In Uganda, students must pass a test to proceed on to the secondary (middle school) level. At St. Gertrude's, no students pass and thus effectively have their life opportunities cut down to a very short list. A big part of the problem is a lack of resources for teachers, who don't have access to textbooks or even chalk.
"Most kids in Uganda might go to school, but they'll never touch a book," Sara Weinman said.
She aims to change that and to provide teachers with materials so they can teach the entrance exams, and also hopes a local school here might be able to forge a partnership with St. Gertrude's.
Sara Weinman knows the value of a personal connection to a land so far away. She's been sponsoring Wilbur through the Engeye Scholars program and was finally able to meet him in person.
Though Engeye has a large focus on education, it has many other missions in Uganda. The expedition the Weinmans took part in was in large part running the Engeye village clinic, which is basically the only medical facility available to thousands of locals. Sara Weinman also spent a few days there in her first days in country, when she and several other travelers became ill.
That experience helped her adjust to the simple conditions in Ddegeya, however, where there was no electricity or running water.
"I got sick here, and I'm fine," Sara said she told herself. "These people have to deal with it all the time, so I can deal with it for 15 days."
Dealing with limited water supplies, rats, primitive toilets and showers consisting of a cup of rain water was still quite the experience, though.
"Not having clean water always next to you, that was really weird to get used to," she said.