Wednesday, November 21, 2018

17 Years Ago, you Gave Ruth a Chance-Where is she now?

Girls in Rural Uganda are often told to quit school so they can start a family.

Without your support, Ruth believes that at 22, she would “be a mom to many children,” rather than one of Nyaka’s amazing nurses.

Ruth lost her father at a very young age. She and her five younger siblings were sent to live with their grandmother. While attending Primary One, her grandmother couldn’t purchase her books or pay school fees. Her education was going to end before her eighth birthday. Ruth accepted that she would be a housemaid, rather than achieve her dream of being a nurse.

However, thanks to your support, everything changed for Ruth when her grandmother discovered a FREE school for orphaned children--your Nyaka Primary School. Ruth was a Pioneer Student, part of Nyaka’s first class of students.

As a student, Ruth watched nurses care for her ill grandmother. She knew she wanted to become a nurse to serve her community, particularly for sick children. Thanks to the strong education foundation you provided Ruth, she made her dreams a reality. Ruth graduated nursing school!

Your compassion not only benefited Ruth, but also allowed her to impact the Nyaka community. Today, Ruth is the nurse at your Nyaka’s Vocational Secondary School. Ruth treats sick students so they can stay in school. She also counsels and provides emotional support for students.

This is Ruth’s dream job because she can inspire students everyday. Young students gain confidence by seeing how Ruth was a Nyaka student who became a medical professional. Because compassionate people like you invested in Ruth over 10 years ago, she is able to continue to inspire Nyaka’s female students every day.

Can you imagine what the children you are investing in today will do when they grow up?

Meet Ruth, the nurse you empowered!

Monday, November 5, 2018

You Empower Nyaka's Women in STEM!

 Your compassion empowers Nyaka’s future female engineers! Without your continued generosity, Nyaka would not be able to offer opportunities for women in STEM*.

Before joining Nyaka, Nayebare Primah had never stepped foot into a classroom. She watched other children in her village attend school, but her family couldn’t afford the school fees. Without school, Nayebare would’ve likely end up like the majority of uneducated girls in rural Uganda: destined to be a homemaker and young mother.  

However, Nayebare life changed when she had the opportunity to attend Nyaka’s Vocational School for FREE. When you allowed her to attend Nyaka, you told her that her ideas were valuable. Nayebare took advantage of this chance to let her ideas flourish, as she joined the Robotics Club!

From the Robotics Club, Nayebare has gained skills in teamwork from working with other future engineers! She has also gained confidence from having to present her tech innovations in front of judges panels at robotics competitions. Last year, your support allowed her to compete with Nyaka’s Robotics Club in Kampala, where they came in FIRST!

Your support not only changed Nayebare, but lets aide her entire community! The inventions that the Nyaka Robotics Club creates target urgent needs in the community. In response to the Ebola outbreak, Nayebare worked on a team that engineered an automatic sink tap so people can safely wash their hands!

Your gifts not only empower Nayebare, but can continue to impact the many girls yearning for an education in rural southwestern Uganda!

*STEM=Science Technology Engineering Math

Monday, October 15, 2018

You Empower Female Students to Fight Injustices!

Sarah is a college student fighting for others’ rights, but this justice would not be possible without your support for her!

When she was just a child, Sarah lost her parents to AIDS by age eight. Yet, she did not lose hope-she still dreamed of becoming a lawyer. As Sarah grew up, it became difficult for her grandmother to pay her school fees. Even when could attend school, she was often more focused on where she would get necessities like soap, sanitary pads, and toothpaste. Consider that in rural Uganda, girls who can’t access sanitary pads often drop out of school, Sarah’s aspirations of becoming a lawyer seemed dismal.

However, thanks to your compassion, Sarah didn’t give up on her dreams! After she won a Nyaka scholarship through partnership with Beautiful World Canada, Sarah could prioritize her studies. She no longer worried about where she was going to get basics, such as soap, sanitary pads, and clothing. Your involvement in the Nyaka family empowered her to graduate from secondary school and attend university.

Sarah was confident in her abilities to excel at university, as she understands that Nyaka offered the “highest standard” of education. Without your support, Nyaka’s education would not be up to its caliber.

To become a lawyer, a “voice for the voiceless,” Sarah studied human rights litigation. While working on her dissertation on the right to a speedy trial, Sarah has filed petitions to ensure that Ugandans aren’t being held past the legal limit. The strength you helped instilled upon her has had a larger impact--Sarah was able to get a Ugandan official his court date.

Sarah is proof of what women can achieve when you invest in their educations! 
Click here to empower more female students like Sarah!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Your Support Impacts More than just One Student!

On paper, your support empowered Jonathan through education, but in practice, you helped the entire Nyaka community!

Before joining Nyaka, Jonathan’s childhood was hard and scary. By the time he was four, he had lost both his parents to AIDS. He yearned to go to school, but his grandparents struggled to pay the fees. Since they supported Jonathan and his brother, it was difficult to pay the equivalent of $1USD for his education.
However, when Jonathan turned 10, his whole life changed. When his grandparents were told that orphans could receive a FREE education at Nyaka Primary school, they jumped on the opportunity to enroll Jonathan. He was one of the first students to join the Nyaka family.

Jonathan studied hard. He knew what his life would be like if he failed-a life where he could barely afford to support his family. Slowly, he saw a change in himself and how others saw him too. Instead of feeling pitied because he was an orphan, he said he was finally “looked at as someone with parents,” because of the love he received from you, the family he found at school.

Your impact in Jonathan’s life is proven by his success. The tools you gave him helped him work his way to university. He dreamed of giving back to the community that helped him, which led him to study education.
Once he graduates in October 2018, he will return to Nyaka as a teacher. As a rising leader, Jonathan dreams of mentoring and inspiring more orphaned children like him. He wants to ensure that through his work, his students to have “smiles on their face,” as he did when you provided him a Nyaka education.

Thanks to your kindness in supporting Jonathan fifteen years ago, he can empower the whole Nyaka community!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

YOU Opened Doors for Bernadette

Bernadette is a 92-year-old widow from Kanungu district, and she owes her life to you. She is no stranger to loss. Seven of her ten children died from long illnesses. Now Bernadette is raising two of her grandchildren, four-year-old Elizabeth and nine-year-old Justine. Bernadette was overwhelmed with her new motherhood, so she was relieved when one of her daughters came home to live with her, bringing her own 15-year-old daughter, Ruth, with her.

Even with two mothers to support them, the family was struggling to get by. The roof of her house was leaky and ready to cave in on them. Her kitchen was dangerous and unusable during the rainy season. Her pit latrine was nearly overflowing, a serious health risk.

Bernadette was constantly afraid for her family’s safety, but she had no way to repair the damage.

Because of your generosity, Bernadette received a new house, kitchen, and pit latrine in 2017. Your generosity brought her to tears. She could hardly believe what you did for her. Her life and the lives of many grandmothers like her are forever changed because of you.

On behalf of Bernadette and her family, thank you for your compassion!

This story was featured in Nyaka's 2017 Annual Report. You can read more about the great work you made possible in Uganda in 2017 by clicking here

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

You Opened Doors for Tauba!

Tauba’s father died when she was just seven months old. The youngest of 10 children, she watched as her mother had to choose which of her children she could send to school. Tauba knew that she would never get the chance. As the youngest child and a girl, she would most likely work in the fields with her mother and then get married as soon as she reached her early teens. 

Still, Tauba always watched the children walking so proudly in their brightly colored school uniforms. She would imagine herself walking beside them in her own uniform, holding her own books. Sometimes, she would run to her mother and ask about school. Her mother would just shake her head and send Tauba to fetch water or help cook dinner

One day, a community leader came to speak with her mother about your Nyaka Primary School. The very next year, Tauba was running with her friends in her own beautiful, purple uniform. 

Now, Tauba is one of your Primary Seven students, and she can hardly believe how much her life has changed. She remembers times at home when her family had nothing to eat. At school she knows they will provide her with two warm meals. She carries her own textbooks home and studies hard. She is so grateful for the education that you are providing for her. 

Tauba dreams of becoming a surgeon. She wants to earn enough money to help her older brothers and sisters who didn’t get to go to school. She also dreams of sponsoring five Nyaka children when she grows up so that they can have the same chance she has.

Tauba is proud to be one of your Nyaka students. It is only through your generosity and compassion that she will have a bright future.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Your Grandmothers Can Grow Mushrooms!

Thank you for supporting your grandmothers in Uganda!

You have given 7,301 women opportunities and resources that they otherwise wouldn’t have. So far this year, over 100 grandmother homes have been visited by the Nyaka Grandmother Team to check on the well-being of your grandmothers. The team ensures safe living conditions in the home, makes sure the grandmothers have a healthy kitchen vegetable garden, sees that all of the grandchildren in the home are going to school, and offers advice and other support as needed.

Grandmother Groups have also recently gathered to learn more about income generating projects, food security, the importance of education, and health and sanitation improvement. Two of the groups even had the opportunity for exchange visits to learn more about income generating activities. During the visits, the grandmothers were taught how to grow mushrooms. Your grandmothers can now grow mushrooms for their own meals and can also grow enough to sell and make a profit. Your donations make opportunities like this possible. Thank you!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Thanks to YOU, Sarah started her first job!

Greetings from Uganda! 

The rains are here which is great for the gardens and farms in the area. Although the roads are beginning to get washed out from the heavy rains and making travel a little more challenging, everyone is doing great!

It’s been a busy 2018 school year and your students are working hard every day to make you proud. Thank you for your love and support to make their educations possible!

Sarah working at the Platinum Hotel in Rukungiri

Sarah is one of the many students you have helped. She completed her degree in Tourism and Hotel Management, and just started her first job at the Platinum Hotel in Rukungiri. Before joining Nyaka Primary School as a young girl, everything in her life was very complicated after her parents died. Her future was uncertain.

Because of your kindness, she is rejoicing about how her life has turned out and feels privileged to have graduated school and begun a career.

Thank you for the kindness you have shown Sarah and other children like her. 

Your donations change children’s lives!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fighting Sexual Assault in Uganda

I want to tell you about a brave little girl named Grace.

I first met Grace several years ago. She was a student at your Kutamba Primary School. Like other kids her age, she loved playing with her friends, having fun, and going to school. 

Then everything changed. She was brutally attacked–sexually assaulted–by a thirty-five-year-old man. 

Grace was just nine years old.

Grace’s grandmother, Granny Rose, knew who had hurt her—he had the nerve to offer her a goat if she would drop the matter. But she refused. She didn’t want to cover up what had happened. 

But what could she do?

Granny Rose knew the police would only arrest the man if she paid a $12 fee—half a month’s wages. Unless she found a way to pay it, the pedophile who hurt her granddaughter would go free. He could prey on other little girls. 

Granny Rose felt powerless.

Grace had a long walk to school by herself—leaving her vulnerable to another attack. What could she do to protect her granddaughter? 

Granny Rose had a tough decision to make. She didn’t want her granddaughter to be hurt again, but she didn’t want Grace to miss out on her future either. In the end, she decided to send Grace back to school. 

When Grace returned to school, she was carrying a heavy burden. She couldn’t focus in class. She had become very shy. It was as if the life had been taken from her.

Finally, someone asked the right questions, and with tears in her eyes, Grace told her story.

Jackson–my husband and your friend–was there with me in Uganda when I found out what happened to Grace. Her story broke our hearts. I don’t know if she was the first of your students to have this experience, but she was the first to do something incredibly powerful. She spoke up. 

Grace’s bravery did something else too–it forced me to remember my own experience.

Grace’s story is my story too. When I was eleven, I was attacked–just like Grace. But unlike Grace, I stayed quiet. 

I tried to forget what had happened, but I still felt shame and embarrassment. There was no one there to speak up for me, to demand that the man who assaulted me be brought to justice.

When I heard Grace’s story, I knew I never wanted another child to think they had to suffer in silence and in shame. I couldn’t stay quiet anymore. 

I couldn’t change what had happened to Grace, but I could help her heal. And I realized I could use my voice now to help other little girls. I could demand justice for victims. Maybe I could help prevent future assaults.

Shortly after I first heard Grace’s story, I established the EDJA Foundation, an organization dedicated to ending the sexual assault of girls in rural Uganda and to securing justice for those already assaulted. 

Grace’s bravery has brought real change to the community. Thanks to her courage, EDJA became a reality. Grace was given counseling to help her move toward healing. Later, her attacker was tried and sentenced to ten years in jail.

From that important beginning, Nyaka and EDJA have worked hand in hand, especially for your students. Together, we have fought for girls, both in the classroom and in their communities. Together, we have nurtured their minds and defended their bodies. Together, we have demanded justice. 

And now together, we will continue the fight. Today, we’re pleased to announce that EDJA is becoming part of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project family.

Don’t worry—everything you love about Nyaka is staying the same. We will continue to serve your students and your grandmothers through your schools, clinic, grandmothers program, library, and other programs. 

With EDJA joining Nyaka, you’ll also have the opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable children—both through your schools and in the community.

Together, Nyaka and EDJA will help bring an end to sexual violence in rural Uganda. Together, we will send a message to anyone who harms little girls: you WILL be held accountable.

This important work can’t happen without YOU. We invite you to celebrate this important moment in Nyaka’s history by helping even more of your girls. 

YOUR gift will help YOUR girls succeed. 

YOU will help the victims get the support they need. YOU will ensure that their rapists go to jail. YOU will help educate the community. And YOU will make sure that girls can reach their full potential through education.

As you know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There isn’t a better time to help ensure YOUR girls never have to face what Grace and I did. 

We can’t do it without YOU. This is YOUR opportunity to remind YOUR girls that they are valued and worthy of achieving their dreams. 

YOUR gift will empower girls who were once victims to become victors. 

Make your gift HERE today!

With Gratitude,

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NVSS is off to a great year!

The 2018 school year is off to a great start and your students are glad to be back! It’s the first year that NVSS is at full capacity, educating grades S.1-S.4. The school was opened in phases starting with S.1 in 2015 and added another class every year after. Before NVSS opened, these students would have to attend secondary and vocational schools far from home. Today, they are able to attend NVSS and remain surrounded by the positive influence of the Nyaka team. There are 54 students from the Nyaka and Kutamba primary schools who moved on to NVSS this year, bringing the entire student body at NVSS to 209 students!

The school allows Nyaka to continue providing their education in a supportive environment. Students who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS face barriers that other children don't. They are more vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual assault. Many are dealing with grief and loss, which can lead to unhealthy behaviors. With over a decade of experience, Nyaka is better equipped to help these children overcome those barriers than other schools. Nyaka also provides vital supportive services including counseling, sexual assault interventions, and reproductive health education. Nyaka believes that all children deserve a high-quality education. Thanks to YOUR support, they are provided with the same amazing education. 

Your students are also excited to begin using the Dining and Multipurpose Hall building that was just completed. This building will be the heart of the campus as a place for students and staff to eat and gather. It will also serve as the testing center for students who take their final exams while in grade S.4. The campus is getting closer to completion but is still in need of the Chemistry and Physics Labs plus other final touches like fencing off the school. 
Thank you for building your students in Uganda an amazing school that will change their lives!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Community Pillar

Jovia has experienced unimaginable loss in her life. She and her husband had seven children, all of whom died when they were very young. Her husband soon followed the children. Jovia found herself childless, widowed, and with virtually nothing. Even though she had few material possessions, Jovia realized that she still had a lot of love left in her heart. She decided to share this love by opening her home to orphaned children. Over the years, Jovia has raised six children, none of whom were related to her. While life hasn’t always been easy for her and her grandchildren, your support has given Jovia the resources she needs to survive and raise her newfound family. 
Although Jovia doesn’t have a formal education, she is a very smart and savvy woman. She learned as much as possible about business from her late husband, but she lacked the resources needed to provide her own income when he passed away. Fortunately, she joined a Nyaka Granny Group, and through Nyaka’s microfinance program she was able to borrow money to open her own retail shop. The shop started small, but Jovia has been able to grow and expand it over the years.
Today, Jovia is 75 years old and the proud owner of a successful shop in her village. Because of your support, she sells items such as salt, soaps, beans, maize flour, millet, cooking oil, matches, sugar, sandals, onions, soft drinks and sugar cane, generating enough income to allow her to provide a good life for her family. Jovia is just one of the many grandmothers who you have supported through Nyaka. These women are strong, capable, and improving their lives, thanks to you. These women are the pillars of their communities and Jovia is but one of the many special women whose life YOU have turned around. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Greetings from your children and grandmothers in Uganda!

Thank YOU for making 2017 an amazing year. Your love and support changed many lives!

YOU sent 754 children to school! The Primary 7 students graduated and will be joining secondary school at NVSS next week - they can’t wait.

YOU built 17 homes, 25 kitchens, and 25 latrines for grandmothers, while also providing over 7,000 grandmothers with trainings, counseling, and microfinance loans!

YOU gave more community members access to medical care than ever before and continued to provide clean water in the community and access to libraries! 

Now, YOU will be sending 60 new nursery children to school on February 5th! 

Thank you!