Thursday, December 20, 2012

Update: Our Youngest Heroes

Earlier in the month, we wished Ellie, one of our young supporters at Clear Sky Elementary, good luck with her fundraiser.  

 It is with gratitude and glee that we report back to you the news on her wonderful success! 

Alongside receiving a generous individual sponsorship for a Nyaka student, Ellie sold baked goods and Nyaka merchandise in order to raise a grand total of $1,000! Wow! 

This money will go directly towards the service and education of our Nyaka students--boys and girls in Uganda not so different from Ellie and her classmates. 

We are inspired by Ellie’s big heart and ardent efforts to connect with students around the world. She is a shinning example of being the change in this world. 

We are so proud of her and all her friends at Clear Sky Elementary! Thanks Ellie! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Youngest Heroes

Ellie is an 8-year-old student in third grade at Clear Sky Elementary. Aside from spending her time playing soccer and taking piano lessons, Ellie is doing a fundraiser to sponsor students at Nyaka!

Check out the letter below and the cutest donation box ever!

Hi parents!
My mom and I are doing a fundraiser at Clear Sky Elementry on December 12 to raise money to sponsor students at Nyaka.
Nyaka is a school in Uganda for AIDS orphans. By sponsoring a student we can give them their tuition, two meals a day, school supplies and all they need to get through the year.  To learn more about Nyaka go to .
I am writing this to ask if any parents could help by baking something individually wrapped.

Ellie, you are our hero. Good luck today on your presentation.

We thank Ellie and other young volunteers like her for supporting the students of Nyaka and Kutamba in every way possible!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet Allan!

Meet Allan!

Do you remember Allan’s story? Allan was born with a form of neuro-muscular disorder that prevents the full functionality of the use of his legs and a very limited range of motion in his arms. Although not an orphan, Allen is a vulnerable child in Uganda because of his disability and would not receive proper care and attention if he attended a rural public school.

When we received the good news that University of Michigan Hospital donated their services to operate on Allen's arm and legs, we knew his life would be forever changed because of YOU.

He can now use his wheelchair independently.

Did you see the video of Allan before the surgery?

Check it out!

Sign up to check out next week’s inspirational Story-A-Week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Through Toby's Lense

As we begin Story-A-Week by sharing the new 4 minute documentary produced by filmmaker and Nyaka volunteer Brenda Phillips, we thought we should also shine a light on members of her incredible team.

Meet Thorbjørn "Toby" Chakravarty who traveled to Nyaka with Brenda in March as a volunteer photographer. Since then, we have used the beautiful images he captured in a Global Giving competition and now, he shares his experience with all of you. 

Enjoy and if you are considering a visit to Nyaka, check out our volunteer manual today!  

Friday, November 2, 2012

Donor Spotlight: Emily Allen

Emily Allen, a recent high school graduate, learned of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project through Anu, a colleague of her father’s and a NAOP Board Member. “[Anu] heard of my interest in taking [a year off] between high school and college and [my] interests in doing humanitarian work abroad,” Emily said.

Emily is currently a Communications Intern for The NAOP in East Lansing, MI. After traveling from Virginia and adjusting to life in Michigan she has loved getting more involved and cannot wait to travel to Uganda.  She says, “This experience has convinced me that I would like to be involved with non-profit work in the future and I cannot wait to experience the program hands on when I visit Nyaka. I'm grateful for this opportunity.”

Emily wants to visit the Nyaka school on a fact finding mission. “I am very hopeful that this mission will be successful, and if not, I will still be sharing my experience and hopefully inspire others to have the motivation to be involved in something so much bigger than themselves,” She said. She wants to discover what it is that the children need and use that knowledge to connect the Nyaka School with a school in Virginia through curriculum and adolescent development.  

Emily plans to go spend time in Uganda in February 2013. Before going overseas, her goal is to start raising money to provide a child with a scholarship that will provide them with a 12-year education. “Whether or not this mission is successful, I will have at least touched one life,” she said.

So far Emily has raised around $1700 of the amount for the scholarship. Her high school is very supportive of student’s ideas and Emily thought that would be the perfect place to start fundraising.  She got the needed permission and started spreading the word through school announcements and emails. Emily held four bake sales, received many donations from faculty and students and held a dress down Friday.  For future fundraising efforts Emily plans to hold bake sales at the local farmer’s market and start a blog with a link to donate.  Below is the newspaper article from her hometown about her work. [O1] 

Thank you Emily for being such a shining example for young people all over the world!

Join our National Friends of Nyaka Group on Facebook to learn more about forming your own student led chapter TODAY!

 [O1]Can we find a link to this?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaching Cultural Awareness

“Teaching today, more than ever, needs to emphasize cultural awareness. The way we think and act is shaped by culture. It is important that students recognize that they are a part of a greater community filled with many different perspectives.

To help my first year seminar students with this, I have them read A School for My Village: A Promise to the Orphans of Nyaka, and identify all of the similarities and differences they see in Twesigye Jackson Kaguri’s account of his own childhood and work in Uganda as compared to their own culture. With the support of my colleagues, we have also been able to bring Kaguri in to speak to the students and give them the opportunity to ask him questions giving them more direct exposure to Ugandan culture and how it compares to American values and beliefs. As one of my students wrote,

I really enjoyed hearing Kaguri speak. It made what I read more realistic and ‘in my face.’”

Kaguri’s talks have been well received by students and faculty alike and have even inspired some of our students to do more.  

I was an First Year Seminar student last year and was moved by this organization and wanted to do something to help the children in Africa, I aimed for a more individual approach at first but then realized I could do more by drumming up support from the students here at the university.”

Reflecting on the information in Kaguri’s book and his presentations has helped my students apply a more global perspective in their evaluation of different cultural identities and the interactions that occur between them in our increasingly interconnected world.”

Laura Zimmerman
Professor of Psychology
Shenandoah University

Thank you Laura, and your students, for all you do for Nyaka. You are enabling growth for our students and grannies in Uganda!

Check out A School For My Village to learn more about Kaguri’s story and how you can bring a global perspective into the classroom.

Join our National Friends of Nyaka Group on Facebook to learn more about forming your own student led chapter TODAY!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Secondary School Updates!

Dear Sponsors,

Our secondary students thank YOU!

We are very excited about the progress they are making. It’s hard to believe it is already the third term of the school year!

The term officially opened on September 3, 2012. We thank God for having kept and sustained our students through the one-month holiday. Many activities were done during the school holiday, like the students work program in Desire Farm, reading and revision by our students at the Blue Lupin Community Library, and two sessions of guidance and counseling for our students and guardians were completed.

A meeting was conducted on August 21, 2012 by our beloved Country Manager, Jennifer Nantale to encourage our students to concentrate and be focused on the importance of their studies. In all of these things, we saw a positive change in your students. They are working very hard to meet their goals!

We thank the Nyaka school teachers, the chairmen of the School Management Committee and the Guardians Teachers Association who sacrificed their time and came in to train and help our students. These students were encouraged to study hard and to take advantage of all of the opportunities lying ahead of them. 

St. Charles Secondary Four students studied for two weeks during the holiday. Muhwezi Stephen of Gables Vocational center reported back to school on August 28, 2012. He is also doing well, especially in practicals.  As this is the promotional term we pray that our students continue to study hard and pass their exams.

In conclusion, I wish to extend my appreciation to you for your support and the Nyaka management for their contribution. Thank you for your letters to the children you sponsor.  Your kind words help us encourage them to continue to face their challenges knowing they have the love and support of those who care for them.  Similar to their families and staff, you are their role models too.

Christine Kasiime
Education Coordinator

Monday, October 1, 2012

Be Mathias' Advocate

Happy Monday!

Phiona is one of our secondary students and this week, you have a chance to be her advocate.

All you have to do is join Pure Charity!

Between October 1st and October 5th Pure Charity is rewarding $2 to The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project for every new advocate who signs up for a free account!

All you need is our advocate code and you can register online instantly.

Pure Charity allows you to support the projects you care about, shop to grow your giving, and share a lifestyle of generosity. It links people, charities and businesses together.

You already live generously.  Share Nyaka with your friends!

The promotion begins at 12:00am on Monday, October 1st and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, October 5th. You can sign up through your current Facebook account or make a separate account.

Do three things right now.

  • Join Pure Charity NOW. 
  • Spread the word and invite your friends, family, coworkers, anyone and everyone! 
  • Learn more about Phiona by visiting her project page.

We appreciate all you do for Phiona and the students of Nyaka and Kutamba every day.


Tashmica Torok
Development Associate

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Welcome back Tara and Lynette!

Two incredible volunteers have returned from Uganda!

Tara and Lynette, traveled to Nyaka earier this month. Tara says, “One of the most resounding memorable things to me was…the welcoming unconditional love that we received form the people in Uganda.” She tells us in her blog, “I’m not going to call it a ‘once in a lifetime trip’ because I’ll be back.”

Click here to read more about Tara and Lynette’s journey:

As part of their volunteer effort they took on the challenge of raising $2,000 to pay for two homes for grannies, which they accomplished earlier this summer. While visiting Nyaka Tara took photo updates of our 600 students for our Sponsor-A-Student program. Meanwhile Lynette taught bookkeeping to our grannies, which included revolving funds, micro-finance, and determining good investments.

It is because of volunteers like Tara and Lynette that your students and grannies accomplish the things they do. To learn more about volunteering in Uganda, check out our website at

Sunday, September 23, 2012

#CGI2012 - Our Commitment is Our Design to Impact!

Today, Clinton Global Initiative began.

World changers from all over the planet, are coming together to learn, to plan and to develop ways to do more for the communities they serve.

Isn't that what we are all wondering at Nyaka? 

How can we do more?
How can we save more lives?
How can we serve more children and more grandmothers than ever before?

With Uganda having the most HIV/AIDS orphans than any Sub-Saharan African country, we have to roll up our sleeves and push hard to reach out further every year.

This year, the Founder & Executive Director of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, attends The Clinton Global Initiative with a new commitment.

You can follow his LIVE tweets @Twejaka.  Be sure to follow #CGI2012 too!

It is your commitment.  It is what you want to do for the grandmothers of Nyaka that fuels this vision.

Your generosity has already provided services for 7,000 grandmothers.  The homes you have built, the clean water you have provided and the seeds that you have given them, impacts an additional 35,000 indirect beneficiaries - most of them children.

You have done some serious good!

You can do more.  We are planning to do more.

The commitment that we announced today at Clinton Global Initiative is extending our services to grandmothers into three more districts.

You are going to see services provided to thousands of grandmothers that will change the lives of children in three more communities.  We will be sharing our commitment with foundations, organizations, international corporations and individuals that may partner with you to make your commitment a reality.  Nothing is impossible.

The dedication and fortitude of the grandmothers is why they are our true heroes.  They take the services that you provide for them and share with those in need around them.

They are strong, unselfish and resourceful. You have given them a hope they can rely on.

Thank you for your commitment to the grandmothers of Nyaka. 


The Nyaka Team

 PS - Did you watch the Opening Plenary Session of The Clinton Global Initiative?  You still can.  Check out the video below and visit to keep up with the schedule as #CGI2012 continues!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Double Your Impact!

From August 13th-17th, 2012, your support provided fifty-eight Nyaka grandmothers the opportunity to attend the Kutamba Grannies Workshop. The conference was attended by 3 representatives from each of the 19 granny groups in the Nyakishenyi and Buyanja sub-countries.

Through the program our grannies were trained on various topics to allow them to grow as individuals and take back their new knowledge to their hometown groups. One of our grannies, Hope, says she learned “some good leadership skills and challenges, the role of grandmothers, caring about children with HIV/AIDS, parenting skills, food and nutrition, managing finance.” 
Shown above: Hope

In their testimonials, grandmothers requested more programming like the Kutamba Workshop.  What if you could double your impact today?

What if instead of training 52 grannies with your support, you could train 104?

Commit to a new monthly donation on Global Giving TODAY and have your gift matched by a generous donor at 100%. 

Global Giving has just announced that a generous donor will be matching all new recurring gifts between now and September 7th, 2012. Please consider signing up for an automatic monthly donation in order to continue support of the grandmothers of AIDS orphans in Uganda.

Your $25 will turn into $50!

52 grannies can be 104 grannies with your support!

Dorah, tells us “I request the initiators to keep on giving us these refresher courses, at least per year. More trainings are needed for the rest of the grandmothers.”
Shown above: Dorah

With your support grannies like Hope and Dorah can continue to receive training so they can connect with other grannies and learn the skills necessary to help care for their grandchildren. On average, each granny supports up to seven children and  currently you provide support for nearly 7,000 grandmothers in southwest Uganda.

Click here to commit to a new monthly donation.  You are saving lives!

For more information about our Grandmother Project please see:

Friday, August 31, 2012

One by One: Doing My Part to Change the World

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to spend eight weeks as an intern for The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project.  

When I started my internship, I expected to work the necessary hours to earn college credit while doing something to make the world a better place. What I did not expect, was how passionate I would become working for this organization or how my heart would be touched and my outlook on life changed by the children of this project. 
As I continued to work for The NAOP, I found myself striving to do my part to raise awareness and money for the students of Nyaka & Kutamba Primary Schools.  These children want nothing more than the opportunity to attend school - a gift many of us here in the United States, myself included, take for granted.  

The children at Nyaka and Kutamba do not have much.  They live in devastating poverty.  For many of the children of Uganda it means that they may never get to attend school. Girls are forced to marry at a young age. AIDS is transmitted between partners and basic medical care is often unavailable. 
Many of the students at Nyaka and Kutamba have lost one or both of their parents as a result of the AIDS pandemic and most are now being raised by elderly grandmothers.   For children who have so little, they are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend school. They all strive to do well on their exams and learn anything they can. Some students have dreams of moving on and becoming doctors and nurses, or even teachers someday. 

When I was their age I had no idea what I wanted to do and very rarely was I grateful to attend school. Now as I enter my final year of college, I still do not know what I want to do with my life. However, I know that I will be grateful for every opportunity that comes my way and continue to do what I can to help the students at Nyaka and Kutamba. 

In fact, I am now sponsoring a little girl from the Kutamba Nursery school named Precious Maria. I picked her for three reasons; the smile on her face in her picture, her goals to learn how to read and write in school this year (two of my favorite things to do), and because she is a nursery student. The students need financial support from loyal donors to attend school every year. I chose a nursery student because I wanted a student to sponsor through all their years in school. It is my gift to a student who is grateful for the opportunity to learn.

There are still many more students that need sponsored, and I encourage you to pick your own student to sponsor. We cannot change the world all at once, but the good news is that we don’t have to. All we have to do is change it one by one; one child, one life, at a time and slowly the world itself will feel the effects of the change. Learn more about sponsoring a child in Rubber Hits the Road.

Christina Duzan
Nyaka Communications Intern
Senior at William Jewell College
Major: Communications

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vote for Janati!

Meet Janati!

Janati is a little girl with a big heart and even bigger dreams. For the next two weeks, she will be the face of our community as her photo is one of 75 finalists in Global Giving’s Photo Contest.  She needs your help!

You are one of our most important supporters, and we’re asking you today to act as Janati’s champion.  You can see in her face the determination with which she undertakes her studies at Nyaka Primary School. When you vote for Janati, you are voting for all 584 students of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project. You are bringing them one step closer to achieving their goals.

The organization whose photo has the highest number of votes by August 15th will be featured on Global Giving's homepage for a day AND win a $1,000 bonus. This is HUGE, and we need YOUR help to secure the win for our students!

$1,000 is enough for four primary students to attend school for one full year!

Voting starts at 12:00pm EST on August 1st, and ends 12:00pm EST on August 15th.
Itching for ways to help? Here are three simple things you can do!
1.       LIKE our Facebook page to keep up with the contest
2.       VOTE for this picture between August 1st and August 15th here:
3.       SHARE this information with you friends and family by forwarding this blog post OR inviting them to our Facebook event “Vote for Your Star Students

We can't wait to see your support of Janati in the form of hundreds (and thousands!) of votes!
In the meantime, we will be posting ideas to spur your creativity daily on Facebook.

Let’s GO!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pure Charity Partnership

Become an advocate for The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project on Pure Charity today! 

Click here to join our advocacy network on Pure Charity!

 Guess what? You can now shop online and help give a Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project student an education!

We are excited to announce a NEW partnership that The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project has with Pure Charity.

Check out the project we created just for Phiona.  As an individual backer of our project, you can even create your own campaign encouraging your friends and family to join in and invest in Phiona’s education too!

How does Pure Charity work?

Pure Charity allows you to give a percentage of your online purchases to a project important to YOU.  For every dollar you spend, a percentage is tucked away into your own special spending account.  All you have to do, is download a plugin for your browser onto your PC or laptop and Pure Charity goes with you just about everywhere you like to shop online. 

You can share that you are one of Phiona’s “backers” via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail with just a simple click. You can also easily keep track of updates of her progress, and you can also see the projects your friends are supporting. Finally, although donors already know they are doing good when they support a project, Pure Charity has a reward system implemented as a special bonus!  You will get special coupons, perks, deals....everything that makes shopping so much more fun!

How will The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project use Pure Charity?

On Pure Charity, we will be creating smaller projects for people to invest in.  We will be providing the opportunity to back individual students with your shopping dollars!  You can expect that our projects in the future will be anything from supporting the education of a secondary student to building 5 latrines for grandmothers in need. 

Ready to use your purchasing power for some good?!

Of course you are!  :)

PS – If any of the above links do not work for you, feel free to copy and paste this link into you browser to join our advocate network: