Annual Goodhart Prize Awarded to Top Girls in Math and Science


Top female scorer on the A Level math and science exams, Kabahumuza Esther shares her goal of becoming a doctor. 

In collaboration with the African Opportunity Foundation (AOF; formerly African Orphans Foundation), Kasiisi Project and its Ugandan counterpart, Kibale Forest Schools Program, recently awarded the 2023 Goodhart Prize to four girls excelling in science and mathematics.

This prize is named for the late Brad Goodhart, a Board Member of AOF who, for years, helped coordinate fundraising for orphaned girls in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

​The award has been given annually since 2016 to the two Kabarole District girls with the highest marks on the Grades 10 (O Level) and 12 (A Level) public exams. This year, the award was also extended to the top performing girl on the Primary Leaving Exam. Two girls tied for the highest primary scores, so both were awarded prizes.

2023 Goodhart Prize winners with their teachers and families.

The primary level awardees were Birungi Prisca of Mituuli Primary School and Katusiime Jackline of Rutoma Primary School. The secondary level awardees were Muhindo Morian Asingya of Kyebambe Girls Secondary School (O Level) and Kabahumuza Esther of Mpanga Senior Secondary School (A Level). Winners received a T-shirt, medal, certificate, and a cash prize and were celebrated at a ceremony, which was held this year at Mpanga Secondary School.

Around 200 students as well as teachers, parents, and distinguished guests were in attendance, including a female member of Parliament and the District Education Officer. Guests cheered on the winners as their names and scores were announced. “The atmosphere was electric,” said Dr. Emily Otali, Country Director for Kasiisi Project and Kibale Forest Schools Program. Otali spoke at the event about her own journey as a Ugandan woman in science (she was Uganda’s first female Ph.D. primatologist) and about the need to recruit more girls into math and science to meet the ongoing and future challenges facing Uganda, including those associated with climate change. ​Otali noted that the Goodhart Prize goes beyond benefitting four girls. “This has a ripple effect because the success of these girls inspires others that they too can excel, even coming from a rural district such as Kabarole. That hope is everything.”

When asked what this award meant to them, the awardees emphasized self motivation and the importance of inspiring others. Morian Asingya said, “This means a lot to me and has motivated me to work harder and to encourage other girls to perform very well.” Similarly, Kabahumuza Esther (see video link below) said she will “always keep the candle burning and I’ll always inspire more girls to do the same.” She also expressed thanks for the existence of the Goodhart Prize and encouraged everyone to “Keep inspiring young girls. Keep inspiring Ugandans such that we can become the light of Uganda.”

“In the past, girls would say I will grow up and get married. If I want this, my husband will buy for me. But nowadays, girls say I will study and get a job and do something for myself.” 
– Hon. Linda Irene, Member of Parliament. Remarks at the Goodhart Prize Ceremony

We would like to express our deep gratitude to AOF for their continued partnership that makes this important annual award possible. Thanks also to Tara Peterson of Stupendous Design for creating this year’s T-shirt design.