One School at a Time works to boost the performance, quality and sustainability of rural, impoverished schools in Uganda. We promote a community-driven approach that engages the school community, school board, teachers and students. This approach empowers schools to identify their own needs and to successfully develop and implement their own five-year plan. We require the parents and school community to implement their own improvements that they identify. We focus on long-term solutions that improve the lives of motivated communities, and we use practical technologies that can be maintained locally and are easy to sustain.
"Go to the people. Learn from them... Start with what they know. Build with what they have. ...when the job is done, the people will all say we have done it ourselves." Lao Tzu
What makes One School at a Time Unique?
One School at a Time
Bay Roberts and Patty Gilbert, One School at a Time Founders, received an award from the Boulder, CO Chamber of Commerce for their work with One School at a Time in Uganda. They joined five other women honorees, all recognized as 2014 “Women Who Light the Community”. Check out our blog to
We believe that a school is an ecosystem — fixing just one thing will not repair the whole. We recognize that a well-functioning school is composed of much more than just buildings and infrastructure, and we take a whole school approach.
- We use a community-based approach and require partner schools to identify their own needs and develop and implement their own strategic plan.
- We engage with our schools for five years or more. Long-term relationships with our partner schools build trust, good working rapport and community empowerment. It also creates the necessary conditions to build sustainability.
- We use communication techniques developed by Marshall Rosenberg to engage our partners. These techniques make it possible for stakeholders to respectfully negotiate through differences and conflicts.
- One School at a Time does not dump resources and leave. We monitor each school’s progress to ensure that existing programs are functioning as intended. If something does not work, we learn from our mistakes and make adjustments