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...
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.


Attachments:
Jul 7, 2015

Matale Old Students in the Fundraising Action!

For this update, we are pleased to share a note written by a St. Andrews Matale alumni, current Software Engineering student at Makerere University, new Chairman of St. Andrews Matale Old Students and Association, and one of the leaders of the alumni group in their efforts towards contributing to this girls’ dormitory projects:

“It was a pleasure for me to meet [old friends] at Matale over the weekend. I was elected the chairperson of the interim committee of the (old students association]. I am hopeful that with teamwork and collaboration we will achieve our goals.

Our first task is going to be reaching out to as many old students of Matale as we can so that we can build a strong self-sustaining association.

We are glad that we have been given an opportunity to contribute towards "Girl Child Education" as we build a first class hostel for girls at St. Andrew's.  As the old students, we have been tasked to raise 160 million shillings to support the building of that dormitory.

Somebody may feel that this value is too big to be achieved but I am inspired by the fact that a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step and Nelson Mandela's words "It's never easy until it is done". I have no doubt we will raise this money so that the girls can get to study in a conducive environment and compete favorably with the boys.

As a step to raise that money, we have partnered with the school administration to organize a fundraising dinner. This dinner will be held on 6th August, 2015 at Nabisere Hotel, Kalisizo.

Everyone is invited to join us for the dinner. We are looking forward to having you join us!”

It is this kind of community engagement and leadership from the young people of Matale that has us so enthusiastic about the future of the young people of Matale!  We kindly appreciate your continued support in helping us empower young people like Robert, who in turn are becoming the true champions of their sisters, friends, and someday wives and daughters!

We wish you and your loved ones a lovely summer.  In the meantime, check out some pictures from their gathering.  Additionally, you can follow the St. Andrews Matale alumni activities on their Facebook page below:

Links:

Mar 31, 2015

Update from January visit to Matale

Leading up to St. Andrews
Leading up to St. Andrews

Dear friends,

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. 

St. Andrews
St. Andrews' beautiful courtyard
Where the Girls
Where the Girls' Dormitory structure will go up
Science Lab built with your support
Science Lab built with your support
Ass. Head Teacher Madam Judith
Ass. Head Teacher Madam Judith's garden at school
 
   

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