I highly highly recommend watching "Uganda Rising" on youtube, found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQiBnWWAYyw - It will provide a little bit of conflict into the civil war that raged on for two decades. Most of you are familiar with the Kony2012 campaign, which highlights the worst of what this region experienced at the hands of a lunatic.
The centre itself is designed to run without funding, where the teachers assist learners in their particular skill to develop products which can be sold, with 100% of the money going back into purchasing more supplies, repairing tools, and paying the teachers - think of it as a community-based school where everyone helps everyone. The problem is that when the centre was handed over to our organization, a number of tools and supplies were stolen before we were able to account for things (or change the locks!), and the centre has slowly drained itself of financial resources trying to keep up repairs and production with minimal supplies and tools.
It is my hope to jump-start this sustainable program, now that honest teachers and secure rooms for storage have been secured, by directly funding materials for the learners to do their practical experience with, and replenishing the stock they need to resume learning. I managed to scrounge a little bit of wood the other day from a near by vendor, and before I knew it, they'd started building a chair with it (sadly, without glue, they've put it on hold for the moment), so I know they are both capable and eager to begin using actual materials to practice what they've been learning. I've set a goal of $650 in order to use 100% of the money to purchase: Timber, glue, nails, and blades for plains for carpentry / joinery; Beans, onions, tomatoes, cassava, cabbage, eggplant and watermelon seeds for agriculture; scissors, training hair, and shampoo for hair dressing; a wide assortment of fresh vegetables and meats in the local market for catering practice (with the plan that the agriculture program will eventually supplement this); and sand, plum lines and trowels for brick / concrete practice. It may sound like a lot, but a new clutch cable for my motorcycle cost me 40 cents the other day.. so if you know where to go, money goes a LOT further!
I've got 5 months to ensure these learners benefit from their time at the centre; what I really need is support to help get them there - the international community has largely pulled out of the area (along with their funding), and fixing the centre is becoming increasingly difficult. I'm hoping for those that know me personally, they'll be willing to spread this to their other friends in hopes that if we all can pitch in a few bucks, we'll make it happen :) Any support is greatly appreciated, and by all means email me or contact me in whatever way to ask questions!
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