Reflections on My Visit to the US

By Sarah Sabano, Head Teacher, Arlington Junior School

The twenty-third of March, 2017, will always be a memorable day in my life, because on this day, I boarded a plane to the USA, in the company of Mayi Agiri, the mother to founder John, and Phoebe, the REACH Secondary School Coordinator.

Prior to this trip, I had mixed feelings, concerns, and expectations. What will it feel like to travel by plane? How will the founders feel to see three ladies walking through the arrival gate all looking Ugandan? What does REACH mean to our friends in the USA? What’s the weather in the USA?  What kind of food will I eat? What kind of people will I meet and which REACH activities will I do? How will this trip help me learn and do my work better? What’s the infrastructure and the kind of education system used in USA? And, of course, how will the school run while I am away! All of this was overwhelming!

However, sooner than I expected everything began to unfold; I was amazed to learn that REACH means a lot to our friends in the USA. They work hard because they love us and know that the support they give us brings new hope for our people to attain a bright future!

The Wandas, Phoebe & Sarah at Oakridge Elementary School

On education in the USA, I discovered that it is the responsibility of the government to build good schools for their children and provide for most needs. All the stakeholders—the parents, teachers and the planners—work hand in hand to make sure that the students get what they deserve. I also learned that schools follow a curriculum that trains and produces an all-around child with special talents and skills. This has helped the USA to have enough skilled labour force in all departments. All schools also have the capacity to hire skilled personnel to handle students with special needs.

During the lessons, teachers work as instructors to give their students time to explore and do things on their own. Interestingly, all students use modern technology like iPads and Smartboards to learn. No child ever goes hungry because the schools serve breakfast and lunch to all of them. Security for students and staff is also given priority.

As far as infrastructure, the USA has well-developed buildings, a good road network, bridges, running water and electricity. The people care for their environment and respect what they have.

Throughout my stay, I noticed that people in the USA prepare and serve a variety of plentiful food for one to choose from! I enjoyed different types of food in our sponsors’ homes—save for the oysters which I tried but failed to eat!

The Pettit Family with Sarah & Phoebe

Meeting and sharing with our sponsors, donors, and the US board has given me a new sense of direction. I now fully understand how and where the board gets the funding to support the activities of REACH. I also understand how each one of us can share our ideas and promote our organization.

Finally, I honor all sponsors, donors, staff, parents, and friends of the REACH family for all that you do for REACH. I thank you for the opportunity you gave me to visit and learn about your country! I am now confident that REACH is here to stay and transform lives of Ugandans because of everyone’s commitment!


  1. Suzanne Smith on May 18, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Dear Sarah and Phoebe,
    It was such a pleasure to have you visit our school, Taylor Elementary. Thank you so much for taking time to be with us and watch our wonderful teachers and students interact. I am so glad that your visit to the U.S. was safe and enriching. I look forward to seeing you all again someday.
    Sue Smith

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