Project Cornerstones: Water, Food, Healthcare and Education
We have planned and executed volunteer projects in both Kayenje and Nkokonjeru, Uganda. Please see below to learn about our current project, as well as learn about some of our past projects. If you would like to make a donation to our cause, please visit our donation page.
While we’ve had many successes in Kayenje, we believe the most impactful are around education. Not only are we attracting more qualified teachers, but we receive numerous applications to choose from. Additionally:
- We recruited a new headmaster who is experienced and energetic about improving the school.
- There is now an active and involved PTA at the school.
- There are now 20 students who are boarders. The parents of those children pay for them to live at the school, which provides a better education than their local school.
- There are new houses popping up around the school. Just as in the U.S., families will move to the best school districts to ensure a quality education for their children.
- One of our biggest success' is that the school's standardized test scores used to be very low at #56 out of 60 schools in the district, they are now #6!
In 2016 we began construction of a clinic adjacent to the Kayenje school and convent. The Archbishop of Kampala has promised us another religious sister, who is a registered nurse, when the clinic is complete. This will be a children’s and women’s clinic that will provide free healthcare to children and birthing mothers. The nurse will also provide health education to the school children. Our vision includes the weekly visit of a medical doctor and midwife to consult regarding the more serious patients. It’s also our goal to acquire the equipment and capability needed to facilitate a telemedicine connection with U.S. physicians.
In Uganda, a typical village consists of a common school and church surrounded by sparsely located houses, which can be up to 15 miles apart. The village of Kayenje is located nearly two hours outside the capital of Kampala, the last part which is traveled on a narrow dirt road. Located in a plush, steep, mountainous area, Kayenje is located far beyond the last power lines and running water. Before Bright Eyes Uganda arrived, Kayenje children had to walk up to four miles round trip to collect water from the village’s only water source: a contaminated stream. Because water was needed for drinking, cooking, and cleaning, as well as for animals and gardening, village children would have to make this trek up and down the mountain at least three times each day.
During an unplanned stop in Nnkokonjeru, a remote village on the way to the Nile River, we happened upon an orphanage described as “the place for children nobody wants.” This orphanage not only serves disabled children, it’s also a home for the destitute elderly and a vocational school. The nuns of the Little Sisters of St. Francis run this orphanage like a true home and all residents are loved and well cared for. They learn trades, such as shoe-making, sewing and run a local bakery, a big help to them on their path to self-sufficiency.