Alex, another intern, and I went to the Stella Maris Primary School campus in Nkokonjeru to seek out three girls sponsored through CARITAS’ child sponsorship programs who had been named to hold an honored post among students, that of a prefect. We spoke with Bridget Kevin, Primary 5; Judith, Primary 6; and Ritah, Primary 7. Bridget is 10 years old and Judith and Ritah are 12 years old. They explained the role of a prefect and how the three of them came to serve in this capacity. Our conversation follows in a question and answer format.
From left to right: Bridget Kevin, Judith, and Ritah. All three girls were elected prefects by their peers and each is sponsored through CARITAS' child sponsorship programs.
Tang: What is a prefect?
Ritah: “A prefect is a person who acts on behalf of their teachers to help maintain the school.”
Tang: What are the duties of a prefect?
Bridget Kevin: “We supervise others doing work. I am the lost and found property prefect. I help others find their lost property.”
Judith: “I am the religious prefect. I help organize during mass. I teach my friends about religion and help organize the altar and readings on Sunday.”
Ritah: “We also supervise the dining room and make sure that there is no noise. I am the time keeper prefect. I make sure everyone knows the time to get to lunch, class, and changing to other places.”
Tang: Were you chosen to be prefects or elected?
Bridget: “We ran to become a prefect and were elected. I ran against six other girls.”
Judith: “I ran against two.”
Ritah: “I ran against three.”
Tang: Is it considered an honor to be a prefect?
All: “Yes. We are proud to be prefects.”
The prefect swearing-in ceremony at Stella Maris Primary Boarding School in Nkokonjeru, Uganda.
Bridget Kevin is sponsored by Pamela P. and Mary Anne B. is Judith’s sponsor. Mary F. is Ritah’s sponsor. We asked the girls:
Tang: Is there anything you would like to say to your sponsors?
Bridget Kevin: “I thank you for paying my school fees and for providing me with everything that I have. I pray that God will give you life.”
Judith: “I thank you for paying my school fees. It has provided me with everything that I need here. I pray that God blesses you and your family throughout your lives.”
Ritah: “Thank you very much because without you I could not be here. I wish you well with your family members.”
Tang: What do you enjoy most about school?
Bridget Kevin: “I enjoy the lessons, especially Science and Social Studies, but I enjoy all of them too.”
Judith: “They feed us well. I enjoy physical exercise and Mathematics is my best subject.”
Ritah: “I enjoy Saturdays and Sundays because of the juice.” [Ed. Note: Families of students supply juice that is a special treat for the students on the weekends.]
Tang: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Bridget Kevin: “I want to be a doctor. I want to treat sick people in the country.”
Judith: “I want to be a nun as well as a doctor. I want to become a nun to help people understand the word of God. I want to become a doctor to help those who are sick to help our country.”
Ritah: “I want to be a political leader. I want to stop corruption in our country.”