I never cease to be amazed at how important it is in Africa to receive certificates. Regardless of what it may say or may be for, receiving a certificate is a symbol of status and achievement. They are received proudly and amongst much cheering.
We've been giving out a lot of certificates lately. When our LaunchPad classes ended for the term, all the graduating students (who did not miss more than 2 classes) received certificates of completion. Perfect attendance certificates were also given out to those faithful few. Each student in our ninth grade abstinence campaign who pledged to save sex until marriage received a certificate as well - over 800 students in total!
Today at the Christmas party for our coaches, we again gave out certificates. Although possibly "getting old" to some of our crew, those receiving them acted as though it were their very first one. Shouting, chanting of names, and joyful clapping erupted from the group of coaches after each name was called.
Certificates and all, the party was great; a fun opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the coaches for their hard work throughout the year.