AfriCAN Educate had its origins in 2007 as a grassroots “Collaboration Effort for the Education of the Orphans and Poor Children of Buchundura (Uganda)” that was privately supported and funded by those having a “boots on the ground” first-hand awareness of and experience with the aforementioned realities of life in Uganda. The team at AfriCAN Educate did and does understand that an educated individual, and educated populations as a whole, have a better chance of achieving economic security and access to health care, as well as the ability and confidence to participate in civic life with the very real hope of enacting change.
Since its inception, the program has seen more than 250 children achieve various educational levels, including elementary and secondary school, as well as college, tertiary and vocational education. Thus far, it has produced a Bachelor of Education graduate, 3 nurses, tailors and knitters, carpenters, and 2 handcraft certificates. Presently, there are 113 children enrolled at varying levels of education in various schools. These kids, knowing the important role that education plays in their future, want to be able to stay in school. We, at AfriCAN Educate, want them to be able to stay there!
In Uganda, education is not just about tuition and books. We are talking “back to basics” . A child looking to go to school in Uganda must even be able to supply his or her own toilet paper and tooth brush. AfriCAN Educate provides each of its “kids” with tuition, notebooks and/or paper, pens and pencils, soap (yes, you read that correctly … it is a luxury), and uniforms (no shoes as of yet … even shoes can present a logistical challenge in the context of getting things done in Africa … we are working on that). These are all required elements for being able to attend school in Uganda. Additionally, secondary level students often have to travel long distances to attend school; college students generally board on campus. Thus, travel and room & board expenses are provided as needed.
The team at AfriCAN Educate also understands that in order for children to have a future and break the cycle of poverty, they need to be able to stay healthy and have a support system. When these basic, temporal needs are in place … the kids can concentrate on that secondary priority … soak in the benefits of the educational opportunities being afforded them. To that end, AfriCAN Educate presently strives to also provide its kids the most basic needs of food, shelter, and rudimentary healthcare.
We at AfriCAN Educate also want to do so much more with regards to alleviating the suffering experienced as a result of an uneducated population subjected to a corrupt system and culture which it is not equipped to navigate. Again, the primary goal remains, through education, to get each of the kids prepared for a hopefully self-reliant future. As that goal continues to be achieved, we want , in collaboration with those we serve, to expand the organization’s helping presence through the following types of projects: the building of proprietary schools; the institution of available health and community services that will provide for the ongoing healthcare needs of the kids and their families; the implementation of nutritional training and food programs; specifically providing for the treatment of malaria and its prevention (by supplying mosquito nets); the provision of higher quality “food seed” and access to safe drinking water; the establishment of support systems and counseling services for families living with the reality of HIV and those who are victims of abuse and exploitation, and even the establishment of loan programs for deserving projects proposed by graduates and/or developed from within communities served.
More recently, as AfriCAN Educate has evolved into its new “identity”, we have witnessed an interest - more like a desire and willingness - on the part of “Children of Plenty” to join in the effort to serve the needs of the Ugandan “Children of Want”, literally and figuratively. Even teenagers are wanting to jump on board! With kids, there are no boundaries. Kids are just kids and they love to make connections with other kids and interact with each other wherever they happen to call “home” on the planet. It appears the adults are following suit. As AfriCAN Educate provides the means for Ugandan kids to receive life-changing educational opportunities, so, too, do all those involved have the opportunity to become personally involved and make connections with the actual kids being served. Again, AfriCAN Educate is a “boots on the ground” operation. 100% of monies received goes directly to the kids … no middlemen involved. So not only do AfriCAN Educate’s supporters get the satisfaction of knowing they are acting as their “brothers’ keepers”, there is also the opportunity to establish relationships and even lasting friendships with those to whom they are extending a helping hand!