Monday, November 4, 2013

Help children go to school this holiday

Five years ago, the Nzirambi Education Fund was established, inspired by Veronica. At the time, she was 16-years old-and the third highest scoring student in the district with dreams of going to law school. These were especially big dreams considering her unfortunate start in life -- she had been left at the orphanage when she was just a baby after her mother died of AIDS.

I met Veronica on my first visit to Uganda; we were working in a new garden behind the orphanage preparing to plant crops and she shared with me her dreams of becoming a lawyer. I could tell she was a bright young woman, but when I asked how her university would be paid for, I realized there was no funding in place. 

I knew right away that I would help her. When I returned to Canada, I shared Vero’s story with so many of you, and you were also inspired. And if we could help one girl, why not try to help others? And so, the Nzirambi Education Fund began.

 Help this holiday. Click here to make a donation.

Five Years On

Vero was accepted to law school – in the best university in the country, I might add! She is the first child from the orphanage to go to university. Our Fund supported her through her final years of high school, and three years of university. In 2014, she will finish the program.

We didn’t stop there. We raised more than $50,000, allowing us to pay for education for 6 other students, fund four other girls through high school; all of whom were accepted to university this year. We are supporting a young man named Oscar through a digital arts/advertising program. I am especially proud of 
Oscar because he has suffered great health challenges that made it nearly impossible for him to finish school. This program will change his life. We are supporting another boy through his final years of high school, and a young woman who is taking a care-givers course.

These students are ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ of more than 100 children who live at the orphanage today. They are children whose families could not – or would not -- take care of them: most of them are there because their mothers died in childbirth, some lost their parents to AIDS and sadly, some are there because they were abandoned – in bushes, once in a garbage dump on Christmas Day, and others tossed into latrines. These newborns are the most vulnerable of all -- brought to the orphanage, cared back to life by House Mothers. 

 Help this holiday. Click here to make a donation.

We can’t stop now.
Your donation will help us to ensure these children can go to school. It costs $2,500/ year for one student in university; $1,500 for a year of college; and $1000 for a year of senior high school. We need to raise $15,000 in 2014 to cover school fees for Veronica, Oscar, Pelucy, Patricia, Ellen, Priscilla, Dan and Yoneki.

Travels to Uganda
This year, I’m returning to Uganda, looking forward to spending time in Kampala where the children study in university. I’ll also be spending time at the orphanage to see the younger children and the House Mothers. I’m bringing photographer Johan Hallberg-Campbell and we have exciting plans to document the children’s’ stories.

I am hoping you will consider a donation this holiday to help the children in their education. I don’t even know how it would be possible for these children to go to school if it wasn’t for all of you. Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

To make a donation, please visit our special RocketHub fundraising page

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