A quick reminder. As many of you know, GlobalGiving offers matching funds for projects several times throughout the year. The final opportunity in 2011 is today.
It is only through your continued generosity that we can provide our students access to an education, daily nutritional meals, medical care and clean water, and most importantly a brighter future! They are performing academically at the very top of their district. Please help us continue to offer this holistic approach to alleviating poverty in our students’ lives all the way up to a university level by remembering our Kutamba and Nyaka students today.
In Celebration of Your Generosity,
Director ofDevelopment, The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project
*On October 19, GlobalGiving.org is matching at 30% all online donations up to $1,000 per donor per project! There is $100,000 available in matching funds starting at 12:01 am EDT. They will match until 11:59pm EDT or until matching funds run out. In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors!
Before we update you on our students, we would like to let you know how you can help. As many of you know, GlobalGiving offers matching funds for projects several times throughout the year. The final opportunity in 2011 is on October 19th. Please set an alarm and give generously that day!* Details follow below.
This report is focusing on our second primary school we built called Kutamba Primary. In 2006, an eleven-year-old boy walked 50 miles for three days after hearing about the Nyaka Primary School on a radio program. Hilary knew that an education was the key to preventing a future of perpetual poverty for himself and his family. People in the very remote and rural area of Rukungiri, where Hilary grew up, are even poorer than in the Kanungu District where the Nyaka Primary School is located. As a result of Hilary’s determination, Kutamba Primary School was started in 2007. Today, Kutamba is educating 207 HIV/AIDS Orphans. The students receive free uniforms, shoes, textbooks, notebooks and other scholastic materials. The children are educated starting in the new preschool, all the way up until P.7 this year. Thereafter they will attend secondary school.
Kutamba Primary School is supported by 9 teachers, a nurse, accountant, and other support staff coordinating and working on projects that assist in improving the lives of the children. As you can imagine, our ability to hire local staff not only bolsters the local economy but also helps our projects run efficiently.
The Kutamba and Nyaka School Anti-AIDS Clubs, who perform and appear on a monthly radio show, also create awareness about the plight of orphans, children’s rights, family planning, hygiene and sanitation, and other issues affecting the community. As a result of the Anti-AIDS Club activities, the community is changing. Our staff members are noticing thoughtful, educated decisions by family members of students in regards to proactive HIV/AIDS prevention. As a part of our holistic approach to education, Kutamba Primary School were provided with HIV/AIDS testing in April 2011. One student from Primary three and 10 guardians were HIV+. In the past, an HIV+ test result was a sign of imminent death. Thanks to your support, we are able to purchase the necessary medications to properly treat those in the community that need it, thus extending their lives.
It is only through your continued generosity that we can provide these students access to an education, daily nutritional meals, medical care and clean water, and most importantly a brighter future! When one drives up the steep mountain Kutamba sits atop, the children greet you with “flowers” (a shhhh, shhhh, shhh sound and hands raised up, curled like flowers), and experience that leaves nary a dry eye. Please remember our Kutamba and Nyaka students on the 19th this month and give as generously as you can.
This month I am sharing with you testimonials from some of our brightest secondary students, an equivalent to middle school students in the United States. These students recently attended a Health and Sex Education Camp put on by “Reach a Hand” a NGO out of Makerere University in collaboration with The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project.
“I am Nuwagaba, and I would like to thank the people who were involved in the preparation of the student’s camp at Nyaka. I would like to thank our Country Manager and Mrs. Christine who supervised us while the camp was going on. The camp was conducted by ‘Reach a Hand’ and the topics were very interesting and educational. They taught us how to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS and getting girls pregnant. This was very interesting because I did not know that boys take part in girls becoming pregnant. They also taught us how to be successful in education. This is important because if we make education a priority we will have good lives. They also taught us how to discover our talents and Christine advised us how to behave in our community when we are on holiday. We were very happy about this and we hope the organization will organize for us more camps.”
"I am Kiconco in senior two at Ishaka Adventist College. I would like to thank Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project for preparing a wonderful camp, which will help everyone who attended. It was short but interesting and most students wished it could have been longer. They taught us how to avoid sex at an early age because we couldget pregnant or contract HIV/AIDS. They taught us how to be proud of ourselves and love one another. We also learned how to use sanitary towels (secret sanitary Pads). They inspired us to study hard, because we could be thefuture lawyers and doctors of this country. If we focus on our education we shall be winners. They sang and danced for us, made us laugh, and told us that we can live a happy life."
Thanks to generous supporters like you, The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project continues to guide and support these children who have no one else to learn from and talk to about these sensitive issues.
Truly we say the best is yet to come!
We send you warm greetings from the children and grandmothers of Nyaka and Kutamba schools in Uganda. We are grateful for your investment that has brought 10 years of improved conditions into the body, heart, mind, and soul of hundreds of children and thousands of grandmothers. This year over 70 secondary school students are excelling in their studies and passing their exams. Over 300 primary students study intensely so that like the 2010 graduating class they can place in the top 3% of all 220 schools in the district. Meanwhile, 60 preschoolers walk many miles on very short legs, eager to learn English and their ABCs and 123s each and every day.
Statistics show that children who attend pre-school enter primary school with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not. To get children started on this positive track to becoming well educated citizens, 60 of some of the youngest orphans are now enrolled in kindergarten classes at both Kutamba and Nyaka Primary Schools. These students, ages 4-5, are studying English (Uganda’s national language) to complement Rukiga, their native tongue. Like the elder students, they have been promised an education all the way up to university as long as they pass their national exams.
For students of Nyaka who are less academically inclined and wish to pursue an income generating trade, vocational training is now being made available. Nyaka realizes the importance of building a strong vocational program for these students. Tailoring and computer skills are now being offered and there are plans to add more workshops and training for construction jobs in the near future.
Hannington attended driving school and is now employed by Nyaka as a driver. This means that despite suffering as an orphan, he has a steady income which he uses to help care for his elderly grandmother nearby. All things tend to come full circle and on a recent visit he drove Director Jackson around!
This year, because of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project’s generous donors, more students than ever are being supported – over 530! However, as we look into the future, the need to build a secondary school is becoming increasingly clear, as it costs $500/student annually to send the students to outlying boarding schools. As more young students graduate primary school the need for this initiative is becoming more urgent. Please watch for more updates on this project soon.
The best is yet to come!
Last month The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project happily announced primary student Justine’s pending trip to the United States. You may recall that a few years ago Justine was badly injured in an accident with a paraffin lamp. The purpose of this trip was to undergo surgery on burns that were inhibiting her ability to smile and move properly. It has now been a few weeks since her first in a series of surgeries, and the doctors are very pleased with her progress. In addition to the work done around her chin and mouth, her doctor would like to do another surgery around her nose and collarbone, but must wait a few months in order for her to heal properly.
Justine is taking full advantage of her recuperation time in the United States. At first, she was a little wary of the food but has now become more accustomed to the large variety of choices. Eating properly is very important as her body continues to heal. Even though Justine’s primary job is allowing her body to heal at this time, she is not missing out on her education. She’s been working with a teacher on decimals, adjectives, verbs, comprehension, and improving her reading skills. In Uganda, children must pass a national exam annually in order to advance to the next level of education. It is critical for this young girl to remain engaged. Luckily, Justine (like all The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project students) is fiercely dedicated to her education, as she knows it is her ticket to a successful and prosperous life. Most recently, an increased interest in reading has caused her to devour every book she could get her hands on. Including a copy of “A School for My Village,” written by Executive Director Jackson Kaguri. Justine has also begun writing in a journal, easing the pain of the surgeries by keeping hilarious accounts of her new experiences.
However, Justine isn’t spending all her time studying. She enjoys doing arts and crafts and making jewelry. Her host, Ruth, is always finding little gifts left around the house. Justine has exhibited courage, strength, and optimism throughout her travels, surgery, and continued recovery. Soon after she heals, Justine will return to Nyakagyezi, with her injuries well on their way to being healed, to be reunited with all of her friends and family at the Nyaka Primary School.
Thank you for your support of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in this initiative to provide yet another HIV/AIDS orphan with a healthy future, free of poverty and full of potential for success.
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