If you followed Freedom Global (previously Uhuru Child) on any forms of social media prior to the Super Bowl this year, you probably noticed that the students from Uhuru Academy were cheering for the Carolina Panthers all the way from Kenya! Since Freedom Global is an NGO based out of Durham, NC, the students joined with many staff members and past-trip volunteers to cheer on the team from the Carolinas. They adopted the team & accepted the “Keep Pounding” mantra as their own. Many students related to the team’s perseverance and vowed to keep pounding in their own educations here at Uhuru Academy.
Our students will look back at that week & be the only high schoolers in Kenya to have such an experience. Though many of these students have never seen American football, they had the time of their lives cheering for the Panthers! In less than two weeks, the power of social media allowed twelve of our students to be interviewed via Skype by two different local Charlotte news stations and one Illinois station. The girls even created a parody video to Adele’s Hello to cheer on the Panthers and to show off their school! “Hello from Uhuru Girls” was sung by a talented Form 2 student, Vanessa, and already has 2000 views!
“It reminds me that whenever I’m in the field or when I’m stuck in any area of life or in my studies, I should keep on pounding & never give up.” -Shariffa, Form 4 Uhuru Student
Maybe you are thinking this was fun and silly, because it totally was! It was awesome to teach the students about how former Panthers player and coach, Sam Mills, after diagnosed with cancer, told the team to “Keep Pounding” and to cheer for the Carolina team in Super Bowl 50 all the way Kenya! However, there was and is so much more to this social media push. This was an opportunity to merge the idea of cheering on the Panthers AND allowing people to hear about these amazing students and this amazing organization. Maybe, just maybe, God will use it in a big way for his glory. Maybe, just maybe, the videos or posts will fall into the right hands. Maybe, just maybe, peoples’ paths would cross with students, a country, and an NGO they wouldn’t have come in contact with otherwise. Maybe, just maybe, God will connect the right people to this organization, spark interest in getting involved, or make a donation.
We are praying that this fun and silly thing, cheering for the Panthers, would allow others to hear how Uhuru means freedom and how education is freedom for these students (60% of which are on merit-based scholarships). This school has a story that deserves to be told and these students want to tell others about how they are fighting for a quality education. And although the Panthers didn’t pull off the win this year, they still have the love and support from the students of Uhuru Academy across the globe who would encourage them to not give up!
Despite the loss, watch and share the silly videos, news stories, and pictures. Let’s get as many people as possible to hear about these girlies and their endeavor in life and their education to “Keep Pounding.”