Goats for Kamuli Kids
Let’s Do It! together!
Remember recently when I told you that we’d be Doing It! together and individually? Those weren’t empty words. We’re Doing It! Buying Goats for some Kids in the Kamuli District of Uganda to sustainably generate funds to pay for their education! Yee haw!
Can you help this Christmas by making a 2023 tax-deductible donation (a lot or a little) and help make this project a reality?
Education is the path out of poverty but though it’s supposed to be free in Uganda, schools charge fees that keep too many kids out. The Professor and I (Rich) want to make going to school a reality for some kids I met last year who would otherwise not be able to go (and who would likely remain in need as a result).
What they need isn’t a lot. But without it, their lives will continue to be difficult.
We plan to raise $5,500 to give these kids seed money for the project but we can’t do it alone. Please donate whatever you can afford to the US nonprofit Roots Africa and the money, less a small donation to cover Roots’ expenses, will go directly to educate those kids. And if we out raise the goal? So much the better!
But first, how do we know what they need?
When I visited the Kamuli District in Uganda last May we visited a village where my friend Denis lives. At 3,500 feet in elevation, the region is said to be one of the poorest in the country. The landscape was lush and green (although it wouldn’t be come dry season). We went there to learn how the villagers are growing coffee, pumpkins, and other crops, building their own small businesses.
As we got off a rattletrap bus, small barefooted kids gathered to watch. I made eye contact and smiled, trying to engage them. Some were shy, others not, but one little girl named Nakimera was bold and attached herself to me. Her seal-brown colored shirt was ripped and hung off one shoulder revealing her bare chest. Her hair was closely cropped, her eyes were dark brown, and she had a Mona Lisa smile. Just a few feet from the bus she grabbed my hand like a prize. The other kids watched big-eyed as she looked up at me with the same adoring look my grandchildren long ago outgrew.
We were both smitten. When the group stopped in a field, she stroked my arms, draped them over her shoulders, and leaned back against my legs. From time to time, I heard an older woman hiss at her to come away, but Nakimera was defiant. I tried to distance myself, but the little girl would have none of that and at the end of the tour, she walked me back to the bus still holding my hand. As I got on the bus, I feared what would become of Nakimera. The region has one of the country’s highest rates of child brides.
“I noticed you with the kids ,” Denis said later. “Your compassion touches my heart.”
“That little girl– Nakimera – I want to help,” I replied. “I want her future to give her choices. What can I do? Does she go to school?”
“Nakimera ’s mother was traumatized in a violent rape, and her father left,” he told me. “She and four siblings live with their grandmother who can’t send her to school. School here, while technically free, costs a lot for these kids to attend: the uniforms, supplies, and lunches are free. If you want, I’ll find out how much it would cost and message you.”
“Yes, please, find out,” I replied, “for all of them.”
Look, I don’t know why Nakimera was attracted to me but maybe it was so that I wouldn’t forget her. I haven’t. Since then, we’ve paid school fees and bought supplies like uniforms, books, shoes, and more, making it possible for Nakimera and others – in all, three kindergarten, three primary, and four senior school kids - to attend school! We don’t send a fortune but in rural Uganda even a little goes a long way.
Denis tells me as a result that the kids are enthusiastic and eager to learn. They are excited about wearing shoes and carrying their bags to and from school for the first time in their lives. Their caretakers have also become more responsible and keep them healthy and in school regularly. Two teenage mothers we also help are newly optimistic and see education as a bridge to brighter days.
But there remains much more to do in the Kamuli District. More kids want to go to school but their parents can’t afford to send them. He wants to broaden his program to serve them too, especially focusing on marginalized kids. How will he do that? Goats for Kamuli Kids!
Denis has already bought 5 goats with the money we’ve sent but his plan is to build a facility to hold up to 50 goats to ensure the sustainability of this program long after us donors have given. We want them to succeed. So, friends, we’re happy to announce this as our very first Let’s Do It! project.
Please join me in providing seed money for these kids to get their education. Roots Africa will get your donation to Denis and provide you with a 2023 tax-deductible donation. Roots Africa will also earn a small portion of your donation (10%) to be applied to their work training agricultural students and subsistence farmers in Uganda. But everything else goes to the kids.
Please, can you spare $5, $25, $50, $100 or more to help fund Goats for Kamuli Kids? Click the button below to make your 2023 tax-deductible donation! Let’s Do It!
About Denis and Bandera Farmers Network Denis established the Bandera Farmers Network International to promote value-added agricultural production with the goal of empowering his people to empower themselves. The Network processes peanuts into butter, and bananas, mangoes, and pineapples into juice, also drying pineapple and cabbages using a solar dryer he built. Members process and sell coffee, flour for kids , maize flour, juices, dried vegetables, Cassamus herbal water, organic animal vaccines, silage, has begun a one million tree planting project, and offer teenage pregnancy programs. He began the Network in 2019 with 10 farmers, training them in sustainable agricultural practices. Today he and his change makers have reached and trained over 600 farmers countrywide. Denis works to advance human rights and transform the lives of rural women, children, and farmers. He teaches his network sustainable agriculture practices and climate-smart agriculture.
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