Uganda is a never-ending land of excitement and beautiful things! A few weeks ago I was invited to join in with a group called 40 days… over 40 smiles. The project, originally designed to be an annual project, was based on the idea of lent. Over facebook, the creator Esther encouraged her friends and family to give up something of luxury for forty days and donate the money they had saved to underprivileged children. One friend, interested in Esther’s project, had quickly introduced her to the orphanage in Kyebando called God’s Grace.
God’s Grace is an orphanage founded by a local woman who was determined to create a safe and loving home for the abandoned and orphaned children in her community. A tiny three bedroom house is now the home for over 90 children, which doubles as classrooms during the day, a church on Sunday’s and the outside classroom, a stable for their two goats at night. The kitchen remains outside, barely sheltered by planks of wood, and unfortunately, is completely inoperable when it rains. Esther was immediately touched by the children of this home – it’s hard not to be after visiting – and turned her project into more than she had ever imagined.
Now, Esther and the 40/40 committee organize monthly breakfasts, charity bazaars and plenty of other fundraisers to provide better, long-term support for this sweet little family. Her projects cover a variety of the necessities including food, education, health and wellness.
Being in Uganda – as beautiful as it is – there are at times too many opportunities to get involved and help those who are less fortunate. There comes a point where we have to choose; and something really spoke to me after spending a morning with the sweet children of God’s Grace and the 40/40 team. I just knew I had to get involved! After the traditional Niteo training and plenty of time spent with Karine (Niteo’s founder), I knew that if I was going to get involved, I wanted it to be a sustainable project, something that would be around to continue providing for the children, not just a one-time “walking wallet” donation.
So, following Niteo’s footsteps, I decided on a garden project. Sustainable gardens are fantastic option with many benefits. Of course, a garden will provide the children with a healthy, vitamin enriched, more frequent food source. One day, it will provide an income; and every day, it will provide the children with learning opportunities. With the permission and support of the 40/40 team I have taken on the project and have had HUGE success in less than a week!
Our fundraising goal was $1000 CDN to cover basic start up costs and the larger cost of levelling the land and making it an appropriate space for a garden. I want this garden to be bigger and better than ever, and we’re so determined to provide the best that we can for the not-so-little family of 90+!
I can’t even begin to express my love and gratitude for the people who have already donated, and I am so grateful that Niteo has decided to partner with 40/40, providing a very large donation of $500.00 towards the cost of this new garden. An extra big thanks to Peachland Elementary for putting so much effort and love into fundraising that sum! I can’t wait to share pictures of the garden with all of you!
For those of you who are reading and eager to get involved, we still have money to raise! Please visit here: http://www.gofundme.com/rqtvc to read more about the project and donate to the cause!
If you’d like to donate directly to Niteo, visit the right hand side of this webpage – and of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us! If you’d like to contact myself personally, please email me at email@example.com or email the 40/40 team at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Thank you, from myself, the children, the 40/40 team and Niteo Africa!
Lots of love,