Vocational School in Uganda (past campaign)

Quick summary:

Thank you for visiting my campaign page. Here is a quick summary.27973200_1551019675431968_r.jpeg My sponsored brother, Leonard, who is from Uganda, has started a  vocational school in Uganda where students will learn vocational skills to help them succeed in life. The school teaches plumbing, sewing, and hair styling. In addition to educating the community, the school generates revenue by being contracted for sewing and plumbing services, which go towards funding the school and providing incomes for local people. However, the school is still in its infancy and needs more financial support to launch it toward its true potential. Once it acquires sufficient funding, it will make a huge impact in the area by training students with desirable job skills they can use to support their families and also generating incomes for employees. The goal for this campaign is to generate enough to install plumbing and electricity in the school, purchase new machines, and hopefully construct a dormitory space for students who live far from the school. Any amount helps. Thank you so much for your support.

Now, here is the full story:

Leonard first came into my life when we were both five years old when my mom, Kathy Keary, began sponsoring him through Unbound (formerly CFCA). Now that 5 year old boy has grown into a bright and caring young man dedicated to using his knowledge to create opportunities for others in his community.

Despite growing up thousands of miles apart, me living with my mom in a suburb of Kansas City, and Leonard, an orphan living in Uganda, over our lifetimes, we have become family. Being both only children and the same age, Leonard and I like to think of ourselves as twins.

Over the years, he and my mom exchanged letters, and in 2007, my mom and I journeyed to Uganda with Unbound to meet him. He greeted us with a flower and a huge smile, and his community gave us a very warm welcome complete with a wonderful feast. I’ve remained in regular contact with him and have even seen him become a husband and a father to a baby girl.

Always very appreciative of the education he received through his sponsorship, Leonard long held a desire to use his knowledge to help his community by providing educational and employment opportunities. Having attained his Diploma in Technical Teacher Education in 2015, Leonard took the first steps toward making his altruistic dream a reality by purchasing two sewing machines and sponsoring two students to learn tailoring skills out of his own earnings as a plumber. And that’s how the Kathleen Vocational Tailoring School was born.

Since then, Leonard has been busy with overseeing the purchase of the land for the school site as well as the construction, which was largely funded by my mom, who the school is named after. Located 5 kilometers from Masaka, Uganda in Bisanje, the school’s mission is to improve the livelihoods of people in the community by providing them with technical skills needed to become job ready within six months. The school will target both youth and adults, including those who may not have had opportunities for education in the past, such as orphans or those who could not afford education. This is in contrast to other technical schools in the area which offer more expensive and lengthier programs that many students simply can’t afford.

In addition to providing education, the school’s production department knits student uniforms to sell to other area schools. Although at a small scale currently, this operation will provide funding for the school as it expands as well as employment for the school’s graduates.

Leonard, the Director of the school, plans to eventually hire enough teachers to train up to 60 students at a time. Although Leonard’s dreams for the school are large, his current funding is not. He currently pays teachers from his personal earnings as a plumber and as the Head of the Plumbing Department at St. Charles Lwanga Butende Technical Institute. He plans on seeking out other sponsorships and funding from non-profits.

In the meantime,  the school is seeking contributions from generous donors like you to accelerate the expansion of the school to its full potential. With donations received from previous GoFundMe campaigns, he was able to finish the floors in the school, acquire new furniture, finish the exterior of the school, and install a rainwater capture system to provide fresh water to the school. He has also officially registered the school with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau under the name Kathy Vocational Workshops. 

Since last year's campaign, he purchased a flat lock sewing machine and saw two students graduate from the sewing program! He has also started a small poultry and goat project to add more survival skill training to the program. He has also hired an employee as the Workshop Manager, who is a former beneficiary of Kathy Vocational Workshop.

His most immediate goal for the Christmas 2020 campaign is to raise enough money to construct a security fence around the perimeter of the school since he has already had one attempted break in. His long term plans are to provide electricity, acquire new machines, and since his school is generating interest from students living far away, eventually construct a small dormitory space for students. 

Thank you for taking the time to read Leonard’s story. I think it shows the ripple effect that helping just one hard-working and inspired individual can have on an entire community. And with your help, we have the opportunity to change the lives of many others.
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Kristina Killgore 
Highwood, IL
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