Posts Tagged ‘Humanity’

Right now those words “Think Humanity Secondary School” are not rolling off my tongue easily. That’s because I know that this will be a lot of work ahead and many years before it is actually a school.

However!…

We have the land and it is cleared, a brick wall is being constructed and we have blueprints…it is becoming a REALITY.

The plan is to construct a hostel with latrines. If all goes well, we construct an office and one classroom. The classroom will actually be an area to eat, study and to hold Parent Visitation Days and meetings.

Behind the office and first classroom building will be latrines.

This is what I envision today.

I have to dream more. Make more goals. Continue to believe.

But, here we are today. Further than we were yesterday. This is going to happen.

Think Humanity Secondary school

 

 

Like last year when we heard about Rachel in Kizimba Village who was not in school, we have now heard about 5 girls and 1 boy who are also not going to school. They are living in Kyaka 2 Refugee Camp, Uganda and are Congolese by nationality. This was certainly not our plan because we still have some of our Hoima students who have not been re-sponsored for 2019.
BUT…
Sometimes you have to trust your intuition and be guided by love!
I received a photo of these 6 children from Kyaka 2 Camp last night. The 12 year old is only beginning Primary 3. This is because sometimes they have no opportunity to attend school. When I found out what it would cost to put these children in school I just had to post this.
Esther Mercy age 12 and Gloria Sandra age 10 both in Primary 3 are $20 each per term or $60 annually, Hope Salome age 8 will begin Primary 1 and she is $15 a term or $45 annually, Isaac Kennedy age 6, Blessing Ruth age 5 and Emilly Chimpaye age 4 will be in nursery school. They are each $10 a term or $30 annually.
I have posted a photo of the 6 children.
If you always wanted to help a disadvantaged child, but could not afford the expense, hopefully you will look at these children’s faces and see them.
In this order in the photo: Blessing Ruth, Isaac Kennedy, Gloria Sandra, Hope Salome, Emilly Chimpaye and Esther Mercy. If you are interested, please let me know so children are not double sponsored. Thank you…and bless you for seeing them.
ISAAC IS SPONSORED – THANK YOU GARY AND ANGIE
ESTHER IS SPONSORED – THANK YOU DEBORAH
GLORIA SANDRA IS SPONSORED – THANK YOU LAURA
EMILLY IS SPONSORED – THANK YOU MELISSA
RUTH AND HOPE ARE SPONSORED – THANK YOU BRENDA AND ADAM
Update on the six children from Kyaka 2 Refugee Camp: All six of them were sponsored within 4 hours for their school tuition. Uniforms were all donated through Hilary Steinberger as a gift in honor of Deana Austin’s birthday. Then a person sent a check and asked us to use it for biggest needs. We purchased three boxes of soap for the girls’ hostel, but also were able to pay for school lunches for all six of these children for term 1.

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These children need to go to school

 

Thank you everybody for your help in putting these children through school, for providing them with uniforms and donating towards their lunches so that the mother didn’t have to bring them food every day. Team work! Thank you everybody who put in a hand to help these beautiful children.

Recently we learned about a young girl named Nancy who went through the trauma of finding her father after he committed suicide when she was 8 years old. She found him hanging from a rope from the family’s grass thatched house. She is attending School in Kyangwali Refugee Camp at Planning for Tomorrow.
Here is her story as I have condensed it.
Nancy Adyek, 11 years old currently lives in Kyangwali Refugee settlement in Uganda.
She was left an orphan in 2016.
Three years ago the father came home very drunk and started off the violence. All the children slept at the neighbor’s. Nancy loved going to school so left for home in the morning to get dressed. Nancy found her father hanging from a rope from the roof of their grass thatched house. She went to the local council one (LC1) and to the police and next was his poor burial.
“Before I was in a school where promotion was more or less automatic, imagine that I was in Primary four but I didn’t speak any English or write. I was admitted in P4T Nursery and Primary School in 2018, demoted to primary Two, I am now in Primary three, speaking good English and writing short sentences. My long-term goal is to be self-reliant. If I manage to become leader and an entrepreneur, I want to live in rural areas innovating and running social entrepreneurship benefiting women and children and I want to fully support girl child education.” Nancy dreams of attending education from Primary to university to become a leader and an entrepreneur.
If anybody wishes to donate towards Nancy’s education, please do and it will be held back for when it is most needed. This is not a sponsorship, but a humanitarian donation.
Needs: Three terms of tuition a year, school uniform, reams of paper, books, pens, school bag, plate and cup, examination, medical fee, development fee, breakfast and lunch, and maize flour and beans.
Nancy Adyek

meeting with girls

In July we had a planning meeting with the leaders at the Think Humanity Girls’ Hostel. We met with refugees, orphans and students from four different countries to get a good perspective. We wanted to hear their feedback on how we can improve the girl education program in the future.

One of the questions that we asked was, “Would you rather all the students be in boarding at their school or stay together at the Think Humanity Hostel?” Some of the answers were,

“We are all different, but we have things in common. We understand each other better.” -Gloria.

“The hostel is better, because in boarding we mind about ourselves and at the hostel we share. It brings togetherness and friendships.” -Moonlight.

“There are too many peer influences at the school in boarding. In boarding you start admiring what others have, but at the hostel you do the same things. It keeps you contented.” – Christine.

hostel leaders 2017

baby aimee in pink dress

Bahati Aimee. Born June 24, 2006.

My daughter had just left the Kyangwali Refugee Camp. She was contacted by email a few days later saying that a child was born and named Aimee, after her.

My Aimee had just spent a couple of weeks in a refugee camp in Uganda and met a Congolese family who had fled war. They ended up in Uganda in a UNHCR camp, just over the border from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The woman was pregnant with her second child.

Tradition has it that a child is named after the last visitor. The parents decision, if a boy it would have been named James (a visitor in the camp) and if it was a girl the baby would be named Aimee. “Bahati” means, by luck or by chance. …well because, this was a situation of chance.

For years this child was known to us as “Baby Aimee.”

Aimee’s first year was plagued with sicknesses and disease. She had malaria three times and even had to have a blood transfusion due to a serious case of malaria. Each time we prayed and paid doctor bills.

We helped Bahati Aimee with school from age 2 up to age 10. From Primary 1 up to 2016 she was in boarding school in Uganda, about 50 miles outside of the refugee camp.

This month Bahati Aimee will be 11 years old. She is a resettled refugee now and living in Tampa, Florida in the 6th grade. Life has changed for Aimee and her family of 9, which also includes two orphans that they brought with them.

The reason that I stated in the title: “The refugee child that started everything” is because this child’s birth and name brought us closer to Kyangwali Refugee Camp, learning about malaria (to-date we have provided 80,000 mosquito nets in Uganda) and realizing the need for education for refugee children.

The story is actually much bigger than this, but we wish to say “Happy Birthday Baby Aimee!” Your life began in such a challenging way – living in a mud hut, dirt floor, no running water, malaria and struggling for food. A child could only hope to make it to age 5 years without surrendering to death by mosquito bite. BUT you made it!

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Kyangwali Refugee Camp. Valentino, Christine (pregnant with Baby Aimee) and Amani Jean-Paul. Only a couple of days later, Aimee was born.

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Alice holding Aimee and brother Valentino. June 2006 Kyangwali Refugee Camp, Uganda

aimee first visit

My first visit when Aimee had just turned 1-year-old. When we left she got malaria

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Aimee in 2009 when she was in nursery school in the camp.

aimee in 2016

Bahati Aimee 2016 in Kyangwali Refugee Camp

aimee with her family in Florida

Aimee bottom right with her sisters and brother in Tampa, Florida where they have been resettled through the IOM Program. #Aimeeiswelcomehere

 

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The 30 girls at the Think Humanity Girls’ Hostel wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for the support towards their education.

“A single act does make a difference. It creates a ripple effect that can be felt many miles and people away.” -Lee J. Colan

Donors, you made a huge impact in 2016

  • 15,000 mosquito nets were given to three refugee camps and four underdeveloped communities in Uganda.
  • Healthcare was provided for approximately 7,000 people and 100 ultrasounds a month to women.
  • The clinic received a $58,000 Rotary Grant for medical equipment.
  • 1,200 birthing kits were given to pregnant women in two refugee camps
  • There were four Women’s Health Days.
  • We provided education for approximately 55 children from Uganda, Congo, Rwanda and South Sudan.
  • We purchased fair trade products made in Uganda which teaches skills and develops communities.
  • 16 water wells were dedicated and constructed (two in process).
  • Three rain water storage tanks were donated to two primary schools and to the hostel.
  • A second brick classroom is being constructed for Moonlight Primary School.
  • We now have a nurse to care for all our students.
  • We moved into a new hostel where 30 girls live together and attend secondary school at a nearby high school.
  • TH constructed a study hall and furnished it at the TH Girls’ Hostel.
  • We held leadership summits…and more.

Bed Nets 4 Life Program

In 2016 mosquito nets were given out in Kyangwali Refugee Camp, Kyaka 2 Refugee Camp, Acholi Quarter Camp for Internally Displaced (IDP), villages in Kibaale and Hoima Districts and the TH Clinic. Mosquito nets are $5 each and last for five years. Four children can fit under each net and our surveys show that with the use of bed nets, cases of malaria have been reduced by 85 percent. There is no vaccine for malaria. Bed nets have been shown to be the most cost-effective prevention method against malaria.

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Water is Life

Wells were constructed in Hoima and Kibaale Districts. Three rain water storage tanks were given to two primary schools and to the TH Girls’ Hostel. The well pictured was donated by the Norby/Peetz families in Kyamukunjuki Village, Uganda.

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Think Humanity Girls’ Hostel

The Think Humanity girl students are beginning their 5th and 6th years of secondary school. The main hall/reading room is now finished with study tables and benches. The water storage tank was added to collect rain water, which will cut back on our water bill. The new solar, a gift from UnlockHope, is lighting up the building. Soon the tutors will be there for added coaching for the girls. The tutors were funded through a grant from Red Empress Foundation.

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Individually Sponsored Students

Think Humanity had approximately 25 students from nursery to university who were sponsored by individuals.
Pictured are some of our primary school students with Bridget Alibankoha, Educational Administrator.

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Think Humanity Kyangwali Health Center

Women’s Health Days, birthing kits and ultrasounds are some of the ways that we have helped with health care this past year. The Rotary International Grant benefited the clinic with new equipment and solar lighting.

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Socio-economic Development

We continued our strong partnership with the women in the Acholi Quarter Camp in Uganda. They make products for Think Humanity, we purchase from them, sell the products here and send 100 percent back to programs in Uganda.
When making their own products, it brings hope, pride and dignity, because people are solving their own problems by learning a trade and skill.

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Think Humanity just celebrated our ninth year as a nonprofit organization on December 27, 2016.
Special thanks to the following:
* Think Humanity Florida: Deana Austin, who held more than two dozen fundraising events; Happy Healthy Human Cafe for carrying our products; and Faith Fellowship Church for selling our Christmas ornaments in their bookstore.
* Faith Fellowship Church/Mission is Possible for donating towards a water well.
* The TH Annual Golf Tournament committee, volunteers, sponsors, and silent auction donors.
* Dallas Harris, founder of UnlockHope, for providing so many of the needs at the TH Girls’ Hostel.
* Red Empress Foundation for providing rent at the hostel.
* A grant from Foundations church which provided mosquito nets.
* Student sponsors.
* Birthing Kit Foundation Australia for birthing kits.
* Rotary Grant for solar and medical equipment for the TH Kyangwali Clinic. Special thanks to Pat Troeltzsch for many years of patience to see this dream come true.
* Central Elementary and Sharon Naimon-Norton for all the fundraising for the sister school in Uganda.
* Americans for Philanthropy grant which provided mosquito nets and wells.
* For exceptional generosity: The Norby and Bergholz families.
* The TH board of directors: Beth and Jim Heckel, Aimee Markwardt, Cindy Rauschenberger, Dr. Will Reents, Larry Hereford and Kevin Arnold.
* TH team in Uganda and Norway. Emmanuel Nsabimana, Bridget Alibankoha, Stuart Tusabege, Amini Musafiri and Jane Nabakooza.
* Abby, for being special.
* And so many more who made 2016 a year of helping those in need.

 

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It was July 2013 when I stood in front of a Baptist Church in Kyangwali Refugee Camp, Uganda. It was hot and the floor was dirt and the “pews” were logs. The place was lit up in color. Colorful women danced and sang. Children were never sitting, but were allowed to move around as they wished.
We were with the UNHCR Commandant that day. He was also dancing and enjoying the Sunday gathering.
Think Humanity was placed up front to view for all to see. It felt rather uncomfortable, but it is always this way.
The commandant announced to the church that 50,000 refugees would be resettled over the next three to five years. The congregation was made up of Congolese. They had been displaced by the never-ending war in North Kivu region, which started during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
Many of them had been there since 1996. 17 years, which is coincidently the average years that a refugee stays in a camp. The children in the church were born in the camp. They knew nothing else.
They didn’t know life in the pre-war years in the Congo where people lived peacefully enjoying all the gifts of nature that God had given them. They will never know it as their parents had so many years ago.
When it was my turn to give a speech, because everybody has to give a speech, I welcomed them to the USA. I didn’t know which ones would be on the list, but as a free American with a Constitution that welcomes refugees into our great country, they were welcomed. I told them that they may be my neighbor, although, we are all neighbors according to God.
Today there was an Executive Order signed basically closing America on refugees and immigration. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 120 days to those refugees who were dancing in celebration as they praised God for the opportunity that the USA gave them to be free from war.
Hope is believing things can change.
The video is in the Baptist Church that day. The young man near me smiling is Nteziyaremye Jonas. He now lives in Buffalo, NY with his wife and daughter. I am so happy that he was able to get here before today.
I told you all that day (before God) that YOU are welcome here.