Building Hope Project is a student sponsorship and leadership development program that began in 2013 which provides youth leaders in Uganda the opportunity to both receive and complete their primary school education, located at Kiira Primary School in Jinja, Uganda. The program covers tuition, uniforms, scholastic materials, and meal fees currently for fifty students.
To Support BHP’s COVID-19 Response Fund, CLICK HERE.
Since March 20th, life for people in Uganda, like the rest of the world, drastically changed. Public transport and cars cancelled. Shops boarded up. Churches closed. And schools, left empty.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic beginning its spread throughout Africa, Uganda responded promptly to flatten the curve with a strict stay-at-home order. Though this helped to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and keep people safe, this did not come without consequences. As movement was restricted and people were instructed to stay home, many Ugandans faced an increase threat of violence from disobeying orders, loss of income, and, worst of all, hunger and sickness from lost wages and closed public resources– like community centers, NGOs, and schools to receive food and medicine. This has made many women, care-givers, and children highly vulnerable at this time.
The students and families Building Hope partners with are no different. The support our program offers not only allows students to pursue a quality education and participate in relationships and activities that build their long-term leadership, but ensures students can access items critical to their survival: food, water, clothes, and when needed, medicine.
“100% of our students rely on the two meals a day they receive from school. When schools closed down, we knew we had an even greater responsibility to protect our students, and their families, when no one else would.”David Curtiss, Founder & Director Building Hope Project
As a response, Building Hope swiftly launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. Our aim was to provide:
- Meals for fifty (50) households for up to three months to be safely delivered to students’ homes.
- Necessary medical and hygiene products to be safely delivered to students’ homes.
- Educational curriculum worksheets, booklets, and school materials for distance learning to be safely delivered to students’ homes.
Less than five days after the shutdown was announced, Building Hope Project got in contact with all of our families to determine what was needed, and purchased, organized, and delivered resource packages to each of our partner students and families as Phase 1 of the Rapid Response fund. In this phase, over 200 individuals received a month’s worth of food and materials.
David Christopher Nelson, Building Hope’s School Site Coordinator who executed the deliveries and long-term advocate for students at Kiira Primary School, says “this [COVID-19] relief has sustained families which otherwise would have broken up or become dysfunctional.” He adds, “Our portion of supplies is a big leap as government supplies are much smaller and inconsistent. Out of despair, many families are dropping off children at their local government office or resorting to other measures because they have no other options.”
At the beginning of May, Building Hope completed Phase Two of our Rapid Response efforts, and delivered an additional set of food and materials to our students in parents for a second month. As we checked-in with students, parents, and guardians, the response we received was overwhelming gratitude. Parents relieved that the time they spent away from work would not be taking food off the table. Students happy that learning time, though very different, has continued at home because they don’t have to roam the streets looking for food, and are ready to return to school when it is safe. Local neighbors, cousins and children and care-givers not connected to Building Hope, eating meals from what has been provided. And many of these reunions did not end without letters of students and parents, expressing their appreciation.
We are grateful that in such time of turmoil, our organization has still been able to emerge as a light and offer crucial life-saving support. This support has reminded our students and families that they are inherently valuable, and that if we work together, we can ensure everyone thrives. To date, our Rapid Response Fund has touched close to 300 hundred individuals, and we are not done yet!
As we continue to improve our services in this time and pivot to make sure we are all protected, we have the support of our partner community to thank.
100% of every gift and donation given to BHP has gone directly to executing our COVID-19 relief plan, while still ensuring students’ educational expenses are fully covered.
Our Rapid Response Fund is still in effect and still needs your financial support, so we are asking you, whatever you have to give, to give it in this time. When you fund us, you fund THIS. The future of youth leaders who will determine the future of their communities.
For more info about our organization, visit: www.buildinghopeproject.org
For more info about our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, visit: www.buildinghopeproject.org/COVID-19
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