Dear Friends & Supporters of Matale,
The ZoomUganda team and Harambee Centre wish you a happy summer! Wherever it finds you, we hope you are getting time to recharge for the second half of 2014.
We have great news to share. We started off the year with the goal of raising $10,000 towards building the Girls’ Dorm. As of writing this update, we have raised almost $8,000 towards this goal! Repeat that we say…almost $8,000!! We know with your continued generosity in 2014, we will double this goal, which is nothing short of incredible. We are currently working with the leadership team at St. Andrews Matale on logistics for the next phase of construction. Our goal for 2014 is to go from the stage (as can be seen in the PDF), to a phase that enables the progress we are making together to stay intact i.e. not be exposed to the weather elements of the rainy season in tropical Uganda. We cannot wait to share that progress with each of you, our donors.
Our dream is that in a few years, we can be able to report back to you that your generosity is changing dreams for girls like Martha and Daisy (more on them below). What we know for sure is that it takes infrastructure, work, and mentorship to create future leaders and achievers. We request your continued support to invest in the futures of the young women of Matale and their community.
Matale Student Ambassadors to Southridge High School in Beaverton
Starting April 27th – May 17th 2014, Martha Naguti and Daisy Esther Namulema (pictured) got the opportunity of a lifetime. Through the hard work of their sister school and friends at Southridge H.S., the two girls embarked on a three week cultural exchange trip to Oregon. They spent that time attending classes with their host sisters, Taylor and Elodee, and having many ‘firsts” along the way, for example; first time on a plane, first time seeing the ocean at the Oregon coast, first time seeing snow at Mt. Hood, among others. In addition, Martha and Daisy and Taylor and Elodee got to spend a day with the ZoomUganda team at Nike, learning about the company, career options, and the Girl Effect work of the Nike Foundation. It was a trip of a lifetime for the girls!!
What the Girls’ Dorm will mean for Daisy and Martha
Martha: “The dorm will mean a lot to the community of St. Andrews Matale. It will increase the amount of girls that can be in the boarding section at the school which will help them focus on their studies. Thank you for supporting St. Andrews.” Daisy: “The girls’ dormitory will mean a lot of things like increasing the overall number of girls in the school, and saving girls the time to walk to school so that they can be on time to class. It will also prevent some dangers like girls can be frightened when going back to their home.”
We kindly request that you continue to include the Project in your 2014 giving plans. DONATE TODAY by clicking on the Give Now button!
With gratitude from the ZoomUganda Team: Thomas Lwebuga, Julie Resnick and Noela Nalujjuna.
Happy Spring in the Northern Hemisphere – from the girls and young women of St. Andrews Senior Secondary School, Matale Uganda.
ZoomUganda and the Harambee Centre with the girls of Matale wish you a Happy Spring. As we celebrate the start of spring 2014, we are filled with gratitude for your generosity to the community of Matale in their quest to give opportunity to young women. The 2014 year is off to a good start. Matale inaugurated a new Board of Directors at a colorful ceremony where the old board that was led by the Mrs. Rosemary Mayiga for about nine years was thanked for their contribution. Here, we want to tell you a little about Mrs. Rosemary Mayiga. Rosemary did incredible work for the school not only as a leader of the board, but as an advocate for the students. She hosted meetings and welcomed many of the Harambee Centre visitors to Uganda in her home. She mentored students and advised the administration as well as donors on many things. During her leadership tenure, Matale’s infrastructure was transformed with updated classrooms, and a brand new Science Laboratory that was completed in 2010. In the simplest way, she was the right leader to be the chair of the board, and a great example to young women not only at St. Andrews, but in the whole community. Her work and efforts will continue to serve St. Andrews and the community at large for years to come.
Matale Former Student Achievements
We learned that Robert Kasumba a former Matale student was among the top students in the country on the recently released results of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (A-Levels) examinations. Robert spent the last two years at a prestigious college prep boarding school near the capital city, Kampala, where we were able to find him placement after his superb performance at the Senior Four national exams while at St. Andrews.
We also got news that Ivan Bwowe another Matale alumni now studying for his law degree at Makerere University in Kampala was elected Guild President of the university with 65% of the votes.
Both of these young people give us hope for the future. But as we celebrate their achievement, it points us to the achievement gap with the girls of Matale. The work we have embarked on to build a girl’s dormitory is to create a safe place for the girls of Matale to focus on their education and work towards their dreams. Help to make this a reality. Our dream is that in a few years, we can be able to report back to you that we have young women who are excelling and achieving their dreams, just like Robert and Ivan are. It takes infrastructure, work, and mentorship to create leaders and achievers. We need your help to make this investing in the young women of Matale. Below is the work we have started at the foundation level.
We kindly request that you include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2014 giving plans, so that together we can change lives and make an impact that lasts for generations!
DONATE TODAY by clicking on the Give Now button!
Thank you for your support. Wishing you and your loved ones continued prosperity in 2014!
The ZoomUganda Team,
Thomas Lwebuga Julie Resnick Noela Nalujjuna
GlobalGiving Report – December 2013
9,000 Miles to School
We hope that students from St Andrews Secondary School in Matale, Uganda will soon be making the 9,000 mile trip to visit their Sister School, Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon. Martha (10th grade), Daisy (10th grade), and Moses (9th grade) along with Head Teacher Sajjabbi Andrew are working steadfastly to make the visit to Beaverton a reality, and the Harambee Centre looks forward to welcoming the students to Oregon in 2014. They will live with Southridge host families during their 3-week stay and attend classes with their Southridge counterparts. As Ambassadors from St Andrews they will share news and pictures about the status of the girls’ dormitory and discuss the impact that this new building will have on the school environment.
Southridge has hosted visitors from St Andrews since 2009, and many students there have expressed how the experience of having students on campus from Uganda has forever changed them. One former Southridge student named Jessica Harn wrote about this for our recent newsletter.
Meet Jessica Harn
Harambee Centre Intern
I first became interested in Africa when I was in elementary school, watching documentaries I could barely understand and listening to music from sub-Saharan Africa. In high school, a friend and I decided to get involved with the cultural exchange between my high school, Southridge, and St. Andrews school in Matale, Uganda (2009). We became wrapped up in the enormous task of bringing four students and a teacher from Uganda to Beaverton, succeeding with bridging the gap between two seemingly different cultures, and learning more than I will probably ever be able to describe fully. Seeing my world from their eyes and learning about a culture so physically far from what I had ever known steered me towards a life of traveling and learning about different peoples across the globe. Since graduating high school, I have studied abroad in three different countries and am now living and studying in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East with a focus on International Relations. Being involved with the Harambee Centre changed my life in not only being connected with a different culture and people, but it also gave me a deep insight into how small but powerful organizations operate and change the community around it. The Harambee Centre changed my life and opened up dreams and possibilities, and through my internship with them this summer I hope I can give back a tiny portion of what they had given and are giving me. --
Harambee Centre & ZoomUganda
Greetings from the girls and community of St. Andrews Senior Secondary School, Matale Uganda.
Term 3: The beginning of fall here in North America kicked off the beginning of school year third team for the students at St. Andrews Matale. The students are working hard to prepare for the end of the school year, which includes year-end exams. These exams determine whether a student is advanced into the next level or not. In December, they will kick-off their Christmas holiday, which is the equivalent of summer break in the American schooling system.
2013 A-Level Final Exams: 2011’s best student in Rakai district was Robert from Matale. In the last update, we mentioned his stellar performance at the A-Level mock exams, at one of Uganda’s best college prep schools. Robert’s performance in these mock exams which are preparation for the national A-Level exams is a big fit given that he came from Matale, a small back ward rural school. As we write this, Robert and his classmates are sitting for their final national exams that will mark the end of their high school education career and will mark the beginning of a new one: entering university! We wish Robert the best of wishes in these exams; he is well on his way of achieving his dream of going to university to study computer science. We ask that you keep Robert and his classmates in your thoughts during this critical time in their development. Without the work that you and many others have done to enable us to support Matale, Robert would not be where he is.
Sister School Matale Students Fall Visit to USA: As mentioned in our last update, our partners at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon were planning to bring student and staff representatives from Matale, to Oregon for their 3rd cultural exchange. While the trip has been delayed due to visa application process, we continue to be thankful to Southridge students and teachers who tirelessly work on this sister school relationship, regardless of what obstacles come their way! And by the way, Robert Kasumba mentioned above was one of the students who was on the first culture exchange visit to Southridge from Matale. On that trip, Robert’s view of the world was challenged and his place and contribution and what he wants to do were reshaped and he vowed to work towards his dream. This was a trip of a life time for Robert but also an eye opener that continues to influence how this young man makes choices. It goes to show how powerful the work you help us do is.
Student Enrollment: As of summer 2013, St. Andrews had the following 306 students enrolled, with girls accounting for 55% of total enrollment, which is incredible. Please see the figure in the photo above for the breakdown of numbers.
Fundraising for the Girls’ Dorm Project: We are working to raise funds and build a girls dormitory to give more girls an opportunity to attend Matale but also to increase their ability to do well in school and go on to have careers and fulfilled lives and families. Currently 55% of the Matale students are girls. When we started this work this number was a lot lower. This is tremendous progress, but getting this girls dorm built will mean the school can aim for 100% of girls in the school staying at school; have a safe facility with a female counselor on the grounds, and focusing on their education. We are continuing fundraising efforts to start the next phase of construction. As of now, we have about $6,000, but still need another $9,000 in order to begin the next phase of the construction.
We kindly request that you not only continue to include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2013 giving, but also help us spread the word about this work; together we can change lives and make an impact that lasts for generations! DONATE TODAY! by clicking on the Give Now button below.
With gratitude from The ZoomUganda Team,
The girls and community of St. Andrews Senior Secondary School, Matale Uganda wish you a happy summer.
Term 2: The beginning of summer here in North America kicked off with the beginning of term 2 for the students at St. Andrews.
New Principal: The new principal Mr. Andrew Ssajjabbi is continuing to get up to speed with the school and our work with the young women of this community.
Advanced Levels (A-Levels): The Advanced level section (Senior 5 and 6 – these are the last two years of high school in Uganda) is up and running now; which will give the girls and boys of Matale an opportunity to continue their senior education, in preparation for universities and other tertiary institutions of higher education.
Before this, Matale only had Ordinary Level (O-Levels) education and meant that students had to apply to other schools after Senior 4 at Matale. Now they can finish their high school at Matale.
2013 A-Level Mock Exams: 2011’s best student in Rakai district was from Matale. He is continuing to do very well at his A-Level at one of Uganda’s prestigious college-prep schools in Kampala. He is supported by one of ZoomUganda’s good friends and supporters. At the A-Level mock exams, which are preparation for the national A-Level exams, he earned 18 points, out of the maximum 20 points. Robert is well on his way of achieving his dream of going to university to study computer science. We know this this dream was not possible for a kid from St. Andrews Matale 10 years ago. Our work there has opened these doors!
Sister School Matale Students Fall Visit to USA: Our partners at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon have continued their generous tradition of a 24-hour student led fast in order to facilitate cross-cultural visiting programs and other development work at Matale. This fall, Southridge plans to bring student and staff representatives from Matale, Uganda to Oregon for the 3rd exchange of its kind. We are thankful to Southridge students and teachers who participate in the Sister School Club for this important work!
Fundraising for the Girls’ Dorm Project: We are continuing fundraising efforts to start the next phase of construction of the Girls’ Dorm and will be sharing updates in our reports as we make progress.
We kindly request that you continue to include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2013 giving; because together we can change lives and make an impact that lasts for generations!
Gratitude: We continue to be filled with gratitude for the opportunities to; serve, connect two communities, make a difference in young girls’ lives, make a difference in the trajectory of young people and the evolution of a community, and most importantly, gratitude for you, our donors and supporters. You have contributed your time and resources to ZoomUganda and to the Harambee Centre. We are always thankful to you for being a part of this journey.
DONATE TODAY! by clicking on the Give Now button below.
Thank you for your support. Wishing you and your loved ones a fun filled, giving inspired summer!
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