Meghan Muyanja

LEU Volunteer August 2007-January 2008

“I made the decision to go to Uganda after reading my now-favorite quote by Gandhi, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ With that quote as my mantra, the decision was a cinch after meeting a native statesman, Christopher Mugimu.

“Christopher talked with me about a land and people who were in desperate need of leadership and good education. I decided to be the change I wished to see and traveled to Uganda to see how I could aid the cause.

“I found that Uganda was indeed in desperate need of leaders, and better yet, they knew it and were willing to do something about it. They were ready to change. So many times before I had tried to implement, teach, and share Leadership Education methodology in the U.S. but soon found that here we were not ready to change.

“In Uganda the teachers and citizens I spoke with opened their hearts and minds to the message. They soaked in every word I said like it was the first and last piece of truth they may hear in their life. They avidly took notes, asked questions, and began changing themselves, their beliefs, opinions, mentality and way of teaching. They were so open to the truth and principles of leadership education philosophy. I was amazed.

“My time in Uganda has been the most incredible experience of my life. It changed me, it taught me better then any book I’ve read, it molded and shaped my character and helped me apply the idealistic, lofty but real ideas I have studied for so many years. I fell in love with Uganda, every part of it.

“Changing the world and preparing the future is the best way to spend one’s time–especially when you’re doing it with people who are so teachable and humble and view every aspect of life as something beautiful because they were able to live it. There is still much work that needs to be done but I know that with a little mentoring the future leaders of Uganda will have little problem making their world a better and freer place.”

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Brian & Kira Johnson

LEU Volunteers January 2008-April 2008

“We decided to come to Uganda after hearing a native professor describe his country–its beauty, its people and their needs. He sparked our interest when he said the three things Ugandans need are Ethics, Education and Leaders.

“As we visited with him, we realized that he didn’t mean importing leaders from other countries to solve Uganda’s problems, but for Ugandan’s to rise up and help their own people and country. He wasn’t asking for money, food, or school supplies–he was asking for leader training. And we wanted to help.

“One of the questions most frequently asked to us as we prepared to come to Uganda was: ‘Why? Why go away to some exotic place to serve when there is so much need right here at home?’ The answer is simple: Uganda is ready.

“Of course America needs leadership education as much as the rest of the world, but the movement there is already underway. Furthermore, when you walk into a school in the U.S. and tell them about leadership education, they laugh at you, ask you what kind of a job you can get with that, or call you an idealist.

“Not so here in Uganda. When we walk into a school and tell them about leadership education, they ask ‘Where do we start?” The people recognize their lack of leadership and the need for educational reform and are willing to change and improve. The people who are capable of making a difference are ready to make it. They just need mentors.

“We were in Uganda for three months, and primarily worked with teachers at local schools. As we introduced leadership education, it was exciting for us to see the lights come on in their eyes. They knew their educational system had ways to improve and were open to new ideas. Teachers are understanding and applying leadership education, for themselves and in their classes.

“As one teacher told us, ‘Before this class, I only read to teach the students. The minimum. I didn’t like to read. Now, you can always see me with a book, even if it’s only for a few minutes in between classes. And the funny thing is, my students have begun noticing, and are asking about the books I am reading. It spreads. Other teachers take notice now also. They see the difference in us and in our classroom.’ These teachers feel a greater responsibility knowing they are teaching the future leaders of Uganda.

“We went to teach and serve, but we have also been on the receiving end learning and growing. We have become better leaders and teachers ourselves, we learned so much from the native people, we have been welcomed into a friendly and beautiful culture, we are making new friends, and we are helping to make a positive and lasting impact. We loved the people! We loved the food! We loved the green hills and forests! We loved the unique culture! We loved Uganda!”

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Rachel Jonesp80206091

LEU Volunteer

As I have helped these teachers in Uganda, I have discovered that I have a greater desire to connect with others on a higher level, a level of understanding their mission as well as my own. I have increased desire to lift up the downtrodden and the many that have lost the love of education. I have realized that I needed these people as much as they have needed me.

In many of our classes I have felt a great power, what Stephen Covey calls “synergy.” I think it’s simply love and it makes me want to become someone better. Coming to Africa has engraved on my heart the importance of every soul, as well as the power of leadership education. My experience with LEU has dramatically altered my life for the better.

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