Sunday, August 7, 2011

School Suppies for Uganda

It’s that time of year again… Back to School season. Can you believe that summer’s almost over already? For all of you parents out there, I imagine that you are busy running around trying to find the best deals on new backpacks, gym shoes, pencils, paper and the million other things your kids need to be ready for that first day of school. As for me, I have no kids of my own to stress over but all this back to school talk has had me thinking about kids on the other side of the world for whom one new pencil is a luxury they may never receive…

Most of you know that last year, before I went to Ukraine, I spent 4 months in Africa. Those of you who were following my journey back then probably remember the school supply distribution I got to be a part of with my friends Bonny and Sam in Uganda (for the majority of you who were not followers of my blog, you can read about it here).

Partnering with Sam and Bonny is always such a huge blessing and privilege for me. On the outside, Sam and Bonny are just ‘ordinary’ people. Two local guys in their 20’s who, like most people in Africa, have experienced more than their share of heartache. But somewhere along the way they were given an opportunity that few receive: an education and a chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. Yet instead of focusing on themselves and their circumstances, they are determined to take the resources that God has given them and use them to make a difference in the lives of as many children as possible. They don’t have much but with the little that they have they have started a ministry called Kids Club Kampala which aims to bring hope and show God’s love to vulnerable children in Uganda. They have God-sized vision for the future including sponsorship, a local office and even expansion into other countries. In the meantime, they spend their time investing in the lives of countless kids and families, doing what they can to help with their physical needs while sharing the message of hope that is found in Jesus Christ and showering them with lots of love and attention.

Given the season, my mom and I have been talking a lot lately about how special it was to be a part of helping Sam and Bonny distribute school supplies in one of the poorest slums of Kampala last year and how great it would be to be able to help them to do something like that again. In Uganda, although there is access to free primary school education, students are still required to supply their own pencils, exercise books, etc. the cost of which often proves too great, especially for large families. A simple backpack filled with supplies can make the difference between a child attending school or not.

On Saturday, August 20th we have the opportunity to partner with Kids Club Kampala to distribute school supplies to impoverished children in Katanga, Kampala. This is something my mom and I are approaching our local friends and family to be a part of but I wanted to give the opportunity to you, my blog friends, as well. The great thing about partnering with such a small, local organization is that there are no overhead costs. For just $14 you can provide a child with: a new backpack, a dozen exercise books, a dozen pens, a dozen pencils, a geometry set, coloured pencils, crayons, a ruler and an eraser. I did not want Sam and Bonny to have to pay for anything out of pocket therefore the $14 also includes the transportation costs to get the supplies from the market to the center where they will have the distribution.

We were hoping to have more time but inflation is high in Uganda right now and prices are rising daily (ex. in the past two weeks the cost of sugar has gone up 313%!). Sam and Bonny want to buy the supplies soon in order to get the best price and make sure that as many children as possible are able to benefit from them. Anyway, there’s no pressure, I feel like I’m always asking for money but I did want to let you know about this unique opportunity. If you would like to be a part of this event, you can contribute by clicking on the Chip-In above which will be up until next Monday. For local/Canadian donors, you are welcome to use the Chip-In as well however if you would like to mail a check and avoid the Paypal fees, e-mail me at and I will send you my address.

Bonny and Sam have promised me lots of pictures from the event so I’ll be sure to share them with you when it's all over!


Jenny said...

I want to help!!! Thanks for organizing this again Andrea! I'm going to mail you a check for $28 to help 2 kiddos!

Amanda said...

I have one child that I have not had the honor to buy school supplies for. Donating for Dima because I didn't get to buy for him this year. Added a $1 for fees.