Friday, December 9, 2011

Girl Effect and Global Giving!

Hi All!

I apologize for the delay in Mission Moments. Our offices have been bustling getting out our year end appeals, last minute grant requests, and the like! We hope you enjoyed the Happy Thanksgiving video from Jackson on YouTube.

In case you haven’t heard…we have been chosen as a finalist for the Girl Effect Challenge! Thanks to you and other donors like YOU, The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project came in 9th place in the Girl Effect Challenge, raising $9,483 in 30 days. As such, NAOP is one of 12 partners with Girl Effect in 2012! As we learn more about what this will mean for our bottom line, we’ll be sure to let you know.

In other news, we are taking this opportunity to toot our horn a little…The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project is ranked #5 out of 7,507 other projects on GlobalGiving. If you’ve never checked out our project pages, please go to and search Nyaka – this will show you our 3 projects. We are ranked #5 based on us having “Superstar” status by the Foundation. As a result, we are most likely to be recommended to a corporate partner, featured in GG social media, donor communications, and many more perks. Recently, we received an extra $500 grant from a challenge they offered donors (other than ours) and we were chosen as a recipient. This partnership has brought in $134,963 to date. Toot! Toot!

We are very excited to be receiving so much attention. And while we're tooting our own horn, we'd like to remind you to toot yours as well. Your support has made our success a reality!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Nyaka

Enjoy this short video from Founder and Executive Director Twesigye Jackson Kaguri wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

You are welcome here, Bet-ty!

Volunteers are the life blood of Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, so naturally we are excited to be hosting Betty Londergan in Uganda. Betty recently accompanied a group of doctors and other volunteers to Nyaka School. We are especially grateful to Betty, not only for her aide on site, but also for spreading the word about Nyaka and sharing her experiences on her blog, What Gives 365. Betty began this blog with a plan to give $100 a day to worthy cause for a full year. Two years later, she is still blogging and still giving, most recently through her trip to Nyaka. Follow the links below to read about her trip and meet the students, teachers, and grandmothers through her eyes.

Photo Credit Betty Londergan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nyaka Girl Power Video

Watch our brand NEW Nyaka Girl Power Video!

Please help us win the Girl Effect Challenge. We have less than 5 days left and need many small donations. Please go to and click on the Girl Effect link today. It only takes $10 and less than 10 minutes of your time to change a girl's life forever! Please share this short 3 minute video and inspire your friends to give too. Together we can win this challenge for our girls!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Video From Jackson Kaguri

With 12 more days in The Girl Effect challenge on Global Giving, we are ranked number 9 and you have helped us raise $5,648! Today we share with you a special message of gratitude from Jackson Kaguri and an explanation of how becoming a finalist would effect our ability to serve young girls in rural southwest Uganda. Watch. Give. Share.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nike Girl Effect

We are so excited to share with you that we have been accepted through our partner program with GlobalGiving as one of a large handful of organizations to compete in a month long partnership with Nike Girl Effect…yes! That is *the* Nike.  We are seeking new donors to support the education of girls who are ages 10+ (so this includes both primary and secondary school aged girls).  Click here to give today! 

We are asking you to help us raise $43,500 in 30 days.  There will be 6 winners who get to partner with Nike from November 2011 to December 2012! Organizations have seen a lot of donations come in from this partnership and they’ve raised more money this year than ever before.  Plus we will be highlighted in Nike’s corporate giving program.  Click here and get inspired!  

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Happiest Girl in the World

The Nyaka Primary School Primary 7 students recently took a mock end of year exam.  All of the Nyaka students excelled, but one student Kyalimpa Rosette (pictured left) achieved a score of aggregate 4.  This means she was number one in performance and awarded distinction in each subject (math, science, English, and social studies).  Here is Rosette’s story.

“I am a 14 year old orphan having no mother and father. I grew without knowing my parents because I was still an infant when they died.  I came to stay with my grandmother who was not strong enough to provide me with my needs. She tried to provide me an education but my performance was poor because I was always chased for school fees and sometimes I lacked books and pens.  I joined Nyaka in 2004 and was given free education and scholastic materials. I was fed a balanced diet, could drink clean water, and was given clothes. This all made my grandmother very happy. Under the provision of the above needs being satisfied, I began primary one and from there my performance was the best. I became the number one in my class except two times when I became the second.

When I reached primary seven this year, my grandmother died and I was adopted by the family of Mr. Namara Bahati. When I began living there, my free time which my grandmum had given me to read my books was reduced because there was always so much work. Today, I continue to please them by doing the work and they allow me to read my books to maintain my performance. They provide me with paraffin and sometimes a candle by which to study.  My performance will always be good because of the assistance I am given at both home and school, but especially at school because my teachers give me revision books, exercise, and homework.

Nyaka School has helped me to maintain my performance.  My goal is to become an engineer because my best subject is science, math, and English. I also wish to help the needy as I was helped too.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to the founders of Nyaka Aids Foundation, the Director, the board members, the Nyaka school management, and most especially the teachers.  The happiest girl Rosette wishes them well.”

Friday, September 9, 2011

Update on Nyaka Student Justine

You may recall that we recently helped raise money for student “Justine” or Tina who had been burned terribly by a kerosene lantern to receive surgery at Boston Shriner’s Hospital.  We are so happy to report that she had another successful surgery earlier this month.  Upon her insistence :) they sedated her via a bubble-gum scented mask, and she fell asleep with her caretaker, Ruth, holding her hand prior to the surgery. According to the doctor, the surgery was more successful and an easier surgery than the previous one.   Dr. Lewis worked on 5 different sites on Tina's face: both cheeks, both sides of her nose, and between her upper left chin and mouth. He managed to do it all without any skin grafting. He called it "rearranging" and he was quite pleased with the results. He explained that he only grafts when there is no other option, as grafting is the main source of pain and delayed healing post-surgery.

 Tina's stylish new neck braces arrived while she was in the hospital, which pleased her much. The old ones were unattractive and hard to keep clean, two of Tina's peeves. She now has 2 purple and 2 black, with a zebra sewn in the front. All her choice. Purple, to match her Nyaka uniform and the zebra after Marty from the movie Madagascar.  Justine is healing slowly but steadily.  She's amazing; so brave and strong...a favorite at the hospital. Such a love.

As you can see from the picture of Justine swinging with her longtime pen pal Kate – she is enjoying her time between surgeries.   Thank you all for making Justine’s health so much better and her childhood brighter!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to School - Please remember our students!

Nyaka Preschoolers
Preschoolers at Nyaka
The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project students are very fortunate that they too are in school right now. One aspect of our organization that is unique is how we guarantee our students an education all the way up to the university level. Every year we are graduating more students from our primary schools and paying for their secondary school education, an equivalent to middle school in the US. This promise is only made possible by generous supporters like you!

Kutamba Student Hilary Studying
Hilary Studying at Kutamba

On behalf of the entire Nyaka family, we hope this posting finds you and your loved ones well during these last days of summer. I've noticed recently that it is nearly impossible to ignore the signs around town that school is back in session. Yellow caution signs are flashing, school supplies line the aisles in grocery stores, and school buses are making their way slowly down the streets looking for their passengers carrying their lunchbox. The sights, smells, and sounds of students going back to school are in the air!

We hope that you will keep our students in mind as you observe the back to school frenzy in your hometown. Please remember that for every child that is getting an education at the Nyaka or Kutamba Primary Schools there are many more who are not because their mother and father have died and there is no one to pay for their school fees.

Jackson and student
Jackson with Nyaka Student
The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project students are just like the children in your life. They are filled with hope for a bright future, dreams of becoming a teacher, nurse, or doctor.  Their greatest desire is to be comforted, loved, and cared for. Their commitment to their education and future is walking many miles to and from school, passing exams at the top of their class, and participating in workshops that discuss health, nutrition, and the importance of remaining in school.  Year after year they continue to make us proud by upholding their end of the bargain!

Our commitment to our students, in addition to access to a free education, is providing them 2 meals daily, medicine when they are ill, and help for their caretakers who are typically their elderly grandmothers. It is through this holistic human rights based approach and your unwavering support that our students will soar into the future!

Monday, August 22, 2011

4-H Student Shares Nyaka Story at International Dinner

A student named Emma from a local 4H Club led by Judy Huynh, a regular volunteer, created this board for their annual International Dinner.  Emma ran the table, selling baskets, copies of A School for My Village, and shared information with visitors about Nyaka.  On behalf of our students who benefited - awesome job Emma!  What a beautiful display. 

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project is very fortunate to have many volunteers of all ages helping our students and their grandmothers in Uganda.  Please visit our volunteer page to learn how you too can help!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mission Moment for This Week

A secondary student testimonial about a recent Health and Sex Education Camp put on by “Reach a Hand” a NGO out of Makerere University in collaboration with The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project.
“I am Nuwagaba Daniel, and I would like to thank the people who were involved in the preparation of the student’s camp at Nyaka. I would like to thank our Country Manager and Mrs. Christine who supervised us while the camp was going on.  The camp was conducted by ‘Reach a Hand’ and the topics were very interesting and educational.  They taught us how to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS and getting girls pregnant. This was very interesting because I did not know that boys take part in girls becoming pregnant.  They also taught us how to be successful in education. This is important because if we make education a priority we will have good lives. They also taught us how to discover our talents and Christine advised us how to behave in our community when we are on holiday. We were very happy about this and we hope the organization will organize for us more camps.”

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project continues to guide and support these children who have no one else to learn from and talk to about these sensitive issues…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shop Fair Trade and Support Our Students and Grandmothers!

Back to school shopping?  Here is a great site to find fair trade goods and help support cool is that?

Dsenyo Shop

A School for My Village Book Review on Oprah!

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project friend and supporter, Michael Kirkpatrick has posted a great one minute video on Oprah's website.  Maybe she will find our story irresistible and feature our organization in an upcoming project?  Think how many students and grandmothers' lives could be improved through her help and promotion?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mission Moment this week

A recent email sent to our staff by Nyaka visitor, donor, and unwavering supporter Barbara K.

 “You asked me what attracted me to Nyaka. I think it is because I can see a direct correlation between my donation and the results. I have told people over and over that it is one of the few places I know of that I can guarantee that my money is being spent on what I am told it is being spent on. I also appreciate that even a small donation can change a life. I saw that with my own eyes in just the short time we were there. Clare Strenger and I went with one of the teachers to buy food for Nyaka student  Bruno and his brother. The $40 we spent bought them food for 6 months and paid for supplies for his brother's school (not Nyaka but in the community).  One of the other special things about Nyaka is that everyone - children, teachers, grannies - all genuinely appreciate everything that is being done for them. The kids are engaging and curious, and very proud of their accomplishments. That helps keep us all motivated to help them. We have all loved seeing the pictures and reading the notes that follow the donations in kind that we send. Jackson's gift of connecting with us individually is obviously a huge factor in how we all feel about Nyaka.”

 I hope this inspires you to think about what attracts you to Nyaka and that it can be several aspects like it is for Barbara – economics, scale of impact, and a warm feeling…

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Welcome to The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project Blog

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project has heard your voice and we are most pleased to bring you, in addition to a bi-annual newsletter Learning to Fly, regular updates from our students, grandmothers, and programs through our new blog.  We will be posting regular mission moments from the field, testimonials from students and grandmothers, as well as updates on Executive Director Twesigye Jackson Kaguri's book tour for A School for My VillageTruly we say, the best is yet to come!

Mission Moment from last week....

Desire Farm just received over 50 lbs. of seed from Seed and Light International – enough to feed our students and have additional food to distribute to our grandmothers. Desire Farm Manager Florence was thrilled to hear the shipment included special iron and clay beans that will produce several hundred pounds of nitrogen when harvested. What this means is that Nyaka is going to have the best maize around during the next growing season. This means increased food security for our students and grandmothers! Desire Farm is a critical part of the holistic human-rights based approach we take toward alleviating poverty in rural Uganda.