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The Mwebaza Foundation Fall Newsletter

As a non-governmental organization, a large part of what the Mwebaza Foundation does is made possible from donations made by people like you. There are critical needs we are trying to address at our partner schools and new schools we would like assist as well, but we can only accomplish as much as we can afford. We are still raising money to complete the final stages of construction at St. Paul School. Currently they are lacking windows and doors, and the solar panel array that will provide electricity for the entire school has yet to be financed. Our aim is to aid every partner school in becoming self-sustainable, but each school needs our assistance during the initial implementation of a project. Most donations made are tax-deductible. Please consider giving financially to help us achieve our mission. 
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Africa Trip, 2014

This summer the Mwebaza Foundation’s Development Assistant, Devaki Douillard, traveled to Africa to visit all of our partner schools in Uganda and Kenya. In addition to overseeing the construction of two new school buildings, hiring maintenance workers, and selecting scholarship recipients, she also conducted pen pal letter activities and interviewed many students and community members to get their input on the work the Foundation is doing. While she was there, Devaki kept a daily blog describing her experiences. To read about her time in Africa, click here

Empakasi Update

While 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 the borehole to the school so the school has 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. Kevin grew up in the Empakasi area and knows the school and community well. 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.  

Maintenance Workers

While 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.

Mwebaza at the Taste of Colorado!

Over Labor Day weekend, the Mwebaza Foundation ran a booth at the Taste of Colorado in Denver. It was a four-day affair where we sold a myriad of African artwork including framed batiks, handmade by a local Ugandan artist, and paper-bead jewelry that was crafted by a young mother in Gulu, Uganda. Our aim was to raise awareness and money, and despite some inconvenient weather, the festival was a success!

Construction Update

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 and doors. Construction has now begun on the secondary school. The walls are built and progress is steady. 

Scholarship Program

Keeping 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. 

New Square Store!

Help 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.

Caroline, or Caro for short, is a 24-year old mother of two who lives on the Northern district of Gulu, Uganda. Caro learned the art of handcrafting paper beads to supplement her family's income. African paper beaded jewelry has become a very popular item in the West. Caro, and many other women like her, spend much of their day rolling triangular pieces of paper into different sized beads to create incredible jewelry that we all enjoy. 
Please visit our Etsy page or our new Square store to view her beautiful pieces that are available for purchase! 

J. Biferamunda has turned his home in Central Uganda into an art studio to create African batiks. First, he silk-screens the outlined image onto canvas. He then adds colored wax to bring each image to life. No batik is the same as another; each has different colors that make it unique.
Please visit our Etsy page or our new Square store to view her beautiful pieces that are available for purchase! 

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