I hope you are enjoying 2015 thus far and the turn of the seasons as much as I am. We (Thomas Lwebuga and Noela Nalujjuna) spent the first half of January in Uganda and a significant part of that time in Matale. During that time, we visited with community leaders, St. Andrews leaders, and former and current students of Matale. We left thankful to have a community of people there that are true partners to Harambee Centre in this work. This is because:
a) they share the vision of giving girls a safe place to focus on their education and are excited to build the girls’ dormitory because they value the impact it will bring to the community;
b) they are committed to raising a significant amount of the funds needed – 40%, which is a big deal for this rural community, and;
c) they are impeccably taking care of what is already there, as you will see in the photos attached.
Shortly after we came back, we received the UCE (Uganda Certificate of Education) results for the class that sat for their Senior 4 exams in 2014. UCE exams are preparation for the last two years of secondary school or UACE (Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education). We are pleased to see that the school’s performance continues to improve with each passing year; this was the best performing class since the school’s founding in 1986! 77 students sat for the exams, with 9/77 (12%) passing with a 1st grade, 18/77 (23%) passing with a 2nd grade, 18/77 (23%) passing with a 3rd grade and 27/77 (35%) passing with a 4th grade. Overall, 94% passed their exams.
However, as has been the case each year, the girls are still lagging behind the boys. 51 (66%) of the students were girls, however, only 2/9 (22%) of those passing with 1st grades were girls. They are on the right path, but this indicates what we know, they still need the help.
As we have said before, it takes leadership and commitment from both sides to keep a vision like this alive. Equally important, it takes supporters like you who continue to work alongside us by supporting this shared goal and vision of giving the girls of St. Andrews a safe place to focus on their education. All of us at Harambee Centre and St. Andrews S.S.S Matale are very grateful to you and your continued support of this work. Enjoy this spring season; may it bring prosperity, health, and continued generosity towards our work and other causes that you feel called to support.
We are beginning a wonderful time of year – the beginning of 2015! New month, new year, new beginnings. New beginnings present a good time to reflect on accomplishments and set new goals. For our project, we reflect and are thankful for the nearly $30,000 raised in 2014, which has given us great momentum to build on in 2015. In 2015, our goal is to start the second phase of construction on the girls' dormitory, which will put us closer to giving the girls of St. Andrews S.S.S Matale a safe place to learn and focus on their education. We cannot wait to share that progress with you.
We are also happy to report that the students of St. Andrews have started their own Facebook page and are regularly posting happenings at the school. Click on the link to see pictures and check back often to see updates from the students themselves: https://www.facebook.com/www.matale.co.ug
As you kick off 2015, please consider continuing to support this project at any level you can to make safety and education possible for the girls of Matale. Alternatively, please help us spread the word to your community; we know there is power in numbers and power in personal connections. We thank you for your support and generosity, because we need you and the girls of Matale need you.
Wishing you and your loved ones the very best in the New Year!
ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre teams.
Dear Friends and Supporters of Matale,
We hope this update finds you and yours happy and healthy. We have been busy planning the first ever ZoomUganda 5K Fun run/walk to take place on International Day of the Girl: October 11, 2014! We are thrilled to do something active with our community of supporters here in Oregon, while at the same time working towards supporting the building of the dormitory to give the girls of Matale a safe place to learn.
Additionally, we continue to collaborate with the leadership team at St. Andrews Matale to plan the next phase of construction. The school Board of Governors, led by a new chair, Mr. Joseph Mubiru is working with key members of the community to start planning their own fundraiser towards this project. This is their dream too, to give their girls a safe place to learn. They recognize and value your contributions and want to make sure they are matching the call in their own way.
Daisy and Martha (pictured during their 2014 visit to Oregon) and their friends and classmates have dreams of becoming doctors, midwives, software engineers, teachers, etc. We thank you for your continued belief in girls like Daisy and Martha, and kindly request that you continue to include this important project in your giving plans. DONATE TODAY by clicking on the Give Now button!
With gratitude from the ZoomUganda Team: Thomas Lwebuga, Julie Resnick and Noela Nalujjuna.
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!
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
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