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Arlington Couple Builds School In Uganda

John Wanda and his wife have lived in Arlington, Virginia since 1996, but they returned to their native country to build a school and naming it the Arlington School of Hope.

Teachers at one Arlington school are hard at work in a building where kids walk hours to get to class and educators earn just $10 a day.This Arlington school is unlike any round here.We first introduced it to you about a year ago.9 News' Emily Schmidt has an update on the place that opens a whole new world to those who visit. Emily Schmidt's Report Sooner or later, everyone has to face a first day of school but rarely does it arrive quite like this.These are 200 kids who go to school in a Ugandan village in Eastern Africa.Few visit here, few leave. Even when one villager did, he could not forget the kids left behind."There are so many kids: you help one, you feel good. You help more, you feel great. You help kids who would not make it at all", says John Wanda.He and his wife Joyce won an immigration lottery that let them come to Arlington, Virginia in 1996."Some people come and never go back, they forget their roots. We are going to make a difference", says the Wandas.They dreamed of building a school in their old village and naming it the Arlington Academy of Hope after their new home."This was beyond our wildest dream", says Joyce.The school opened a little more than a year ago and this summer 15 Americans went to see it for themselves."They tell me how they walk two to three miles to get to school and help with chores. They have no food, but what they want to do is go to school", says Beatrice Tierney.These are children whose families on a good year take home $100. Arlington Academy of Hope pays three times that to give each child an education."When we went to the schools, we took pencils. You'd think we'd given them one hundred dollar bills. They were so pleased to have a brand new pencil", says Holly Hawthorne.It leads to a 97% attendance rate in a country where only one of out five kindergarteners makes it to seventh grade."They need help, want our help, they're glad we're there", says Sarah Godlewski.Click on video to see Emily Schmidt's report.

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