Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is Uganda and where does AAH operate specifically?
- Does Uganda have a public school system?
- What goes on inside the AAH primary school?
- How are the AAH students performing academically?
- What percentage of the students are girls?
- Will these children really come back to the village after receiving an education?
- How does AAH operate as an organization?
- Is AAH is a non-profit recognized by the IRS?
- What is AAH’s potential for growth?
- How do I make a donation?
- How much of my donation supports the program in Uganda?
- How will my donation be used?
- How does the AAH Child Sponsorship Program work?
1. Where is Uganda and where does AAH operate specifically?
Uganda is a landlocked country located in East Africa that shares its borders with Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. The AAH school, health centers and other programs are located in Eastern Uganda about a 7-hour drive from Kampala, the capital city, in a remote, mountainous region near the Kenyan border. Back to top.
Yes, Uganda offers free Universal Primary Education. Unfortunately, this system is severely underfunded – resulting in schools with decaying walls or no roofs; 110 children in a classroom; teachers who are unmotivated, not paid regularly, and/or don’t show up at school; and programs without books, pencils, paper or food for its students. Students must pass the national exam taken by all students in Uganda at the end of primary school (the Primary Leaving Exam) to qualify to continue to secondary school. They must pay to attend secondary school. The secondary system has four tiers, or divisions, with Division One representing top-level boarding schools. Back to top.
Children are taught a rigorous, traditional curriculum in English (the official language of Uganda), with an emphasis on science, social studies, reading and math. The AAH education program encourages participation, debate, critical thinking and self-expression. Students are also taught music, drama, agriculture, domestic care, ecology, and handicrafts. AAH also serves a daily midmorning snack and basic lunch to nourish children so they can be successful learners. In addition, AAH provides uniforms, textbooks and school supplies for each child. Back to top.
For six consecutive years, 100% of AAH students have passed the Primary Leaving Exam. Nearly every student has advanced to secondary school – a striking contrast to the region. Over 95% of the AAH graduates go on to top Division One or Division Two level secondary schools with scholarship support from AAH. Less than 14% of Ugandan children who begin primary school ever advance to secondary school. Back to top.
In Uganda, girls are grossly underrepresented in student populations. In contrast, about 50% of AAH students in our primary school and on AAH secondary school scholarships are girls. Back to top.
We envision children who benefit from an AAH education to one day be the leaders who will transform their impoverished villages. Some will come back and impact their communities directly, and others will follow the example of John and Joyce Wanda by giving back in profound ways from afar. Our program instills a commitment to giving back by requiring community service of its students and by encouraging children and their families to take an active role in AAH’s growth and development. Back to top.
In the U.S., AAH is run almost entirely by volunteers. It has only one full-time and one part-time paid positions and is overseen by a governing board of directors. In Uganda, AAH employs a staff of Ugandan teachers, administrators, health care workers and others who run the school, clinic and other programs. Because AAH is primarily a volunteer organization in the U.S., nearly 100% of each donation directly supports AAH’s programs in Uganda, which at present include the primary school, secondary education program, two medical clinics and outreach to local village schools. Back to top.
Yes, AAH is a 501c3 organization. Donations to AAH are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Back to top.
The goal of AAH is to serve as a model that will lift the standards of education and demonstrate that children learn and succeed when their basic needs are met. While AAH has made important strides, nearly 55,000 children in its district of Bududa – and millions across rural Uganda – lack access to a decent education. With additional support, AAH can reach many more children. We are exploring building additional schools, partnering with the Ugandan government, adding capacity at local village schools and more. Back to top.
Because AAH maintains low operating costs in the U.S. where it is run almost entirely by volunteers, nearly every dollar of your donation will directly impact our programs in Uganda. Back to top.
Donations of all amounts make a remarkable difference and go a long way in Uganda. Back to top.
Here are examples of how far your donation can go:
- $1,000 provides a one-year scholarship to secondary school
- $500 provides 25 children a healthy start with prenatal and midwifery care for their mothers
- $360 sponsors a child
- $250 covers a teacher’s monthly salary
- $100 provides malaria treatment to 25 children
- $50 feeds lunch to a child for a year
- $30 provides textbooks and reading material for one child
- $25 buys a school uniform
13. How does the AAH Child Sponsorship Program work?
As a sponsor, you support the education of one child at AAH by donating $360 annually or $30 monthly (by credit card). To become a sponsor, fill out a Child Sponsor Application. You can request an approximate age and gender of the child, and AAH will honor these requests whenever possible. AAH volunteers in the US receive the sponsorship application and match you with a child. You then receive a letter and photograph, introducing your child to you. Our child sponsors and their children write letters to each other three times each year; AAH coordinates these letter exchanges. As a child sponsor, you will also receive periodic updates from AAH on school events, our progress and other developments. Back to top.