Harambee Centre

Harambee Centre's mission is to connect the people of the Pacific Northwest with the people and cultures of Africa for the good of the global community. Our vision is to pull people together based on mutual understanding and respect and to create enduring relationships among diverse peoples. Our goals are: a) to inform, educate and enlighten people of our community about the cultures and realities of the vast and varied societies of Africa; b) to build bonds of understanding, respect, and mutually beneficial relationships between people in the Pacific Northwest and people in Africa; and c) to support self-help projects in African communities by generating funds from resources in our comm...
Jun 7, 2016

Summer 2016 Greetings

Dear Friends and Supporters of Matale,

We hope this update finds you and yours happy and healthy as you begin your summer.  We continue to work with the leadership team at St. Andrews to kick-off the girls’ dormitory construction in 2016.  We had anticipated a May start, however, the team on the ground is working hard to obtain all the local permits prior to commencement.  They take time.  We are mindful though that while it may take a bit of time, we are taking the right steps to do everything right.  We do look forward to sharing the construction progress with you, once it commences.

Harambee Centre’s President, Grace, is in East Africa this summer.  She will be visiting with the community at St. Andrews and bringing back personal stories from the ground.  We look forward to sharing those with you as well.

For continued updates from the students themselves on the ground at St. Andrews, please check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.matale.co.ug/?fref=ts

As you continue through what we hope is a peaceful, joy and health-filled 2016, we kindly request that you continue to include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2016 giving. We are grateful for your continued partnership as we do this work that will change lives and make an impact that will last for generations!  Please donate today by clicking on the Give Now Button below!

Alternatively, please help us spread the word to your community; we know there is power in numbers and power in personal connections.  As always, we are appreciative for your support and generosity,

Wishing you and your loved ones the very best of Summer 2016,

ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre teams.

Mar 10, 2016

Exciting Progress at St. Andrews!

Students Feeding Chickens
Students Feeding Chickens

Dear Friends and Supporters of Matale,

We hope this update finds you and yours happy and healthy.  We have been busy working with the leadership team at St. Andrews to kick-off the girls’ dormitory construction in 2016, currently planned for May 2016.  We are excited about it and do look forward to sharing the construction progress with you, once it commences.

Local Fundraising efforts:

The on the ground leadership team in Uganda is still committed to raising a significant amount of the funds needed to fully complete this project – 40%, which is a big deal for this rural community.  They held fundraisers in 2015, including former students of the school and plans are underway for similar fundraisers in 2016.  It shows their belief in the need for the dormitory resource for the girl students in the community. 

2015 O-Level Final Exams:

In February, we received news from the new Head Teacher, Ms. Judith Naluyima regarding the school’s performance in the 2015 UCE (Uganda Certificate of Education) national exams.  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!  Overall, 100% passed of students passed their national exams, a first in the history of St. Andrews!  60 students sat for the exams, with the following results:

-       7/60 (12%) passed with a 1st grade,

-       14/60 (23%) passed with a 2nd grade,

-       14/60 (23%) passed with a 3rd grade, and

-       25/60 (42%) passed with a 4th grade. 

 Chicken Coop project supported by Sister School – Southridge High School (Beaverton, Oregon):

St. Andrews has had a strong sister-school relationship with the Uganda Club at Southridge High School.  The Uganda club donated funds for St. Andrews to begin a chicken coop project, which is helping the school to:

-       Teach poultry keeping and management skills to students

-       Sell eggs and help some deserving students with school fees.  Four students are currently obtaining an education because of this project. They are;

o    Brenda (Senior 2) – Uganda Shillings 230,000 or US$ 69/per school term

o    Annet (Senior 1) – Uganda Shillings 70,000  or US$ 21/per school term

o    Martin Senior 3) - Uganda Shillings 115,00 or US$ 35/per school term

o    Gonzaga (Senior 4) – Uganda Shillings  260,000 or US$ 78/per school term

Attached are photos of the chickens, some students tending to them and some of the eggs that have been laid by the chickens.  The eggs are either sold or provided to students and staff for nutrition.  For continued updates from the students themselves on the ground, please check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/www.matale.co.ug/?fref=ts

As you progress through what we hope is a peaceful, joy and health filled 2016, we kindly request that you continue to include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2013 giving; together we continue to change lives and make an impact that will last for generations!  DONATE TODAY! by clicking on the Give Now button below.  Alternatively, please help us spread the word to your community; we know there is power in numbers and power in personal connections.  As always, we are appreciative for your support and generosity,

Wishing you and your loved ones the very best this Spring 2016!

ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre teams.

Students Feeding Chickens
Students Feeding Chickens
Eggs ready for sale
Eggs ready for sale
Dec 9, 2015

Girls' dormitory at St. Andrews Secondary School in Uganda will soon be a reality!

It is with great privilege and a grateful heart, that I write this update to you, our dear ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre supporters.  First, the joyful news.  On behalf of the ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre’s teams, we are beyond grateful to announce that we received a generous $200,000 grant from the Nike Ever Higher Fund!  We continue to be grateful for the generosity of Nike employees and the company’s donation matching program that have continually contributed to various Harambee Centre projects over 10+ years.

Fulfilling the goal of building a safe place for Matale girls to focus on their education has been almost ten years in the making, starting with the girls of ZoomUganda (http://www.zoomuganda.org/) and their courageous act of opening up their lives to a wider world.  Their work has enabled us to share the story of hope for an HIV/AIDS impacted community to audiences from Portland, Oregon, New York City and all the way to London, United Kingdom.  

In 2016, we look forward to sharing with you the progress of the construction journey, and the subsequent opening when it is completed.  Please see an architectual rendering of the dormitory below.  In addition, we also look forward to sharing with you other projects we will partner with the St. Andrews leadership to fundraise for.  We hope that you will continue to support us on this journey, as we look towards developing a world class education for the students of Matale.    

Other 2015 Matale highlights:

  • In 2015, Mr. Judith Naluyima was officially selected as the first female head teacher (Principal) for St. Andrews S.S.S Matale.  We have great confidence in Ms. Naluyima’s leadership capabilities and the strong message she sends to the girls of Matale.
  • St. Andrews Alumni held their first fundraiser as a contribution towards the girl’s dormitory work.  Robert Kasumba spearheaded this effort.  Robert is one of the students that got the opportunity to travel to Portland in 2009 as part of the sister school student exchange program with Southridge H.S. Robert is now a Computer Science major at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
  • St. Andrews PTA voted to increase each student’s fees by 500 shillings (15 cents) in order for the community to participate in the fundraising efforts towards the girl’s dormitory work.
  • The Zoomuganda exhibit was displayed at Google NY for three months.  If you know a venue that would enjoy hosting an educational exhibit like this one, please contact julie@zoomuganda.org.

It is this sense of partnership between us at Harambee Centre, you our donors, and our partners on the ground in Matale that makes this work very meaningful.  

For me, doing this important work is personal, because I am a young woman who was born and raised in this community.  Education has made the difference in my life from a potentially young, uneducated mother, to a leader in my community.  Being a part of a small but impactful team of people that is giving their time and resources to chip away at the educational achievement gap for young women in Matale is a privilege of a lifetime.

I continue to be grateful for your support, your generosity, and your passionate hearts.  It is my hope that this holiday season brings you and yours blessings.

With gratitude,

Noela + ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre teams.


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