Foundation Projects

Accomplishing our mission.


Past and Pending Projects

Through generous contributions and various fundraising activities we have been able to accomplish or are in the process of accomplishing the following:

  • Construction of a solid brick four-classroom primary school building at St. Paul School is complete! This building has replaced the inadequate, cowshed-like structure that was used as a school building. See “New Buildings” below for more information.
  • Building a middle school to serve children graduating from Mwebaza Infant Primary School. Currently, there is a lack of affordable schooling options for students once they leave Mwebaza School. Hence, many do not continue their education. This middle school will serve not only Mwebaza students between the ages of 10 and 14, but also children from the village of Nkungulutale. See “New Buildings” below for more information.
  • St. Paul’s new school and Mwebaza Primary’s middle school structure will both be equipped with two rain water collection tanks and sterilization systems, a 12-panel solar system, and five EnviroLoo toilets with an attached hand washing station.
  • With the help of the Heaven’s Hope Foundation and Send a Cow – Uganda, the Mwebaza Foundation has helped the Ugandan partner schools establish high-yielding keyhole gardens on their campuses. The resulting vegetables are being used to feed the children at the schools. Recently, the Heaven’s Hope Foundation funded the planting of fruit trees that will eventually yield fruit for student consumption.
  • Collect rainwater from the roof of Mwebaza School and funnel into large tanks as a clean water source for the school. The tanks were purchased with funds from the Heaven’s Hope Foundation, and the water in the tanks is sterilized using systems donated by the TankPro Corporation of Australia. Rainwater collection is planned as a source of clean water for the two new schools the Mwebaza Foundation is in the process of building. See “New Buildings” below for more information.
  • Provide a source of income for Mwebaza School through the purchase of a van. The van is used as a school bus during the day, and as a taxi during off-hours.
  • Establishment of an ongoing pen pal letter and photo exchange between all three Colorado partner schools and their African partner schools.
  • In December 2011, brought Mwebaza Headmistress Catherine Namatovu from Uganda to Colorado to conduct presentations at our Colorado partner schools.
  • Built chicken coops and purchased egg-laying chickens for Mwebaza School in Uganda. Eggs are used to help feed the children at both Mwebaza and St. Paul Schools, and extra eggs are sold to cover the costs of feed and veterinary care for the chickens. Initial funding for this program was provided through a grant by the Heaven’s Hope Foundation.
  • Coyote Ridge Elementary students raised funds that were used to purchase property for a new, sturdy school building at St. Paul. See “New Buildings” below for more information.
  • During 2008 and 2009, students and families of Niwot Elementary raised over $32,000 to help the families of Mwebaza construct a new classroom and alleviate overcrowding.
  • Classrooms at Mwebaza School have been outfitted using funds from Niwot Elementary book sale fundraisers.
  • In December of 2009, two couples in different parts of the U.S. raised $1,500 for St. Paul School Infant Primary School by hosting cocktail parties in their homes. This money was used to purchase a motorcycle to start a taxi service to bring in regular income for the school.
  • Through a birthday party fundraiser, a student at Coyote Ridge Elementary was able to pay for the construction of a latrine at St. Paul School.

New Buildings

Nkungulutale

While visiting Mwebaza School in 2009, Namatovu Catherine, the headmistress of the school, approached Dale Peterson about the dream of the school staff to develop a school annex to serve students graduating from Mwebaza School. The school only had the staff and physical space to accommodate its current enrollment of primary-age students. The staff were concerned that students who reached the age of 10 and were no longer allowed to attend Mwebaza School were not continuing their educations. Namatovu reported that for many of the students, secondary schools in the area charged fees that the families of the students could not afford. Less expensive secondary schools were often too far away for the students to attend. Mwebaza School, which allows some students to attend for free or for reduced rates, could provide a lower-cost alternative for the Kyengera-Mugongo community if a school could be constructed.

The Mwebaza Foundation committed to helping Mwebaza School make this dream a reality. Mwebaza’s partner school, Niwot Elementary, raised funds through two successive annual “Jog-a-thons” to help Mwebaza School purchase land on which to build a secondary school. A generous donation by Ms. Leota Bernhardt, provided the funds needed to finalize the sale. The land purchase is recognized under tribal “kabbanja” law and by the government of Uganda.

The Mwebaza School staff attempted to purchase land within walking distance of the existing primary school, but was unable to find an adequately-sized parcel at a reasonable price. The staff ultimately chose a 1.3 acre parcel in the nearby village of Nkungulutale. Nkungulutale could be classified as an urban slum on the outskirts of more established villages surrounding the capital city of Kampala. Although not within walking distance of Mwebaza School, the parcel is only a few minutes drive from the school. Graduating Mwebaza students who wish to attend the school at Nkungulutale would be transported using the school’s van from Kyengera-Mugongo to Nkungulutale. The site was also selected because, according to school staff and from what can be ascertained through research, there are two primary schools in Nkungulutale, but no secondary schools. Thus, in addition to serving the graduates of Mwebaza School, the new school could serve older students in the rapidly-developing town of Nkungulutale.

Funds have been and continue to be raised for the construction of the secondary school at Nkungulutale. A $25,000 matching grant was given to the Mwebaza Foundation by the Heaven’s Hope Foundation for the purpose of constructing the secondary school at Nkungulutale and a primary school at St. Paul. The Mwebaza Foundation has raised the matching sum. A total budget of between $50,000 and $75,000 is expected for the construction of the school at Nkungulutale.

Once constructed, the school would be operated initially as what would be described in the U.S. as a “middle school,” serving children between the ages of 10 and 14. Eventually, after the school is fully operational as a middle school, it could be adapted to accommodate even older children.

 

St. Paul

Upon visiting St. Paul School in 2011, it became clear that the most pressing need among the African partner schools of the Mwebaza Foundation is the construction of a school building for the students that attend there. In the past, the 130 students received their instruction in a small, two-classroom building made of unevenly hewn boards nailed together. Resembling a broken-down cowshed, the school building was approximately 400 square feet in area. The school contained benches, but no tables. There were dilapidated chalkboards on the walls, but no instructional charts or posters. Both buildings contained significant gaps in the walls and ceilings. Students sat crowded up next to each other with little room for movement, including writing.

In addition, the school lacked a reliable water source. Water had been carried in jericans from a spring-fed pond some distance away by students. The water from the pond is brownish-gray in color and of questionable quality.

On the initial visit of Mwebaza Foundation representatives to St. Paul School in 2009, school staff communicated their great desire to see a sturdy school constructed on some land adjacent to the current school site. The current school site is small and inadequate for expansion.

Over the last six years, the Mwebaza Foundation, with the fundraising support of Coyote Ridge Elementary, gathered the funds to help St. Paul purchase a one-acre parcel adjacent to the school.

The budget for the proposed building is $50,000 to $75,000. This 4-classroom solid school building has since been completed; equipped with rainwater collection tanks and waterless, waste-composting toilets.

A photo of the new school during construction next to the old school is directly below.

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Building Specifications

The schools at Nkungulutale and St. Paul were designed by Niwot architect, Amanda Woodward. Practicum students in the Engineering in Developing Communities Program at the University of Colorado in Boulder assisted with project oversight and trained school staff in the operation of building systems. The goal of this design was to create structures that are sturdy and use simple, environmentally-friendly technologies to best meet the needs of the African students being served. Although these schools were designed by Americans, they were constructed using local Ugandan contractors and labor, and primarily with materials readily accessible in East Africa.