Veronica is in her third year of secondary school. She loves telling people how proud she is to be partially responsible for the start of Educate Uganda’s secondary program.
Veronica had performed very well in primary school, so when her sponsors asked if they could help her continue with secondary school we all felt blessed. This story was shared at a presentation given by Educate Uganda in 2013 to a group of people. A gentleman in the audience was intrigued and offered to support other students obtain a secondary education, three years later Educate Uganda has 176 students in this program.
Vincent Mutenya is a building contractor for Educate Uganda. He shared the following comments.
"Honestly speaking since I met the president of EU I have managed to execute many projects. This work has enabled me to pay school fees for my brothers who have just completed University, to look after my children and to pay fees for three additional dependents who are in a technical institution. I simply cannot forget to thank God who has enabled us to satisfy our clients the donors and beneficiaries.
"I thank Educate Uganda for the financial support, love and trust you have given me."
Fr. John Bosco Wasswa, Pastor of Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Nkokonjeru, Uganda
“When I received my new assignment to Our Lady Queen of Apostles parish, many people were commenting about all the new buildings and the work of a group called Educate Uganda. In fact, many people suggested I was fortunate to be assigned to such a place. The good that Educate Uganda is doing for the schools around Nkokonjeru is so important. The children are attending school in greater numbers, the teachers are receiving assistance and the buildings are beautiful. These are all things that we as a parish or the guardians of the students could not possibly provide. It is my joy to help Educate Uganda and continue to improve the education of the students.”
Colleen Soulliere, Volunteer and 2010 Uganda traveler.
"Perhaps one of my all time favorite trips was in 2010 when I traveled to Uganda with Educate Uganda. I was aware that there are many challenges on these trips and did not want to hold Karen and the other volunteers back from her activities since I was 70 years old.
"Though there were so many different experiences that impacted me, my mind and heart go to one of the first mornings when we were attending the dedication of a new school. I was unprepared as we rounded the corner on a dirt road and were greeted by so many teachers and children, music, drums, dancing and cheers! All were celebrating the new school, which was so beautiful! When I saw their previous school on the hill that was so pitiful, I was overwhelmed with what an important gift this new building was. I could only imagine how it was changing the lives of those people. Their faces were full of joy and hope. That was the moment when all the things I had been told about the goals of Educate Uganda totally enveloped me."
Maggie Heim, Ohio State University student, Educate Uganda volunteer and 2015 traveler
In a country overwhelmed with poverty, you would think despair might be a worriment, yet to my surprise, it was quite the opposite. I have never felt a more pure and steady sense of peace among the Ugandan people. During our first night in Nkokonjeru I wrote in my journal…
“We live in a world surrounded by people telling us what we lack, constantly reminding us that we always need more, more, more. This way of living leads to exhaustion and teaches us to live without recognition of the present. Here in Uganda, people live in the present and are soaked in joy. They do not dwell on what they lack, but instead take pride in what God has blessed them with. Never have I felt a more pure, raw love. I know this is the love of God radiating through these beautiful individuals.”
I am so thankful for the opportunity to have gone on this trip, and shared these experiences with an amazing group of people. Educate Uganda has changed so many lives, and through the work of God I know it will continue to flourish.
Ann Fuxa, teacher at St. Wenceslaus School, volunteer, sponsor and 2013 Uganda traveler
I traveled to Uganda in 2013. I am a teacher that went to help evaluate schools and offer suggestions. The highlight of my trip was when I got to meet the girl our daughter, Kathryn, sponsors. Brenda got called to the front of the assembly to receive the package my daughter had sent. With tears in my eyes I told her my daughter sponsored her and it is a moment I will never forget. She gave me a hug and as we were in our van pulling out they flagged us down and handed a letter in to me. Brenda had gone into school and written my daughter a thank you!! These children have so little, but are filled with faith and joy!
Casey, sponsor and 2014 Uganda traveler
Twelve-year-old Nicholas stood in line with his classmates waiting to meet the white people. I asked him what he liked in school, his favorite subject, his favorite game, his family… any siblings? What about his mother and father? And then his eyes grew sad and a single tear rolled down his cheek. No mother, and his father had died just two weeks earlier. Nicholas and his three younger sisters, now orphaned, were being cared for by their elderly grandfather.
Nicholas told me he wanted to be a priest when he grew up. I promised to pray for him and that he would study hard, go on to secondary (high) school and then join the seminary. He’s the kind of boy who, when he grows up, could truly help serve the many wonderful people of central Africa. Nicholas looked at me with a glimmer in his eyes, a smile on his face, and gave a big nod. A simple encounter, but a “God moment” nonetheless.
Nicholas’ charming face is like that of hundreds of other Ugandan children we met. Many of them orphaned; yet some of the happiest and most grateful people I’ve met. Their lives impoverished by American standards, but rich in faith, simplicity and a loving spirit.
I’ve had the good fortune of being blessed with a wonderful family, a stable career and many other things; but at times it’s easy to get caught up in our fast-paced materialistic society. I forget about what’s really important in the big-picture of life. Nicholas and his people were a good reminder for me to be merciful, anchor on faith, see the face of God in the people we meet, do good simply because it’s the right thing to do, and serve the poor and broken-hearted. A comfortable lesson? Not always. But necessary? Yes, I think so.
Lisa Abbott, Volunteer, Sponsor and 2010 Uganda traveler
The day before I left for Uganda in Feb. 2010, I made one last run to Wal-Mart and stocked up on just a few more super cute, brightly colored girls dresses. I had just a bit of space left in my backpack, and couldn’t wait to give them to children I would soon meet half a world away. One little girl, the recipient of a dress touched my heart and will remain with me always.
Our group had just finished up a school visit in a remote Ugandan village. It was mid-day, dusty, warm and windy. As we piled into the van, what felt like hundreds of smiling barefoot children ran toward us to wave goodbye and wish us well. I was next to an open window and noticed a little girl in a pale pink dress. She was close to the van, caught my eye and was waving goodbye. I noticed her dress was tucked between her knees. “Uh-oh” I thought… my motherly instinct kicked in and I thought that the little one needed a bathroom break.
All of a sudden the wind picked up and blew her dress, revealing a large hole that she was trying so hard to hide, ripped right in the front. Our van door was shut and we were just about ready to go! Wait a minute… Did I have one?? I frantically opened my backpack in my lap and YES!!! Sure enough, one dress remained for the day in beautiful bright shades of pink and purple! Looked to be her size!! I yelled to stop the van!
I just felt a connection with this little one and had to give her this dress. Give her some dignity. I was able to pass it to her through the window and in return received the biggest smile that will always warm my heart. May God bless that little Angel.