These past three months have been busy with planning and organizing for past and upcoming events!
On March 22, Global Backpack Project took part in a benefit concert held in Portland, Oregon. The concert was produced by one of our local partners, Compound Media Productions. The concert benefited not only GBP, but two other not-for-profit organizations, Using Sport for Social Change and HELP Jamaica. The night was a success and the performers were wonderful.
We are also in the process of planning for our second annual Back to School Fun Run, to be held on August 25th in Portland. If you will be in the Portland area in late August, please join us at the run. We would love to have you there. More information can be found on the GBP website at globalbackpackproject.org.
In 2012, thanks to your donations, GBP was able to support 276 girls and boys at the Bwetyaaba Primary School in the Kayunga District in Uganda by providing backpacks, school supplies and locally-produced uniforms. Although schools in Uganda are free, parents and/or guardians still need to pay for books, supplies and uniforms. In rural areas, such as Kayunga, farming is the primary source of household income and the ability to pay for school can be challenging. Children may start school, only to have to drop-out mid-way because money is no longer available. The importance of staying in school is critical - each additional year of schooling can often increase a person’s earnings by up to 10 percent.
Stephen Ssemutumba, the Executive Director for Butakoola Village Association for Development (BUVAD), the local organization that coordinates support for the Bwetyaaba Primary School, hopes to expand the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Care and Support program to neighboring schools in the district. This would increase aid from 670 children to 2500 children in the region.
Recently, we received a message from Stephen expressing how GBP support has helped the Bwetyaaba Primary School, “We are very grateful for your support. Indeed the GBP donations and support have created a big impact on the education standard and life of the children in this school. Today you find nearly 60% of the children smart and happy at school. The children have a totally different outlook and improved performance both in class and in society. Every community meeting I or my team members attend, you can never miss out a comment of appreciation for this great work!”
Please consider joining Global Backpack Project again in our continued support of Stephen and the boys and girls of Bwetyaaba Primary School by making a donation today on Global Giving.
Greetings from Global Backpack Project.
At Bwetyaaba Primary School in Uganda, a new year of school has just begun! The new school year brings excitement of attending school for the first time for many girls and boys. For others, it brings pride in advancing to the next grade. But for all of these eager children, the new school year finds them without the basic school supplies they need.
Global Backpack Project aims to deliver school supplies to the children of Bwetyaaba Primary School so all girls and boys in the district can go to school. With your help, we can eliminate this simple obstable to attending school. In addition to basic school supplies and a backpack, children of the Bwetyaaba Primary School are required to have a school uniform and shoes. As the majority of children in the school are orphaned or vulnerable youth, they simply don't have the means to purchase these items.
Please consider making a donation today on Global Giving. A recurring donation is a great way to support children all year long. An anonymous donor may match your new monthly recurring donation, so start one today! Thank you for your continued support of the children at Bwetyaaba Primary School!
On Labor Day, Global Backpack Project held its first annual 5K Back to School Fun Run. The event helped us to promote awareness around the great need that many girls and boys in the Pacific NW and around the world have for basic school supplies necessary for achieving success in school. Global Backpack Project exists to encourage a desire for learning by helping children feel prepared for school. With the help of volunteers, local community, businesses and generous donors we will be able to provide more than 270 girls and boys at the Bwetyaaba Primary School with uniforms, backpacks and school supplies.
Bwetyaaba Primary School is supported locally by BUVAD, one of Global Backpack Project’s partner organization. BUVAD supports the people of the Kayunga District by helping them to realize their full potential for sustainable living. Recent projects have included sunflower growing for cooking oil extraction, climate and environmental community training workshops, and community safe water supply projects. For additional information on these projects, please visit BUVAD’s website at www.projectbuvad.org .
Progress Continues in Uganda
Despite unimaginable challenges, the Kayunga community in Uganda continues to work to promote human values and sustainable development. Its most recent project is the Sunflower Project. Sunflower is a two-season crop. A bi-annual harvest provides for a more stable income source while lessening the impact of a poor growing season. Sunflower can be mix-cropped, allowing the growth of other crops like corn, sweet potatoes, or nuts. Sunflower seed can be consumed personally or can be sold. The rest of the plant can be used as animal feed.
The Butakoola Village Association for Development (BUVAD) is empowering community members through the cultivation of sunflower seed for oil, as opposed to the increasingly unprofitable but culturally popular coffee crop. Coffee has become unprofitable in Uganda for a variety of reasons including disease, climate change and international competition. For this reason BUVAD has turned to alternatives encouraging diversification of crops among Ugandan farmers.
Central to BUVAD's goals is the Sunflower Garden at St. Michael's Bwetyaaba Primary School, one of the pioneer farms. The purpose of this garden is to educate children on how to grow sunflower and how to make money from the crop. The students in the focal areas grow and harvest the seeds, BUVAD buys the produce from them and the students can use the money to buy lunch and school supplies that they otherwise may have gone without as observed in most schools.
Global Backpack Project commends BUVAD for the tireless work it is doing in the Kayunga District of Uganda and continues to actively support the children of Bwetyaaba Primary School by equipping them with sturdy backpacks and essential school supplies. At GBP, we envision a world which supports education for all girls and boys so they may reach their unlimited potential in school and life.
We hope you will join us at the Back-to-School Fun Run on September 2nd in Portland to help raise funds for children both locally and overseas. If you are not in Portland, please consider making a $20 donation to provide a new backpack and school supplies to one student at the Bwetyaaba Primary School. Together we can help children succeed in school, one pack at a time.
Thank you for your continued support!
Community Action in Progress
The children of Bwetyaaba Primary School are now enjoying their new 4000-liter water harvesting tank thanks to our partner organization, BUVAD (Butakoola Village Association for Development). BUVAD and the local community have successfully completed 4000-liter water wells made with discarded plastic bottles as bricks. This innovative water project addresses the urgent need for fresh, clean water for the children of Bwetyaaba Primary School. In Kayunga district, nearly 20 people are admitted to the District Hospital per week with a water-related disease such as malaria, typhoid, bilharzia or dysentery. At least four of these people die each month.
A recent local survey found the water in Butakoola to be a health hazard and a major contributing factor to the spread of these identified diseases. As such, BUVAD has identified 64 sites within the Kayunga District for water wells and is currently seeking funding for this important project.
At Global Backpack Project, we see the strong connection between water and education. With fresh, clean water nearby, children can attend school instead of spending the day fetching water. They miss fewer days of school due to illness and are better able to reach their full potential. We applaud the Butakoola community for making sustainable changes for a healthy, hopeful future.
We are committed to continuing this community effort by striving to ensure the girls and boys at Bwetyaaba Primary School have the school supplies and resources they need to make the very most of their educational opportunities.
As a generous supporter of GBP’s efforts in Uganda, we invite you to give again as your support makes an immediate, remarkable impact on the children and community of Butakoola. Your support not only provides backpacks and school supplies to the children, it also drastically improves access to education for the most vulnerable girls and boys.
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