students are encouraged to act on their compassion and design a project that they can execute themselves, such as writing persuasive letters on behalf of their pen-pals. These service-learning projects benefit both the international recipient and the local classroom by creating an environment for sharing and learning.