The new chapel will have a seating capacity of 1,500 worshipers.
PIC: The new chapel that is under construction. (Credit: Rogers Sunday)
Like stars in the sky, Kyebambe Girls Secondary School Old Girls will always shine wherever they go. It is no surprise that they refer to themselves as stars.
Their shining ability was exhibited on Friday evening at All Saints Cathedral Kampala where they had converged for the Old Girls Meet and Greet event to raise funds for the completion of the school chapel. The girls raised up to sh30m.
Kyebambe is in a fundraising drive to raise up to sh800m towards the compelition of the chapel building. The total cost of the chapel project was budgeted at sh3b.
Night Mpairwe Karungi, the school's headteacher said much of the required money will be used for procuring furniture, a public address system, paying the contractor and finalising the ceiling.
“The chapel is very important in a school set up. When a person knows God and grows with God, they will always be successful and have eternal life,” Karungi said.
She used the event to announce the Chapel Fundraising dinner that will be held on November 25 at Mountains of the Moon Hotel in Fort Portal. Dinner tickets go for sh100,000.
The fundraising dinner will be followed by the commissioning of the chapel on November 26, where all OG and well–wishers are invited to attend the historic event. The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, and the President Yoweri Museveni are expected to attend.
Kyebambe’s new chapel will have a seating capacity of 1,500 worshipers, compared to the old one which sits only 200 people.
Some of the furniture that needs to be bought will include pews. Member and well-wishers are encouraged to purchase them for the Chapel. Each pew goes for sh1m.
A pew is a long bench seat or enclosed box, used for seating members of a congregation or choir in a church or sometimes a courtroom.
Barbara Kaija, the New Vision Editor-in-Chief, encourages the Old Girls and their families to sponsor a pew or pews, adding that the sponsored pew(s) will be marked with the sponsoring family’s name.
“We are here to build for the Lord, and the most important thing is a pew. You buy a pew and the school will manage the costs of engraving it with your family name to last for generations,” Kaija said.
The girls bought about eight pews during the meet and greet event. Some of the OG’s combined efforts to buy pews, while others bought as individuals.
Princess Elizabeth Bagaya, who was the guest of honour at the event, promised the school that she will further the fundraising to outside Uganda.
“I will soon be going abroad, and I believe I will be able to mobilise something for the school,” Bagaya said.
Like their motto says: Mukwekamba Tutaba Bagara, the girls are determined to have the work completed.
Why the Chapel?
“The greatness of Kyebambe was in the chapel. Our lives revolved around prayer and it was our guidance during our days (as students),” Kaija said.
She noted that Uganda is facing a human resource crisis in regard to morals, since many schools and families no longer interest themselves in God.
“You go to hospital andfind doctors are not working. You go a school and find teachers are always absent. You go a newsroom and journalists are asking for money. There are no morals. But until we return our schools and families to revolve around God, it is a waste of time,” Kaija said.
She said if schools revolve around God, the moral crisis will be solved and people will no longer have to be teargased or need supervision to work.
The function was also attended by the Retired Bishop of North Kigezi Diocese, Edward Muhima, who has fond memories of Kyebambe Girls, having studied at Nyakasura School, also in Kabarole district.
He noted that building a Chapel is very important for the moral aspect of this country.
“If this country is going to get out of this demise we are in, it must follow the Uganda Motto 'For God and My Country', which is by the way supported by the National Anthem: Oh Uganda, May God Uphold Thee. If we do not follow it, we are in trouble,” Muhima said.
Located in Fort Portal, Kabarole district in Western Uganda, Kyebambe Girls is one of the oldest secondary schools in the country, having been founded in 1910 under the Church of Uganda.
The school is named after Omukama of Toro, Daudi Kasagama Ikingura Kyebambe IV, who invited missionaries to his Kingdom in the 1900’s.
It is famous for producing the first female Lawyer in Uganda, Princess Elizabeth Bagaya, and the First female graduate in East and Central Africa, Dr Sarah Nyendwoha Ntiro.
Other prominent women that went through the school include Barbara Kaija (Editor-in-Chief of New Vision), Victoria Rusoke (Former Kabarole Woman MP), Slyvia Rwabwogo, Justice Judith Mbabazi (Judge Court of Higher Instance-Kigali).
Others are Doreen Silver Katusiime (undersecretary Ministry of Education), Edith Nsaba Buturo (undersecretary Ministry of Defence) and Joan Rwabyomere (Ambassador).