Last week, the Rwandan chapter of Ntare School Old Boys Association convened in Kigali to raise funds for the construction of the Ntare School in Rwanda.
The special reunion dinner that doubled as a fundraiser, was attended by President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni; both old Boys of the school.
It was a successful fundraiser as over $1.25m (about Rwf875m) was raised in cash and pledges.
There are lessons that local schools and higher institutions of learning can pick from the Ntare fundraiser.
One is that old boys/girls of any given school are a vital resource to support their former schools. An effective way to raise funds to support schools is to call upon former students to give a hand. Every school should keep strong links with its former students, friends, and supporters.
Every school should have a Development and Alumni Relations Office as the main point of contact for former students and friends who want to stay involved with, or support, their schools.
But few schools have such an office let alone a data base of the old students and what they do.
Schools which have been in existence for decades, have prominent old students in positions of power across the globe. This historical advantage should be used as a fundraising tool to raise money for rebuilding these schools.
Schools have to look out for own survival means and these are the old students, parents and well-wishers.
Old students can be a great resource to a school, if properly utilized. By taking an interest in what alumni are doing even now, you are building relationships that can benefit the school and its students for years to come.