Even Ground

Even Ground strives to help families and communities break the cycles of poverty and inequality by providing support to community-based programs that offer high-quality education and care to young people in Africa. We envision communities where all young people, regardless of their economic background, are given high-quality education and care to ensure a fair start in life and set them on the path towards a brighter future. UNAIDS estimates that to date, a staggering 14 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV in the world and by 2025, it is estimated that 40% of South African adults will have died of t...
Nov 10, 2014

Meet Nosihle...

Nosihle
Nosihle

Meet Nosihle...

Nosihle Chagwe is in Grade 2 at Sosukwane Primary School - one of a few schools in our Programme that has a classroom garden set up right outside of their classrooms. Nosihle's been learning about Agriculture with our facilitators and is excited to see the garden grow. We had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with Nosihle so she could tell us what she's been learning:
  • I learned about the importance of keeping our enviroment clean and taking care of the garden.
  • I enjoy learning about different vegetables that I did not know about before.
  • I like growing vegetables because you don't have to buy all the time and you can sell.
Nosihle is one of many students at Thanda who loves learning about Agriculture and playing in the garden. Each year, Thanda facilitators teach 1400 school children the importance of eating a balanced diet and growing their own vegetables. By setting up gardens and irrigation systems at local schools, we are helping to instill these values at a young age and laying a foundation on which we can build a healthier, more self-reliant way forward for the community.

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Oct 13, 2014

Siyabonga Early Childhood Center Hosts US Visitors

Even Ground
Even Ground's New Executive Director at Siyabonga

Dear Friends,

On September 22, Siyabonga Early Childhood Education Center had a special group of visitors from the United States, including two Board Members from Even Ground and Even Ground’s new Executive Director. The children were surprised to see them and quite shy at first. However, once the group volunteered to help the students with an art activity they were doing, the children quickly warmed up to them. The teachers also enjoyed meeting and working with the visitors and told the Director of the Center they wished the day would never end. The Director reported that they all felt that the visitors were humble, down-to-earth people who truly cared about the children and the work they are doing at the Center. She was glad that they were so interested to learn about the challenges their community faces and the needs of the Center. The day ended with the visitors giving the children some toys they had brought and, in return, the children performed a traditional Zulu dance for them - a rhythmic dance where they kick their legs high and then bring them down with a thump.

Even Ground’s Executive Director reported that he and the Board Members were most impressed with the quality of the teaching and with the Director’s engagement with the students. The children are alert, active, and well behaved, he said, a good indicator of the success of the program. They were pleased to learn that nearly all the parents of the children at the center are involved in the development and implementation of the program through monthly meetings where they discuss school objectives, curriculum, and nutrition. He commented that the work done there is extraordinary given the depth of challenges the area faces around lack of infrastructure, food security, HIV/AIDS, and sustainable livelihoods.

One of the immediate challenges that the center faces is the severe drought that has been plaguing the region for the past months. The municipal water supply has been dried up for many weeks, and the center’s back-up rainwater collection system is also depleted due to the lack of rain. The lack of water has made even basic activities like cooking and hand washing a huge challenge for center staff, and has also delayed the completion of the landscaping and outdoor play area. The Board members recognized that addressing the Center’s water needs is a priority, as is finding a way to provide ongoing funding.

After seeing the program first-hand, our Board members are more motivated than ever to raise more funds to increase the number of children served, to improve the curriculum, to hire more staff, and to help solve challenges like the current water crisis. But we need your help to do so.

As we begin our annual fall campaign to raise the funds necessary to keep offering essential services to young children and to grow our programs to help more young people in need, we want to reach out to all of you to thank you for your support and to ask for your continued assistance. If you are considering helping us out again this season, we wanted to let you know that this coming Wednesday, October 15, at 9:00 am EDT / 6:00 am PDT, Global Giving will be giving a 30% match on your donations. Check out our program page for more information.

All the best,

Helen and the staff of Siyabonga

Sep 29, 2014

Home Stretch: Scholars Begin Final Semester

Justine at her Internship
Justine at her Internship

Thank you to all our generous donors! Your consistent support has enabled us to provide educational scholarships to vulnerable youth in rural Uganda for over ten years. Our current group of scholars have been sponsored since the beginning of their primary education, through secondary school, and now they are beginning their final semester of university study. Without this program it is most certain our scholars would not have been able to continue their education due to financial constraints.

One scholar, Justine, has been one of our students for over eight years. Being raised by a single mother with limited resources, Justine would have discontinued her education after elementary school if it weren't for Even Ground and the Uganda Eudcation Project's support. Today, Justine is happily pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Micro-Finance from Kyambogo University in Uganda. Recently, she completed an internship with Pride Micro-Finance, one of the leading micro-finance institutions in Uganda.This opportunity allowed her to apply her studies and gain valuable experience necessary to begin her career. Now in her final semester, Justine anticipates completing her degree next spring. 

Justine reports, “I’m hopeful that after finishing my studies I will get a job and be able to support my family and other needy students.” Throughout our work, we emphasize the importance of giving back to the local community so that the impact of our work reaches beyond the scholars we support.

Our scholars look forward to a bright future thanks to your support.

Best,

Mark & Meredith Wallace

Justine at University
Justine at University

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