Archives for October 2014

Mwebaza Opens a Store Online!

7dabb433-0524-4837-8f26-27278baa8d51Help us raise money by helping yourself to some of the authentic African art and jewelry that the Mwebaza Foundation is now selling online! We have a online shop on Etsy and a new Square store where you can find most of our pieces being sold! All items can be shipped right to your door. All proceeds go to help our African partner schools.

Below are some of the featured artists that have created work for the Mwebaza Foundation to sell.

Scholarship Program

61dd2535-f40b-40f7-a3e1-071592606766Keeping kids in school is a widespread issue across Africa. With many families living in poverty, paying school fees becomes a large financial burden that many can’t afford. That is why the Mwebaza Foundation, with the help of a generous donation from the Heaven’s Hope Foundation, has created a scholarship program at both Ugandan partner schools. This summer, eight students from each school were awarded full-ride scholarships to attend school for one year, tuition free. Devaki Douillard, the Foundation’s Development Assistant, with the help of an interview committee comprised of school staff, completed detailed interviews of dozens of applicants. They interviewed the guardians of each applicant and did their best to assess each student’s motivation to learn. We wanted to ensure that we were awarding scholarships to students that are not necessarily the highest performing students, but the ones that have the initiative to succeed at school and in life. This scholarship program not only benefits the families and students that were allotted a scholarship, but it also benefits the school as a whole. Both St. Paul School and Mwebaza School have allowed many students to attend school for free or at a discounted price. This has made it difficult for the school administration to pay teacher salaries. However, now with the scholarship money, the schools can continue to let students attend school for free and more easily afford teacher salaries.

Maintenance Workers Hired at Partner Schools!

896df0a4-8c1c-4c17-89ab-b0fc65efe659While the Foundation’s Development Assistant was visiting all of our African partner schools, she worked with staff to implement a new maintenance program at both St. Paul and Mwebaza Schools. Local community members have been hired to maintain each individual project, while documenting the work accomplished. This documentation will make it easier to track the success and identify the inadequacies of each project while ensuring accountability for project success. At Mwebaza School, there is a maintenance worker for the egg-laying chicken program, the green garden and orchard, and the rainwater collection tanks. At St. Paul School, there are maintenance workers that oversee the piggery, the garden and orchard, the rainwater collection tanks, and the newly-installed EnviroLoo toilets. This maintenance program not only assures the sustainability and success of the school’s initiatives, but also creates a level of community involvement that is advantageous to the school at large.

Progress at St. Paul School

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Background: new school building at St. Paul. Foreground: old school structure.

Last year, the Mwebaza Foundation began construction on two new school buildings in Uganda. One school will replace a dilapidated shed that was used as a classroom building at St. Paul School. The other school is being constructed as a middle school in a village near Mwebaza School that will serve the graduates of Mwebaza School as well as the children from that community. We focused our efforts on constructing St. Paul’s new school building first since they are already serving students in an inadequate school structure. Despite significant delays due to heavy rains, which blocked the roads to St. Paul, we are happy to report that the school is in full operation even though we are still lacking the funds to equip the school with windows, doors, and desks. Construction has now begun on the middle school in Nkungulutale. The walls have been built and progress is steady.

Projects at Empakasi

76a27402-5384-47ce-baab-aa6203c7cacbWhile Devaki was in Kenya, visiting Empakasi Primary School, the Mwebaza Foundation’s newest partner school, she was asked to assess what could be done to help the school become self sufficient. Our first task is to fix the water pipes running from a nearby borehole to the school so Empakasi will have a reliable source of water. A constant source of water is necessary before we can implement any other sustainability project. Ultimately we would like to start a sustainable lunch program at the school so the children receive sufficient nutrition, at least while school is in session. Currently no lunch is provided for the students and they are surviving off what little snacks they can bring from home; many students go without food all day. With the help of the First Congregational Church of Boulder, we have been able to hire a capable student from the United States International University-Africa, Kevin Omondi, to oversee the implementation of these projects. He is a local Kenyan and knows the school and community well since the start of a technology program at Empakasi, facilitated by Kevin and a group of other university students. Kevin began work on September 1st, and is eager to help establish a lunch program so students can get the adequate nutrition needed to concentrate in school.