Project #8930

Educate Girls Orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Rural Uganda

by The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project
Shirah holding her acceptance letter to VIU
Shirah holding her acceptance letter to VIU

Little Shirah struggled to hold back tears as her teacher told her that she had to leave school. She tried not to look at the other children--her new friends--but she felt them stare at her. They all wore nice school uniforms. She was still in her dirty dress and bare feet. 

Shirah wanted so badly to stay at school but her teacher just shook her head. You have to pay your fees to stay at school. You have to have books and pencils. Even though she was very young, Shirah knew that her teacher might as well have asked for a brick of gold. Her mother could never afford to send her to school. 

Shirah ran home and cried on her mother's lap. It's hard to imagine what a mother tells her daughter when she learns that the world isn't kind. As much as her mother loved her, she could not fix the pain in Shirah's heart. 

"Sometimes I think I had the worst life in the world."

That is how Shirah describes her life then. Her father had died from HIV/AIDS and her mother couldn't provide for their young family without him.

Without school, Shirah's future was laid out in front of her. Most orphaned girls grow up in poverty. They tend to get married young. Their children are less likely to go to school. They are trapped in an endless cycle of poverty.

Thankfully, Shirah's life took a different turn. A small primary school opened right in her village. It was free and it was meant for HIV/AIDS orphans like her. She was one of the lucky children who got to go to Nyaka Primary School. 

She told us "I got a chance to put on shoes and have free education, which I never believed in my life."

She learned to believe again. She worked hard to do well in school and you were there to help her whenever she faced trouble. Last year all of her hard work paid off. She was admitted to Vancouver Island University (VIU) on a full-ride scholarship.

Shirah is an amazing young woman and we know she will do amazing things for the world. Her success is only possible because she you gave her the opportunity.

Thank you!


The biology lab your girls will be using at NVSS
The biology lab your girls will be using at NVSS

Your girls are so grateful for the gift you have given them. Education is the key to their success.

Many girls in Uganda have the dream of pursuing a career they are passionate about. The girls who can achieve this dream benefit from more choices in their lives. They are able to get married later. They tend to choose to have fewer children. Their children are more likely to go to school. 

We are always reaching to open more doors for girls in careers that have been closed to them because of sexism and discrimination. Girls have been kept from pursuing jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (called STEM fields). That is why the science labs at your new Nyaka Vocational Secondary School are so essential to your girls' success.

Recently, we finished construction on your biology and computer labs. These facilities will give your secondary students access to resources that are virtually nonexistent in rural Uganda. They will have computers with internet and a biology lab that has no rival in the entire region! 

The girls you are supporting at Nyaka Vocational Secondary School will now be able to show their community what girls are capable of when you invest in them. They will have a great foundation of knowledge to make them successful in high school and university.

All of this is possible because you have supported your girls.

Thank you!

The computer lab your girls will be using at NVSS
The computer lab your girls will be using at NVSS


Primary student putting on the shoes you gave her
Primary student putting on the shoes you gave her

Your schools are open in Uganda!

Their new school year started on February 22nd. This was a big day for the 390 girls who are in school thanks to you! They tried on the new school uniforms you bought them, put on their new shoes, and collected their textbooks and school supplies. Your girls in your new Nyaka Vocational Secondary School moved into their dorm. 

 Over this year, you will empower them to stay in school by giving them valuable tools. You will provide sanitary napkins, without which your girls would miss up to 24 days of school this year. You will empower them through sexual health education and self-esteem training to avoid unprotected sex and HIV/AIDS.

Your girls have bright futures because you have invested in them. Thank you!


Global Giving's first Bonus Day of 2016 is coming up soon!

Wednesday, March 16th starting at 9:00am (Eastern)

Every donation will be matched!

It's a pro-rated match day, which means that every project will get a portion of the matching funds based on how much they raised. Here is the explanation for how they will distribute matching funds: (amount of funds you raise/amount of total funds raised on Bonus Day) x $75,000 = Matching funds we receive!

Nursery students putting on the uniforms you gave
Nursery students putting on the uniforms you gave
Your NVSS students getting their school supplies
Your NVSS students getting their school supplies
Your Kutamba nursery students in their uniforms
Your Kutamba nursery students in their uniforms


YOUR girls are an inspiration!

Every December, Primary 7 students in Uganda take the PLE (Primary Leaving Examination).  This national exam determines where students will go after Primary School.  Some students will continue onto Secondary School and some students will learn a skilled trade while attending a Vocational School. 

82% of the Nyaka and Kutamba Primary School students scored a B or higher!  48% of these students were YOUR GIRLS! Congratulations!

Access to education is one of the biggest obstacles that young girls in Uganda have to overcome.  YOUR love and generosity make it possible for these girls to be in school and have a future that includes more than just motherhood and marriage.

YOU are changing the future for these girls!  Thanks to YOU, girls in Uganda have the support they need to stay in school and prove that they are just as smart and talented as their male peers.

Thank you for the support and encouragement YOU show towards these brilliant young girls!


Primah in her Kutamba Primary School Uniform
Primah in her Kutamba Primary School Uniform

YOU are helping girls like Primah!

Primah is 12 years old and a primary seven student at Kutamba Primary School. She says her proudest achievement is being elected as Kutamba’s Head Girl last year. The position held a lot of responsibility, including organizing assemblies and acting as a spokesperson for the other pupils.

Primah’s biggest challenge has been frequent illness which has disrupted her studies, but she says that fortunately Kutamba’s school nurse, Arinda Hope, is always on hand when she doesn’t feel well. She is proud of her ability to persevere despite her challenges, and she went into her end-of-year exams feeling confident.

Primah’s father passed away when she was too young to remember. Without his help, the family struggled to put food on the table. Today, Primah spends much of her time helping her mother in the potato fields, and when there is paraffin for the lamp at home, she studies in the evenings.

Although her mother would prefer for Primah to stay at home and help her in the fields after she finishes primary seven this year, Primah wants to attend secondary school next year.

Generous people like YOU are helping Nyaka encourage families to think differently about education. Even though she knows education is a great opportunity, next year Primah's mother will have to tend her fields without the help of her children. Right now she won't be able to grow and sell as many potatoes but in the future her children will have higher incomes and will be better able to help her.

Thank YOU and Happy New Year!



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Organization Information

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project

Location: East Lansing, MI - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Twesigye Kaguri
Founder/ Director
East Lansing, MI United States
$70,530 raised of $75,000 goal
1,594 donations
$4,470 to go
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