To provide a conducive environment for learning.
Hope is on the horizon
You can hear them if you listen carefully: perhaps a lilting tune, some good-natured sibling jostling and the low murmur of excitement. Soon they come into view. Children, some one-hundred eighteen—with crisp navy uniforms and outfitted with bright socks and new shoes on feet unused to being enclosed—are converging on the village road that leads to a beacon of hope in Gulu, northern Uganda. These children are attending school, many for the first time, and they are proud and enthusiastic to call Christ the Center Ministries Primary and Nursery School their school.
Even the word "school" doesn't connect with what these children (many fatherless and barely surviving with their mothers as part of an outcast society in an already impoverished area) have been told their future holds. Their vision has been marred by war, haunting nightmares, gnawing tummies, racial taunts.
In the aftermath of hopelessness in northern Uganda, God called Ron and Joy Munyao, two missionaries from Kenya, to make a difference. They have served in this community and its outlying villages for four years. Just over a year ago, Joy undertook the teaching of a few children who had never been taught. She met with this small group under a tree at Gulu Bible Community Church. The group mushroomed to seventy children, excited that they might have an opportunity to learn. Even attending a public school in Gulu costs money, and the schools do not teach their dialect, so those two strikes barred them from any hope of education. But burgeoning hope gave way once again to despair as the education board in Gulu shut down the makeshift "under-the-tree" school.
Joy would not let it go. She felt convinced that God meant to minister hope to these little ones: physical, spiritual and educational. At the same time, CTCM was just getting on its feet. The children joined Joy in fasting and praying for God to break through the roadblocks.
Fast forward to February 2012. A site had been rented, and improvements and temporary buildings were in place. A sign bearing CTCM's logo had been erected and strategically placed. Word spread and excitement mounted. And on February 6, 2012 these little ones— insignificant to most but precious to their God—joyfully walked, skipped and ran the mile and a half to the school God had provided in answer to their prayers.
Empowering the Least for a Greater,
Objectives of the School:
To raise up future leaders through mentoring, monitoring and teaching biblical principles.
To supply quality, affordable education.
To offer a safe place for the destitute (i.e., a place where a child will sense acceptance, love, care, and belonging).
Purpose of the School:
Christ the Center Nursery and Primary School is a place of opportunity that will serve multiple important purposes. This school will:
Most of the children who will attend this school have had traumatic pasts. Christ the Center will focus on bringing healing to their hearts and minds through the loving care and ministry of the mentors. The mentors will be mature believers who are trained to minister to the children and spiritually impart into their lives by being parental models to them.
The children will discover that they have more options in life than to follow in their parent/guardian's footsteps. In time, the goal for the school is to transition from a day school to a boarding school so that the new ways the children are learning are not enacted when they re-enter their home environments each day after school.
When the lives of the children are transformed, it will open the door for the entire community to be impacted.
Some of these may include but are not limited to: music, dance, art, catering, swimming, football, and auto mechanics. Camps held during vacation time will be available to the children. Once a child shows interest in a particular area, the staff of the school will mentor the child to become what God wants him/her to be. There will be a strong focus on mentoring to bring children into their God-given identities and destinies.
Currently, in the Gulu schools, Luo is the only language spoken and taught until P4. After that, English is also taught. No school in Gulu teaches both national languages of Swahili and English. CTC Nursery and Primary School will teach in Swahili, Luo and English. This school will be an open door of opportunity from which the entire community can benefit (and ultimately learn how the gospel transforms lives).
Many primary schools in Gulu have costly school fees that the parents cannot pay. The cost for a child to attend nursery school is even more expensive than primary school. Christ the Center will enable children to start a quality education right from the beginning in nursery and continue it throughout the primary levels.
CTC Nursery and Primary School will provide a hot breakfast and hot lunch for each student. These meals will be an important source of nutrition for the children, helping them to be ready to learn.