Professor of Exercise Science serves at Ugandan school

Posted February 22, 2012

Dr. Lorraine Wilson, assistant professor of exercise science, and her husband, J. Wilson, recently spent two weeks in Lira, Uganda. From Dec. 30 - Jan. 13, the Wilsons worked at the Lira Integrated School.

Dr. Wilson's journey to Lira began in October 2010 when she met Beatrice Byaruhanga, founder and director of the school. When Byaruhanga visited ACU and spoke of her work in Uganda, Wilson was inspired by the entrepreneur and compelled to join in her work.

The Wilsons worked on three main projects during their time in Lira: pouring concrete for a school basketball court, implementing a school swimming program and exploring further ministry opportunities for ACU students and Abilene churches. J. led a team of 12, including eight students from Springfield College in Mass., in constructing the basketball court. "It was difficult to prepare the court and pour concrete without proper tools, but the team rose to the task with great invention and a lot of sweat," says Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson taught basic swimming techniques to four Lira Integrated School teachers and one recent high school graduate. The school's two swimming pools were constructed in 2010, but the school did not have a swimming program. The teachers plan to pass their new skills on to their students. "Drowning is a leading cause of death in rural Uganda," Wilson explains. "I was honored to help begin a program that, over time, will reduce this statistic."

The school would like to expand its athletics program, and Wilson hopes the ACU and Abilene communities will continue to partner with the school's staff members. Read Wilson's blog about the trip to learn more.