Education & Safety for Rural Girls in Uganda

by Harambee Centre
Site clean-up for construction
Site clean-up for construction

Dear Friends and Supporters of Matale,

We hope this update finds you and yours happy, healthy and that you enjoyed a Thanksgiving filled with abundance.  

We are very pleased to update you that the much anticipated Girls’ Dormitory construction has begun at St. Andrews Matale S.S.S!  This effort has been an amazing journey for all of us: a 10-year vision, 6-year fundraising effort, hundreds of donors and many planning hours later, construction is underway.  

We are so very grateful to you our donors and to our partners on the ground in Uganda, led by the school administration and the Board of Directors who have worked tirelessly to get us to this juncture.  They say that a photo speaks a thousand words.  As such, please enjoy the photos documenting the progress from when construction commenced in October 2016 through end of November 2016.

As always, 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 wrap up your 2016, we kindly request that you continue to include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2016 giving; while we have started construction, due to material price increases, we will need more funding in order to complete and fully furnish the dormitory.  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,

We continue to wish you and your loved ones the very best this holiday season 2016,

ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre teams.

Laying foundation + inspection by Engineer
Laying foundation + inspection by Engineer
Materials for construction
Materials for construction
Delivery of materials for construction
Delivery of materials for construction
Foundation underway + inspection by Engineer
Foundation underway + inspection by Engineer
Construction worker at the site
Construction worker at the site
Foundation progress - November 2016
Foundation progress - November 2016
Foundation progress - November 2016
Foundation progress - November 2016
School board visit to site - November 2016
School board visit to site - November 2016
School board visit to site - November 2016
School board visit to site - November 2016
Matale students working in school garden
Matale students working in school garden
School board leadership visiting site
School board leadership visiting site
Matale students at school assembly
Matale students at school assembly
Girl student working in garden at Matale S.S.S.
Girl student working in garden at Matale S.S.S.

Dear Friends and Supporters of Matale,

We hope this update finds you and yours happy and healthy and that your summer has been rejuvenating.   We are happy to update you that we have continued to work in collaboration with our partners at St. Andrews Matale S.S.S, led by the school administration and the Board of Directors in Uganda to kick-off the girls’ dormitory construction in 2016.  As previously reported, we had anticipated a May start, however, the team on the ground has been working hard to obtain all the local permits prior to commencement as they take time. 

As of August 2016, the work in-flight included the following:

a)      Obtaining town council building permits that are required prior to commencement of construction; 

b)      Securing local funding towards the project, which was recently completed in August 2016.  In all Harambee Centre’s projects with Matale S.S.S, we have required a local contribution.  This is intended to ensure that the community has a vested interest in both the success of the project, as well as subsequent ownership, pride and maintenance of the facility;      

c)       Competitive bidding of a general contractor who will be responsible for the project from beginning to end. 

We are mindful though that while it may take a bit of time, we are taking the right steps to do everything right.  Through this process and other projects that the Harambee Centre has engaged in with Matale over the years, we have learned the following:

a)      It is important to take the time to create a strong partnership based on trust and accountability;

b)      It is important to take the time to plan and do the project right as opposed to meeting a timeline for the sake;

a)      It is important to build and ensure local ownership and pride in the projects.  This ensures that the community has a vested interest in both the success of the project, as well as subsequent ownership, pride and maintenance of the facility.      

 We do look forward to sharing the construction progress with you, once it commences.  Since local funding has been secured, we anticipate this will begin before the fourth quarter of calendar year 2016.

 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; 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,

We continue to wish you and your loved ones the very best this Fall 2016,

ZoomUganda and Harambee Centre teams.

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.

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

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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Organization Information

Harambee Centre

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.harambeecentre.org
Project Leader:
Thomas Lwebuga
Board Member
Portland, OR United States
$11,440 raised of $74,462 goal
 
190 donations
$63,022 to go
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