KHA Graduation - So Long, Farewell

2023 Kibuye Hope Academy Graduates

This weekend marked another milestone for our lives here at Kibuye. We graduated another class of 8th graders from Kibuye Hope Academy. Our graduates were Liam Banks and Maggie McLaughlin. This year was unique because it was the first time we graduated a student who has done every year of her education at KHA. Maggie was a kindergartener the first year KHA officially began. Liam’s first year at Kibuye was his 2nd grade year. And here we are, many years later with two 14 year olds! For both the McLaughlins and us (the Banks), these are our oldest and first to graduate Middle School. 

Our whole team gathered together and the school was transformed into the stage for the afternoon. Liam and Maggie entered to Pomp & Circumstance wearing graduation caps homemade from cardboard and local Burundian fabric. 

Glory Guy, our Middle School teacher, served as Master of Ceremonies and dazzled us all with a colorful speech walking the graduates through all the books they have read in Middle School and the life lessons gleaned from each book.

The four Middle Schoolers (Liam, Maggie, Ben McLaughlin, and Zeke Banks) treated us to a performance of Do Re Mi from the musical, The Sound of Music. I've been their music teacher for 7 years, and have really enjoyed seeing them grow as musicians and singers. Great job guys – you nailed it!

Both Liam and Maggie gave speeches that were thoughtful, insightful, and even funny. The younger generation of Kibuye kids has been blessed by these two older ones who have taught them, played with them, and set a good example as diligent students. 

Our three teachers – Glory, Erica, and Jenny – joined together to present them with their diplomas and be the first to congratulate them. Liam and Maggie were excited to officially move the tassel and be declared graduates of Kibuye Hope Academy!

One advantage to our life here at Kibuye is the closeness of our teammates. In many ways we function as a very big family. The kids even call the adults Aunt & Uncle. So it was very fitting for the dads to join the graduates and pray a blessing over them on behalf of all the Aunts and Uncle on the team.

May the Lord bless you and keep you...

After a big thank you to our wonderful teachers, the entire school gave an amazing performance of So Long, Farewell. It was a perfect way to end our graduation, saying goodbye to our teachers who have finished their term with Serge, and goodbye to Liam and Maggie as they will go off to RVA in Kenya next year. 

We know the Lord has great things for KHA next year and the years to come. But for now, it was nice to pause and praise Him for this year, this season, these teachers, and these kids. 

Aunt Eunice bringing some California flair to the event!

A trip down memory lane with photos of these kids through the years

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