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“I had always admired how the son of our neighbor who was a student at Archbishop Flynn Secondary School would conduct himself with dignity and how we all respected him because he always appeared ‘different’. Indeed when I reached the school and saw the excellent environment and the way the students were behaving I prayed in my heart that God should ‘count me among them’! Indeed, God listened to my prayer.”
These are the words of Gilberto Ogwang, a current senior six student at AFSS. His long and winding road of hardship and struggle to further his education is similar to other
students we have highlighted and hundreds we have not. Gilberto is one of six children raised by their widowed mother. She has worked as a peasant farmer to keep her family alive since her husband died in 2004. After finishing primary school in 2008, Gilberto was not able to continue in secondary school because his mother could not afford the fees. In 2010 he was given support by a non-governmental agency called War Child, which allowed for his first two years at AFSS. When those funds ceased, Monsignor Matthew recommended him for a Good Shepherd Scholarship for his remaining time at AFSS.
Gilberto has more than proven himself worthy of this support by his discipline, hard work, and exemplary achievement. His gratitude and understanding of this opportunity is familiar, yet so poignant –
“Without this support I probably would have become a drunkard, a thief, a drug and substance abuser and street kid in Kotido town.”
He writes of his appreciation for the school’s philosophy and culture, the values and level of commitment among the teachers, and the vision of the school to be among the best in the country, promoting holistic education.
“I love the spirit of unity born of faith in God that does not give room for any form of segregation or discrimination… providing an environment where you can choose to develop your potentials to the extent that you are willing to go.”
As an aspiring civil engineer, Gilberto is confident God will continue to help him achieve his professional goals, as well as charitable efforts in giving back to the school that has made his dreams possible.
“As an old boy of this school I will always come back to advise students to work hard and participate actively in the school curriculum. I will also be very generous in putting my professional skills as an engineer in the service to the community of Archbishop Flynn Secondary School.”
Gilberto offers a challenge to his classmates and friends at AFSS to work hard, be disciplined and fear God. He wants them to also feel the privilege of being ‘counted among them’, to leave the school better than when they found it, and to genuinely thank God and their benefactors for this opportunity. He knows they have all been touched by the love of strangers