The process of procuring a dairy cow for the orphans living in the Children’s Home (also the Library) in the Lwengo District of Uganda, within the Kyamaganda Community Development Organization (KCDO), has been a long one. we first envisioned a cow for the children after helping them establish a small farm where they could plant and harvest their own vegetables.
A cow seemed like the logical next step. While we struggled with raising the funds for a cow, the children of KCDO had so much confidence in their cow that they began planting a field with grass, so that their cow could graze.
This represents a true act of faith, and a genuine belief that dreams can come true. The field was planted, but we only had a few hundred dollars towards the cow, not nearly enough.
Willy wrote to us, and sent us photos. The field was planted. The grass had grown. Where was the cow?
They began building the “Kral” the cow enclosure. How soon would we be able to provide a cow?
Clean water areas are provided for the cow; many children do not have regular access to clean water.
Finally, like a gift from heaven, our prayers were answered and a donor gracefully provided the remaining needed funds to purchase the cow!
Holy Cow! She may not be the most beautiful cow, but she will provide milk and dairy products for the children of KCDO. We are eternally grateful to have been able to assist in completing this dream.
How do you graduate from high school or trade school?
First, you have to have the opportunity to attend Primary and Secondary school.
This January we were privileged to receive several donations with which we have been able to support our friends in the Kyamaganda Community Development Organization (KCDO). Our first priority was to support students who needed to pay school fees so as to be able to attend the spring 2022 session of school. Each student requires $250 to attend school for one year. This fee pays for tuition and food. Additionally, students must pay for books and uniforms. Typically they walk long distances to school, often without shoes. Willy Bukenya, Director of KCDO, is so proud of his students that he requested we post some pictures.
We feel blessed to be able to help these children, and others, providing them and their families with the opportunity to improve their lives. If you want to help these Ugandan children continue their education, please connect with us. We will gladly assist you in helping fund the education of these intellectually curious young people.
We write this blog post to allow our readers to see that helping communities in need can be easy and fun. If you have an idea, or just the desire to help, please reach out to us, and together we can spread smiles.
We have worked extensively with our Ugandan friends in the Kyamaganda Community Development Organization in an effort to support their search for clean water. Clean water is an essential component for health and sustainability. It is also a very scarce resource in the Lwengo district of Uganda. In conjunction with Willy, KCDO Director, we have been working with various college interns. Sydney asked us for advice on how to hold a fund raiser to provide KCDO with access to clean water. Based upon our previous experience, we know that a related “theme” helps guests to understand the purpose of the fundraising event. We suggested that she make “water” a key theme in her event.
She reports, “”I hosted a party in the backyard of my apartment in order to raise the money. I requested a $5.00 entrance fee for the donation. Many people donated more than this though. In order to encourage people to come and donate, the party had refreshments, music, water balloons and squirt guns. I made a flyer that I sent to all my friends and asked them to share as well. Over 200 people came and I was able to raise $1,000 after reimbursing myself for the refreshments.”
Sydney discussed how to best spend the $1,000. Willy said, “We agreed that we can buy water tanks, Water is a scarce resource in our community.”
Willy reported, “Christian greetings! Am happy to inform you today we are making market survey for water tanks and water drums from hardware shops in the city. This will enable us to get the quotations and compare prices such that by the time we have funds we procure and pay off. It’s so rainy currently and is a good time for water harvesting.” (Rainy season)
“We have been able to identify the water harvesting facilities supplier. We have selected also the households to be supported but those with old caretakers who have 70+years and with more than 3 children in the household.”
“The water harvesting procured for 20 households. Each can store 450 litres of water.”
Sydney’s backyard party was an afternoon filled with fun and games. The result that she was able to accomplish: the donation of water barrels providing 150-200 people with life-saving clean water. Thank you, Sydney!!
The importance of this accomplishment can be seen in the attending officials who presided at the distribution of the water barrels.
Willy stated, “Children and caretakers receiving water harvesting facilities and the function was officiated by Assistant Health Officer, District Water Officer and Assistant District Governor”
Want to join the fun? Let us know how we can help you design an easy fun-filled event that provides life-sustaining results for communities.
We wish to thank all our many supporters. With your help, we have been able to assist our friends of the Kyamaganda Community Development Organization, KCDO, to purchase land and plant a sustainable garden that will both feed orphaned HIV-positive children, as well as provide funds for their ongoing medical needs.
The children are planting the garden themselves, with help from KCDO Director, Willy Bukenya.
Willy provided us with this update:
“In February 2021, KCDO appealed to WBS about the need to procure a plot of land which was adjacent to the piggery project that was on sale. KCDO currently has 35 children on ART (ARVs) under our care at the centre. The main challenge was lack of food and malnutrition challenge that can cause non suppression and timely sickness. Through A miracle, we sold some pigs to raise local contribution and Wonderland BookSavers contributed a bigger percentage to raise the 70% first installment that was needed.
We paid off and we immediately set nursery bed for cabbage, maize, soya peas with active involvement of children themselves, Director and the mother who cares for the children. Water was a challenge and we had strong rosary in which we eventually received rainfall.
We transferred the seedling from nursery bed to garden as photos indicate. We used the pigs’ dung to fertilize the garden and we expect the following.
If all goes well, the garden will yield:-
6bags of maize each with 100kgs valued at $85.
2000 cabbages from the harvest costed at $285.
10 baskets of carrots with a value of $57.
10 bags of Green paper with value of $171
300kgs of soya peas $153.
Once the harvest period is ready in July, the following challenges will be overcome.
The cost of buying food will be reduced by 85%.
The nutrition of vulnerable children will be boasted and their health immunity improved.
The children and KCDO beneficiaries will acquire modern skills of farming which can be passed over to other households.
The garden serves as a demonstration site for the community and this can be replicated to other surrounding villages.
The need to have KCDO spray pump and enough fertilizers through adding on number of pigs and a cow project for cow dung supply and milk supply too.”
Through your generosity, we have now been able to purchase the land and KCDO has complete title to the land. This land is adjacent to the KCDO Library, which we previously funded and which currently houses orphans who cannot reside in schools due to Covid closures. This land is also adjacent to the piggery which we funded a few years ago. The piggery has expanded, providing multiple households with their own small piggeries. Pig dung is being used to fertilize this garden; pig sales provided the initial downpayment on this land.
One more contribution: We were able to purchase this motorcycle so that KCDO staff can continue to assist children living in distant rural regions.
We send our thanks to the many who have helped us bring some security to these vulnerable children!
This winter, in partnership with our friends Bob and Manning from USACF, we split into teams to build several solar powered digital libraries that we then shared with our partners in the Kyamaganda Communityof the Lwengo District of Uganda.
These libraries are stored on a miniature computer, a Raspberry PI. Bob and Manning, and some WBS kids, compiled the material. The books which are stored on the raspberry PI include African stories, classic British and American literature currently in the public domain, textbooks in the subjects of math, science, history and health, Khan Academy lessons, Wikipedia excerpts, and Health and Agriculture texts relevant to African life. In total, there are 1,000’s of books or lessons available to either view or download.
The raspberry PI has a signal range of between 25-50 feet. Any WIFI enabled device can pick up the signal and have access to the material. This is very important in areas that have no internet, as it provides books and resources that are otherwise unavailable. Parents can download books and lessons for children unable to attend school. Using a projector, teachers can provide lessons to an entire class.
Here is a report from Mark regarding the success in Zimbabwe:
“I got an update from Dominic Muntanga about the status of education in Zimbabwe last week. Because of Covid-19 and a teacher’s job action over wages (Zim is in the midst of a runaway inflation spiral), schools are closed. When they will reopen is anyone’s guess. Most rural children have no access to books. Most learning is on hold. Dominic wondered what could be done.
Enter the Bridge Pi. We came up with a plan to work with church congregations and urban centers. Moyo (our Zimbabwean expert on the Pi) would bring his Bridge Pi to a designated location on a specific date. Parents, relatives and friends would come with the cell phones and if they got within 50 meters of the Bridge Pi, they would be able to download a variety of books onto their cell phones. Suddenly children with no books could read books on their family’s cell phones. What was amazing was how easily this was put into motion.
Its potential is enormous in every community across Africa and elsewhere.
It’s like turning on a light in a dark room.
Enormous thanks to Bob Rollins and Manning Sutton who developed the Bridge Pi and are continually adapting it to the needs of different countries.”
We decided to begin our KCDO introduction of these digital libraries with 3 units. Two are powered by electricity and one has the option of being solar powered. We divided up the assembly and testing of these units between three families, this shared both the cost (approximately $130 each) and the work (very simple).
Brooks made the first one, following internet directions and additional directions from Manning.
Then our friends in California, Iris and Noah, made the next one. Each of us tested our units. It was amazing to see all of the digital options pop up on our computer and phones, all powered by this one tiny computer. Henry, Ella and Wills made the third. Theirs has optional solar power.
Finally, we were able to send the first two digital libraries to Willy at KCDO in Uganda. It took him a few tries, but Brooks spoke to Willy on WhatsApp and so did Bob and Manning. Willy and Brooks rewrote the directions in a simpler form. Willy said, “It’s working!”
Next Willy held an all-day conference at the KCDO library. He brought tech support and the heads of the three target test schools, as well as students from the schools so that everyone could test the system, see what works and make a plan to incorporate the materials into the school system. The teachers and students offered some suggestions which Bob and Manning are working on, such as incorporating Uganda specific school books. The KCDO report on this event can be read here.
Brooks will test Henry’s solar raspberry PI. Bob and Manning may update the SD card to include Ugandan specific information, and we will send this third mini-computer on to KCDO. Several of these mini-computers are already successfully deployed in Zimbabwe, we are hopeful that we can have similar success in Uganda.
Looking for a winter simple activity?
Contact us if you would like to build a digital library for the Kyamaganda community. We look forward to hearing from you!
This blog post is brought to us directly from our Ugandan partners, Kyamaganda Community Development Organization, in the Lwengo District. Through our partnership with KCDO, SolarBags, and YOUR generous support through our GoFundMe page, and other fund raising efforts, TOGETHER we provided this wonderful opportunity of creating the availability clean water to these most vulnerable children. Thank you ALL so much for your support!
Compiled by Wakimwere Arnold, field officer, KCDO
During our home visit in the household, we found out that most of our clients get water from different sources like boreholes, harvesting it from rain, wells, streams, ponds among others. Through the assessment done by the staffs Kyamaganda Community Development Organization(KCDO), most of the households in sub-county of Kisekka access water for drinking from streams and ponds which expose them to taking contaminated water thus likely to be exposed to water born diseases like typhoid fever, is well-known in extremely poor parts of developing nations; it’s estimated that up to 20 million people worldwide suffer from the illness each year. It’s spread through contaminated food, unsafe water, and poor sanitation, and it is highly contagious, Cholera which is commonly found in humanitarian emergencies or marginalized villages where poverty and poor sanitation are rampant. The disease is spread through contaminated water and causes severe dehydration and diarrhea. Cholera can be fatal within days or even hours of exposure to the bacteria, but only 1 in 10 people will develop life-threatening symptoms, dysentery also a waterborne disease characterized by severe diarrhea as well as blood or mucus in the stool. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites in unsafe food and water, Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by consuming contaminated food and water, rural communities with poor sanitation and hygiene management are most exposed to the disease.
Photo below shows children fetching water in a stream in kisekka sub – county
Following the observation in the introduction above, with support from USA-KCDO Partners Kyamaganda Community Development Organization (KCDO) implemented Health Systems Strengthening Project in two sub-county Kisekka sub – county and Kinoni Town Council targeting households infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable Status. This was achieved through working with different stake holds I.e health centers, Village Health Teams(VHTs) Community Development Officers(CDOs)Local Council Leaders (LCs) Para-Social Workers(PSWs) and Volunteers that deliver comprehensive services of Health and treatments to affected and infected households by HIV/AIDS and other Economic empowerment and Water and Sanitation to different vulnerable people in the community.
A total number of 100 household were reached and received solar bag for domestic use.
KCDO staff demonstrating how to use solar bag. KCDO staff handing over solar bag to a client
Since these Solar Bag is a sunlight-activated reusable water purifier that destroys or reduces the broadest range of contaminants without pumping, electricity, chemicals or replaceable components. This has reduced the spread of various water born diseases as the members are able to purify water to kill all the germs and Chemical Contaminants like; Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides, Cleaning Solvents, Petrochemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Pathogens- Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoa before drinking through simply placing the Solar Bag in the sun for a few hours, and enjoy purified water.
While caring out a follow up and monitoring on the usage of this purifiers in the community and household being supplied with the water solar bags, we observed that these water solar bags have helped the individuals so much, in the way that individuals use this solar bags on the daily basis to purify water for drinking, they extended their sincere appreciation to kcdo and our partners at large for bringing up such a wonderful idea of protecting and living a health life. One of the household of lutaaya jamewo upon reaching there on the ground, we found children happily looking on as the solar bag full of water placed on the Jeri can.
KCDO staff conducting a follow up in kyasonko village kisekka sub- county
KCDO staff and a child from the home steady taking water purified using a solar bag.
The needs of OVC or otherwise made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS are cross cutting as many of them dramatically escalates from economic, health and household social issues. It would be necessary for KCDO and partners to jointly continue to work with local families, communities, and other organizations in a similar setting to focus their program and policy development efforts on ensuring the survival of these OVC households in breaking the cycle of poverty, despair, in regard this can make positive and measurable contributions to the improved health, safety, and happiness of the HIV+ (OVC) in the most appropriate environments for their development. We extend our warmly appreciation to our partner who donated us the purifiers to improve on the life of the people in rural based communities of kisekka and kinoni and ready to continue working with them in any way, God bless.
Since the beginning of Covid days we have been working to bring items which will improve the health and safety of families to our friends in the Kyamganda Community (KCDO) located in the Lwengo District of Uganda. Thanks to many of you who follow our blog, we have received both funds and in-kind items that have been immensely useful to our friends. With your help, we have sent food, medicine, soap and masks, as well as self-sustaining micro-economic opportunities: pig farms, chicken farms, soap and mask making tools.
Today we are thrilled to report that, in partnership with our friends from Solarbag®, and with your help, we are also able to provide a few families with the ability to create their own clean water for drinking and washing!
“Solarbag® is an award winning light weight water container that uses proprietary nanomesh which renders bacteria, viruses, pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, arsenic, lead, mercury and protozoa harmless — without using chemicals– through a process called photocatalysis that’s powered by the sun.”
Our friends at Solarbag® donated 100 bags! Additional funds, supplied from our Go Fund Me account, were required for import taxes and final transportation to KCDO offices. The process took days of negotiations with Ugandan Customs officers. We were all overjoyed when the boxes finally reached the KCDO offices!
KCDO field officers were immediately trained on the use and care of the Solarbags®.
KCDO field officers left the next day to begin distributing Solarbags® throughout the Kyamaganda community.
Willy writes, “As at the end of the exercise all benefited household thanked KCDO and their partners for the good services rendered to them and community of Lwengo at large.”
We are thrilled to report that our piggery has been a success, with new piglet babies now arriving!
Our pigs have been distributed throughout the Kyamaganda community, providing many families with independence and their own opportunity for a source of sustainable income.
This has been an enormous success, providing dozens of families with economic opportunities, and demonstrating that one small gift can change multiple lives. Thank you so much to all of who have contributed to this exciting piggery project!
A very generous contribution of cloth and plastic face masks, as well as other Personal Protection Equipment, which will protect the Kyamaganda Community Development Organization (KCDO), arrived in Uganda, shipped from California. The package was prepared by Dr. Eliza Lo Chin, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the American Women’s Hospitals Service, a program of the American Medical Women’s Association, https://www.amwa-doc.org/, and by her friend, Khawaja.
It has taken several months to organize this donation as Dr. Eliza had to get permission from her organization to export these critical PPE items. Khawaja then FedExed the package to Wonderland BookSavers, who then sent the package by DHL to Kampala. From Kampala, Ms. Sarah sent the package by taxi to Kyamaganda, Here at KCDO, the items have been distributed. We continue to work for the safety of our community members during this difficult Covid-19 pandemic. Many thanks to Dr. Eliza Lo Chin, Khawaja and the American Women’s Hospitals Service! And many, many thanks to all our WBS and KCDO supporters around the USA who have generously donated to our GoFundMe page! These contributions provided the funds to ship this package of super-important Covid-19 protective equipment from California to Uganda. Thank you all again, your contributions are really helping so many people!
In March, when we realized that Covid-19 was going to create a global pandemic, we immediately reached out to our friends in the Lwengo District of Uganda, worried for their health. We found that they were most worried about food, “The Starvation Bug.”
The pandemic has created a food crises in many impoverished locations. Quarantines have shut down both schools and shops. Markets have been closed, and trucks containing supplies are delayed at every border as drivers must wait days for a negative test before they can enter Uganda. We immediately reached out to help our friends from Kyamaganda Community Development Organization.
As in other countries, schools closed immediately in Uganda. In KCDO this means that HIV orphans, who live in the local schools were left homeless. KCDO relocated these children to the local library, a building that WBS had helped restore after last year’s storm. The children, who are typically fed at school, still lacked food. We set up a Go Fund Me page, which was very helpful. Funds from this helped buy the food you see in the picture above. Each child was given one bag of rice and one bag of beans. Cooking oil was also purchased.
Families were very worried about their ability to follow the simple edict: wash your hands. How do you wash your hands when there is no running water?
We were able to send 10 Jerry cans filled with Purell.
This woman returns to her home with Jerry cans, using a stocking as a mask.
Food doesn’t last, and as we do not have unlimited money so we were very worried about how we would be able to still help the KCDO community. Our Ugandan partner, Willy, had an amazing suggestion. The local government offered to train residents in mask-making, and also offered to purchase homemade masks. Willy just needed sewing machines and material. Our Go Fund Me page gave us the resources to purchase two treadle sewing machines and needed fabric.
Our KCDO friends learned how to make masks, and then trained the orphan children so that they could sustain themselves with food, cooking oil, and the petrol needed to distribute the masks throughout the KCDO community.
Funds from selling masks is now providing food which can be distributed by motorcycle.
Rice, beans and cooking oil are distributed throughout the community.
With fuel and funds the KCDO organization is also able to distribute masks and information regarding measures to protect against Covid-19.
Hunger and health continue to be enormous obstacles for KCDO, as families must eat local plants to survive.
They are so very grateful that you have held them in your hearts, and in return, they hold you in their prayers. We are still helping these families, as we aspire to build a community health center. We are grateful for all that you can offer, and are leveraging all donations to maximize the benefits that can be realized from your contribution: Go Fund Me. Thank you!