Arlington Academy of Hope http://aahuganda.org Helping children in Uganda reach their full potential Fri, 01 Dec 2017 19:30:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 112889416 A Sit-In for Electricity http://aahuganda.org/2017/10/28/a-sit-in-for-electricity/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/10/28/a-sit-in-for-electricity/#comments Sat, 28 Oct 2017 10:15:09 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2119 By Milton Kamoti, Program Director When I joined AAH on February 22, 2016, there was no power at Arlington Junior School, staff quarters and the guesthouse. The transformer that was serving our community had blown due to overloading by illegal power connectors (we call them “power thieves”). Several attempts had been made by the local businesses and […]

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By Milton Kamoti, Program Director

When I joined AAH on February 22, 2016, there was no power at Arlington Junior School, staff quarters and the guesthouse. The transformer that was serving our community had blown due to overloading by illegal power connectors (we call them “power thieves”). Several attempts had been made by the local businesses and community to have the transformer replaced with a new one, but these were futile. One of the main reasons for this failure was because of the poor working relationship between UMEME (the power company) and the community. One time, UMEME officials attempted to remove the faulty transformer for a replacement but was met great resistance from the community (including a beating almost resulting in death). Since then UMEME officials swore never to have the power restored to our community.

Milton speaking to newly elected prefects.

Because of high costs of fuel for running the generator 24/7 at AAH facilities, AJS, Beatrice Tierney Health Clinic, guesthouse and the general inconveniences caused to the AAH community, I decided to take the initiative to have the power service restored to community, including AAH.

The reasons for this initiative were:

  1. AAH is a bona fide and loyal customer to UMEME and not illegal connector.
  2. AAH was the biggest UMEME customer in the area.
  3. UMEME is under the responsibility of providing and protecting power to its loyal customers.
  4. AAH has a right to demand for a fair service.
  5. AAH was a victim of circumstance because of the poor behavior of the community.

My first step was call the UMEME toll free line to log an official complaint.

The second step was to visit the UMEME offices in Mbale to follow up on the complaint. While at the UMEME offices, I met the maintenance and installation engineer and station manager. They told me that they would not remove the faulty transformer for replacement because the community had been so violent with the staff, and they feared for their safety. While they sympathized with AAH as a loyal customer, they wanted security for their staff members while on duty. Based on their previous nasty experience, the UMEME official required the following conditions to be fulfilled:

  1. They demanded for a consultation with the local community leaders to agree and have a MoU with minutes of the meeting duly signed by the local council.
  2. All potential customers needed to have their buildings properly wired and inspected by the approved authorities.
  3. At least 30 new customers needed to officially apply and be connected to the National power grid and make payment.
  4. A committee to be constituted to protect and provide security for electricity from illegal connectors.
  5. To hold consultative meetings for future relationship and management of power supply in the area.
  6. UMEME to write to their headquarters to request for a new transformer for replacement.

Having done all the above, a new two-phase transformer was brought in December 2016 and expected to be connected soon after. This did not happen.  More visits and promises were made to UMEME, but there as no ultimate solution.

Milton (centre) with a guest speaker (right) and AAH University Coordinator Sam (left)

In February 2017, I decided enough was enough!  I carried my lap top to the UMEME offices, and I said “Since you are the only ones who think you need power, I am going to move my office here.”  I sat down on the floor, pulled out my laptop and started working despite pleas from the staff and management to sit on a chair. I refused until they called an emergency meeting to send a technical team to the community to have the power restored. After calling AAH to confirmed there was indeed power, I packed my laptop, thanked them, and returned to AAH!

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An Unforgettable Visit to AAH http://aahuganda.org/2017/08/29/unforgettable-visit-aah/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/08/29/unforgettable-visit-aah/#comments Tue, 29 Aug 2017 18:55:35 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2087 By Gil and Pat Field, 2017 Adult Trip attendees What an amazing adventure to visit AAH Uganda.  Wow, and Wow again! Nothing is like visiting AAH’s Arlington Junior School in person, and we are honored to have been a part of the 2017 Adult AAH Team. Undoubtedly the time spent on an airplane, waiting in […]

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By Gil and Pat Field, 2017 Adult Trip attendees

Gil & Pat with one of their 5 sponsored students

What an amazing adventure to visit AAH Uganda.  Wow, and Wow again!

Nothing is like visiting AAH’s Arlington Junior School in person, and we are honored to have been a part of the 2017 Adult AAH Team.

Undoubtedly the time spent on an airplane, waiting in passport control security lines, and bumping along the roads between Kampala and Bumwalukani was more tiring than we expected. But wow, our time at AAH was worth the distant trek.  Each wonderful moment is embedded in our hearts.

We will never forget:  

  • the tender grasp of our hand by a bashful young student who guided us up the hill’s slippery mud road.
  • the enthusiasm and precision of 375 AJS excited students who marched smartly out to greet us Monday morning at the top of the hill. (The eager discipline of this marching group with their sock-covered arms stole our hearts.)   
  • receiving gifts of flowers and posters to honor our entry into Arlington Junior School grounds.
  • the heartfelt songs and dance-filled ceremonies that marked our arrival and departure.

All was truly unforgettable, and joy-filled tears overflow even now as we recall these precious moments.  Our days with AJS staff and students were much too short.

Visiting classrooms, having tea in the staff room, and wandering around to see everything at AJS was wonderful.  We loved reading aloud to the P1s and P2s, and listening from the back of the P6 room as students attentively learned how to give First Aid.  Chatting with students during free time and taking turns on the playground equipment was terrific fun!

Tea time!

And just like in the USA, we found our way to the kitchen to hang out and enjoy glimpses of traditional Uganda life. It was our distinct pleasure to entrust the school’s flock with a couple more chickens.  We are very thankful for the skilled hands of the kitchen staff!  Uganda’s posho is a very thick mixture of Southern Grits– a staple in our home to which we add a splash of maple syrup!  

Meeting our P1 (Hope and Isma) and P2 (John and Junior) sponsored students at AJS was incredible. Kudos and special thanks to Phionah for being a most able translator when we met with each of these youngsters and their parents—our nervousness gave way to smiles and shared laughter, and this joy is visible in all of our photos.  After 11 years of letter exchanges, we finally got to hug our S6 student Nakuti Doreen on our last night in Uganda— it was a brief but precious visit with her at her secondary school in Kampala. 

Gil & Holly at breakfast at AAH Guesthouse

The AAH Guest House is comfortable, and its staff helpful and very welcoming.  We learned to adjust to intermittent electricity and water and quickly figured out the art of bucket baths. The fashion accessory of the week was our trusty headlamp!  The gadget was indispensable for evening reverie and post-dinner Bananagram games. Although shared space was a bit cramped, everyone got along well and friendships flourished. Bill and Gil honed their going-to-market skills each evening at the village’s local version of a 7-11 store, building a trusted rapport with the shop owner—quite the stiff policy for CRV bottle returns!  

We are thankful for the positive and strong leadership demonstrated by AAH board members and teaching staff that impacts the quality of education and daily life of AJS students.  The disheartening conditions still found at many of the AAH outreach schools in the Bududa district were a sad dose of cold reality.

Here at home in San Diego we are excited to share with family, friends, and local community about our AAH Uganda experiences, and it is our hope that by telling John Wanda’s story we motivate others to find their way to become sponsors.  

Pat & Gil with P1 & P2 students at AJS

We are blessed and enriched by our travels with “Uncle John” Wanda to his beautiful homeland, Uganda.  God willing and clear roads, we hope for return visits.

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Teens Forge Deep Connections at AAH http://aahuganda.org/2017/08/29/teens-forge-deep-connections-aah/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/08/29/teens-forge-deep-connections-aah/#comments Tue, 29 Aug 2017 17:22:20 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2082 by Adriana Asef-Sargent, 2016 & 2017 Teen Trip Attendee Something special about AAH keeps me wanting to come back. The kids are all so amazing!  It’s refreshing to see kids who are excited and want to learn and go to school. They work so hard and they never complain—they have so much energy and love. […]

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by Adriana Asef-Sargent, 2016 & 2017 Teen Trip Attendee

Something special about AAH keeps me wanting to come back. The kids are all so amazing!  It’s refreshing to see kids who are excited and want to learn and go to school. They work so hard and they never complain—they have so much energy and love. When you visit AAH and meet the kids, the relationships you make with them are forever.

I’ve been to Uganda twice now on the AAH Teen Service Trip. My first trip in 2016 was so amazing and life changing that I had to return. In addition to teaching students in the classroom, the basic teen trip also includes visits to outreach schools, health clinics, and home visits. But it’s so much more than can be put into words; you have to experience it!

On my first visit I was excited but a little nervous, not knowing what to expect and having no idea what to teach in the classroom. While AAH takes great care of the teens, I still felt like I was being thrown into the deep end of the pool. My advice is to be ready for anything and open to new experiences. I didn’t expect to make such deep connections. In a place where people supposedly have so little, I was the happiest I’ve been in my life.  

The Teen Trip kicks off the Reading Challenge which is always exciting. This year AAH hosted a whole assembly full of games, speeches, dance, and song. The kids look forward to this event all year, and they read so many books it’s inspirational. In the classroom I decided to teach P7 ASL (American Sign Language). I was supposed to teach for 15 minutes, but I taught for 1 hour and 20 minutes. The AAH kids were super into it, and how much they remembered surprised me. After class, the kids would sign to me, “How are you?” One student, Bashir, was amazing. He could fingerspell his name so fast and remembered almost everything. He was better after 1 hour and 20 minutes than some of my 16-year-old classmates were in ASL 1 in high school.

Working at the health clinic lab where I tested people for malaria was especially cool. One little girl I tested had lvl1 malaria, which is not the worst kind. I was relieved to know she would get medicine from the clinic and get better.

If you have a sponsored student, you get to go to their homes and see where they live and their personal lives. (Sometimes kids will just invite you to their homes, too.) You play soccer, netball and more with them. On home visits usually the parents cook while you sit in a different room with the child. The parents don’t usually eat with you unless you have met them before. On my first trip I went to visit my sponsored student, Sarah, and her parents did not eat with us. However, on this trip they did. It was wonderful to be welcomed back a second time and feel so loved and accepted.

Coming back to Uganda for a second time was even better than I expected. I knew so many people, and it really felt like a second home. The kids were even more excited to see me, and lots of them remembered me and it filled my heart. This trip was extra special since my best friend Christine Wanda’s family is from the area. When I met them and they treated me as a family member,  it was the most comforting thing ever.

Going to Uganda through AAH really made me think about my life and how I want to travel the world and make a difference in people’s lives. In the fall, I am starting at Eckerd College, and now I want to major in Global Studies, learn more about Africa, and— of course —return to Uganda. I am already planning my next trip to AAH! I hope for a longer internship where I can spend most of my time with kids.

If you are a teen thinking about signing up for this trip next year, don’t even think about it. Just do it! Email info@aahuganda.org.

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Our student newsletter, Mulembe Magazine http://aahuganda.org/2017/07/30/student-newsletter-mulembe-magazine/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/07/30/student-newsletter-mulembe-magazine/#comments Sun, 30 Jul 2017 18:51:06 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2064 By Danielle Fortin, former International Coordinator As a school that prides itself on providing the best educational opportunities for its students, we are always looking for new ways to inspire creative learning at Arlington Junior School. That is where our new newsletter, “Mulembe Magazine,” comes in.  Click here to read the lastest issue! Originally inspired […]

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By Danielle Fortin, former International Coordinator

Click on the photo to read this issue of Mulembe Magazine

As a school that prides itself on providing the best educational opportunities for its students, we are always looking for new ways to inspire creative learning at Arlington Junior School. That is where our new newsletter, “Mulembe Magazine,” comes in.  Click here to read the lastest issue!

Originally inspired by Head Teacher Sarah, our student-written newsletter has become a way for students to get a taste of journalism and artistic expression. Every term hosts different events, activities, and visitors. Students are encouraged to report on those happenings to keep our international and local supporters up to date on the latest news at AAH. In the newsletter’s “Creative Corner,” pupils have the chance to create everything from poems, to drawings, to creative stories.

Danielle with AAH students and AJS Librarian Phionah

Towards the end of the term when the students were taking their exams, I collected those stories and compiled them to make the “Mulembe Magazine.” Each article and story is written and inspired entirely by the students themselves, creating a unique platform for self-expression.

As the incoming International Coordinator, Emma, gears up to take over, she looks forward to working on the “Mulembe Magazine.” Together with our librarian, Phiona, the pair will create a Newspaper Club to increase participation in working on the newsletter. After recruiting other students to join and setting up monthly meetings, the club participants will select student editors to edit all content. Student club members will also write and edit departments on local news, visitor news, and the creative corner. Our hope is that this club will inspire students to think critically of all the events that happen at AJS as well as spark interest in journalism.

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Donor Spotlight: One Soldier’s Story http://aahuganda.org/2017/07/30/donor-spotlight-one-soldiers-story/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/07/30/donor-spotlight-one-soldiers-story/#respond Sun, 30 Jul 2017 18:34:54 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2060 By Annette Brown, AAH Donor & Sponsor During May of 2006, I read a Washington Post article detailing how John and Joyce Wanda, along with many donors, started the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) in their home country of Uganda. My first thought was that I should do something to help simply because I can. […]

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By Annette Brown, AAH Donor & Sponsor

Annette started sponsoring an AAH student during her time serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom

During May of 2006, I read a Washington Post article detailing how John and Joyce Wanda, along with many donors, started the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) in their home country of Uganda.

My first thought was that I should do something to help simply because I can. But that thought was soon overwhelmed by my preparations for my upcoming deployment the next month to support Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). At that time I was a soldier in the United States Army. Prior to leaving for my deployment, I reached out to John Wanda and asked if I could mail him a huge box of more than 100 pens as a donation to AAH. Upon arriving in Iraq, I could not get AAH out of my head. While in Iraq, I again reached out to John and asked how I could do more. He mentioned sponsoring a student, and I immediately began doing that. I believe that those who are in a position to help others should do so, and performing volunteer services is a huge part of my life.

My excitement grew once I received my sponsored student photo. I am uplifted and inspired whenever I receive letters from my student and excited to see the progress in his writing and grammatical sentence structure as I get more letters. This small act of sponsoring a child fills me with pride and makes me so happy to be able to contribute toward AAH. I truly believe that doing these small acts of sponsorship is making a huge difference in the lives of children in Uganda.

In addition to being a sponsor, I’ve met so many wonderful people that support AAH. It’s always enlightening to find out what others are doing to support AAH. I once had the opportunity to participate in a fair where AAH had a booth, and we passed out literature about the school. That was so much fun, and now that I’m retired from the United States Army, I hope to become more involved with AAH activities. I hope to visit AAH as a volunteer within the next year or two!

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The Arlington Junior School Annual Reading Challenge http://aahuganda.org/2017/07/30/arlington-junior-school-annual-reading-challenge/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/07/30/arlington-junior-school-annual-reading-challenge/#respond Sun, 30 Jul 2017 18:30:45 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2053 By Lois Grubb, AAH Education Committee Since 2006, our dedicated students at Arlington Junior School (AJS) went “Wild About Reading,” had a “Reading Safari” in their library, discovered that reading is their “Super Power,” and learned that “Reading is an Amazing, Astounding and Very, Very Awesome Adventure!” Focused on an engaging theme each year, the […]

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By Lois Grubb, AAH Education Committee

Joyce reading to students during 2017 Reading Challenge Launch

Since 2006, our dedicated students at Arlington Junior School (AJS) went “Wild About Reading,” had a “Reading Safari” in their library, discovered that reading is their “Super Power,” and learned that “Reading is an Amazing, Astounding and Very, Very Awesome Adventure!”

Focused on an engaging theme each year, the annual Reading Challenge builds a culture of reading at AJS and underscores our motto of “Learn to read, read to learn.” This fun activity reinforces our students’ reading skills while they learn new things and enjoy fictional works. AJS students have learned about the countries and animals of Africa, interesting landmarks around the world, and the Olympics. In addition to exposing them to multiple genres, the challenge helps students practice their writing and even their math skills. Over the years, the students have received bright, interactive materials along with colored pencils, crayons or markers.

Emma getting books without disturbing other books during 2017 Reading Challenge Launch

AJS shares this valuable Reading Challenge tradition with the students of their sister school, Arlington Traditional School (ATS), in Arlington, Virginia. ATS students have participated in these challenges for over thirty years! Including the AJS students in their Reading Challenge strengthens the bond between the two schools while also encouraging the students at AJS to read. This motivation is particularly important because although the school language in Uganda is English, English is not the native language of the students. Providing a fun incentive for students to read greatly improves their English skills. The students at ATS also have an annual used book sale to raise money for books for the sister AJS library. Since 2006, our AJS school library has also grown from a corner in a classroom to a beautiful facility with a full-time librarian.

Game during 2017 Reading Challenge Launch

Over the years, ATS principal Holly Hawthorne or staff members have travelled to Uganda to kick off the reading challenge by reading to the students and presenting them with their challenge booklets and materials. Most recently, former ATS students have launched the challenge at AJS while on the summer AAH teen trip to Uganda. Every fall, the students at both schools celebrate this accomplishment with a Reading Carnival Day. At AJS, the students receive reading certificates and perform skits at an assembly, play games, and participate in theme-related activities. They often receive a sweet treat and T-shirts with the reading theme logo.

Teen Trip volunteer Kathryn reading to P2 class during 2017 Reading Challenge Launch

The 2017 Reading Challenge— “Make Magic Happen…READ!” — is inspired by a Dr. Seuss quote. We’re sending Dr. Seuss books to AJS to introduce the students to his zany and whimsical world. We’re also sending magic kits with the hope that some students might enjoy wowing their friends.

Labeling parts of skeleton during 2017 Reading Challenge Launch

My dear friend, Lorraine Gandy, and I are retired ATS teachers and create the Reading Challenge materials each year for the AJS students. Lorraine is particularly talented and creative, and we have a wonderful time working together. We so enjoy the photographs of smiling AJS students receiving their reading booklets, reading books, and having fun during Reading Carnival Day. We are particularly touched when we see photographs of all the Reading Challenge themes painted on the walls of the AJS library.

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Outreach Schools Excel in Primary Leaving Examinations http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/27/outreach-schools-excel-primary-leaving-examinations/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/27/outreach-schools-excel-primary-leaving-examinations/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 20:57:42 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2035 By Olivia Schneider, former Outreach Coordinator At the end of every school year, all 7th grade (P7) students in Uganda take a very important exam called the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE). The PLE tests students on everything they’ve learned from P1 to P7, culminating in one final exam to determine whether they’ve successfully passed primary school. […]

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By Olivia Schneider, former Outreach Coordinator

Students at Bukhaukha Primary School taking a practice PLE

At the end of every school year, all 7th grade (P7) students in Uganda take a very important exam called the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE). The PLE tests students on everything they’ve learned from P1 to P7, culminating in one final exam to determine whether they’ve successfully passed primary school. Looking at the PLE scores for Bududa District, there has been a clear improvement over time. In 2008, Bududa ranked as the second-to-last district in PLE performance in Uganda, but by 2016, it ranked 89th out of 133.

The AAH Outreach Program has played a vital role in this significant improvement. Through the Outreach Program, AAH gives out practice PLE tests, holds teacher training workshops, and awards scholarships for outreach students who do well on the PLE. Additionally, the Outreach Program provides donations, volunteers, and school lunch subsidies that help students achieve better learning outcomes.

With the support of AAH, our outreach schools have managed to surpass the other schools in Bududa District in terms of PLE pass rates. In 2016, 83% of students at our outreach schools passed the PLE, compared to only 69% at non-outreach schools. However, they still have a long way to go until they achieve the 100% pass rate of the AAH school.

The results from our outreach schools are even more impressive when you look at the percentage of students who scored a Division One (the top grade) on the PLE. In 2008, no students at our outreach schools scored a top grade. But in 2016, 6% of outreach students scored a top grade, compared to only 1% of non-outreach students. This widening gap in performance between outreach and non-outreach schools demonstrates the significant impact of the Outreach Program to improve school performance.

We’ve seen especially significant improvements at Bumwalye, Bulobi, and Matuwa—the three outreach schools that we support most intensely. These schools have benefitted from lunch subsidies, classroom construction and repairs, and many other special projects that have helped them improve. In 2008, the majority of students at these schools failed the exam, but now, all three of our intensified outreach schools have pass rates over 90%. Perhaps the most impressive improvement is at Bulobi Primary School, which went from a 19% pass rate in 2008 to a 98% pass rate in 2016!  

Overall, the Outreach Program clearly creates an amazing impact on PLE results in local schools. Each time we improve learning outcomes at our outreach schools, we come closer to our goal of uplifting the educational standards in Bududa and creating brighter futures for the whole region!

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Helping Kids with Albinism in Uganda: AAH and the Asante Mariamu Foundation http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/27/helping-kids-albinism-uganda-aah-asante-mariamu-foundation/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/27/helping-kids-albinism-uganda-aah-asante-mariamu-foundation/#comments Tue, 27 Jun 2017 19:51:40 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2018 By Susan Dubois, Executive Director, Asante Mariamu In addition to AAH’s support for the education and health of kids in rural Uganda, the organization is often asked to help in other ways. Developing partnerships with other NGOs is a practical way to address issues like albinism—an important problem, but one requiring specific expertise outside of […]

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By Susan Dubois, Executive Director, Asante Mariamu

In addition to AAH’s support for the education and health of kids in rural Uganda, the organization is often asked to help in other ways. Developing partnerships with other NGOs is a practical way to address issues like albinism—an important problem, but one requiring specific expertise outside of AAH’s primary mission. One such problem troubled John Wanda: what to do with the many children with albinism in the communities around AAH. Arlington Junior School (AJS) had two students with albinism. While both are highly accomplished young women, many in their community didn’t understand albinism and how it affects them both physically and socially. Both Peninah and Caroline faced many difficulties, and they themselves had almost no knowledge about albinism. Now, AAH is working with another Arlington-based nonprofit —the Asante Mariamu Foundation— to make a difference for those with albinism in Uganda.  

Dr Harry Mpewo educating attendees about albinism at AAH Clinic

Albinism is a genetic condition that causes a lack of pigment in a person’s hair, skin and eyes, which results in extreme light sensitivity, visual impairment and also places that person at a high risk for skin cancer.  While relatively rare in the U.S., albinism occurs in 1 in every 2,000 births in East Africa. Children there with albinism face dire circumstances — from forced relocation in government centers away from their families to threats to their physical safety. In some countries, like Tanzania and Malawi, people with albinism are murdered. Sadly, people with albinism all over East Africa show early signs of skin cancer in their teens and often die in their 40s.

The situation in Uganda is less dire, and children are generally accepted in their communities. However, these children often remain on the periphery of society due to myths about the condition and a lack of educational opportunities. Peninah and Caroline were lucky to have supportive parents and to attend an excellent school, but a lack of resources and information had taken a physical and emotional toll on both of them.

Dr. Harry, founder Susan DuBois, and others at Asante Mariamu albinism clinic at AAH Clinic in Bupoto

Founded by Susan and Doug DuBois of Arlington in 2009 in response to the brutal treatment of people with albinism in Tanzania, the Asante Mariamu Foundation has since expanded to several countries. It supports kids with albinism in East Africa through awareness programs, educational opportunities, and life-saving medical treatment.  With the help of AAH, Asante has been active in Uganda since 2012.

When John Wanda first connected with Susan, he said it “felt like a big load was being lifted off my shoulders.”  AAH helped Asante form strong partnerships in Uganda, and, as a result, people with albinism are getting medical treatment and lifesaving supplies while communities are learning about albinism. In the villages around AAH, there are many with albinism, and most knew little or nothing about the condition or how to protect themselves from skin cancer.

Family at Asante clinic

Asante started by hosting small “Albinism Awareness Days” for the local communities, and by distributing hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts. Many AAH volunteers have even carried suitcases full of supplies to Uganda on behalf of Asante.

After developing relationships with local teachers and dermatologists, Asante now operates skin cancer screening clinics throughout Uganda and has provided surgery for nearly 200 people with early stages of skin cancer in the last year alone. Asante has also educated over 500 family and community members about albinism as a way to reduce the stigma surrounding the condition. We currently provide scholarships for several students at the secondary school level and hope to enroll more students in AAH in the near future.

Caroline

Our ability to be effective directly connects to our strong partnership with AAH. Now in the process of building a skin cancer clinic and albinism awareness center near AAH, we look forward to many years of collaboration. In fact, we just concluded a skin cancer treatment and awareness day at the AAH clinic in Matuwa and will be sending more suitcases over this summer!

Peninah and Caroline both graduated from secondary school this year and plan to attend university this fall. The partnership between Arlington Academy of Hope and Asante Mariamu Foundation shows how working together makes both organizations more effective at fulfilling our missions. We are so grateful to work together!

Susan, Peninah and Diane Vogel Asante Outreach Director

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Students Receive Scholarship for University Education http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/26/students-receive-government-scholarship-university-education/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/26/students-receive-government-scholarship-university-education/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:46:18 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=2013 By: Danielle Fortin, International Coordinator Last year Mutunga Godfrey and Kituyi Peninah worked hard at their secondary schools to perform well on their national exams that mark the end of their secondary schooling. They received some of the top scores in the country. Now, we are so happy to announce they have been awarded a […]

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By: Danielle Fortin, International Coordinator

Godfrey and Peninah

Last year Mutunga Godfrey and Kituyi Peninah worked hard at their secondary schools to perform well on their national exams that mark the end of their secondary schooling. They received some of the top scores in the country. Now, we are so happy to announce they have been awarded a scholarship by the Ugandan government to continue their higher education!

Godfrey and Peninah can remember how hard they worked to ensure their success. “It was hectic. I used to study all night because I wanted to get the maximum points,” said Peninah. While studying hard and revising notes with friends at school, Peninah can also recall some great words of advice that helped her push through the many hours. One of her mentors at school said to her, “Don’t read to just pass, read while calculating what you have invested in your education. Make sure you do well so you utilize what you’ve paid for this chance.”

Thinking back on all of the support that her sponsors had put towards her education helped her sure she was getting the most out of her opportunity of being at school. In the fall, Peninah will be attending Makerere University to study Education and Literature.

Looking towards the future, Godfrey is so grateful for the opportunity to continue his studies at university. Godfrey will be heading to Gulu University to pursue Medicine and Surgery. This chance, “is a dream come true” for him. “I had no hope of doing this course because of the financial burden, but I am so happy to be living my dream by continuing to study medicine.”

As Peninah and Godfrey prepare to make the big transition to university campuses across the country, we are nothing but confident in their future success.

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Matuwa Sponsorship Program Begins http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/15/matuwa-sponsorship-program-begins/ http://aahuganda.org/2017/06/15/matuwa-sponsorship-program-begins/#comments Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:40:47 +0000 http://aahuganda.org/?p=1994 By: Daphne Mabonga, Assistant Outreach Coordinator Growing up in rural Uganda and attaining a good undisturbed education is a big challenge to many, especially those who come from very needy families. Overcoming this challenge has been Arlington’s goal from the start. In 2004, we opened our school and started educating 350 students in the primary […]

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By: Daphne Mabonga, Assistant Outreach Coordinator

Growing up in rural Uganda and attaining a good undisturbed education is a big challenge to many, especially those who come from very needy families. Overcoming this challenge has been Arlington’s goal from the start.

Matuwa Grade 2 students with our Executive Director Laura and Assistant Outreach Coordinator Daphne

In 2004, we opened our school and started educating 350 students in the primary level. We then expanded our program and partnered with government schools to increase our impact in the eastern region of Uganda. What started as a small program has expanded into the Outreach Program that works with 26 underfunded public schools in Bududa and Manafwa Districts.

In 2016 we partnered with Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA to become a sister school to one of our Outreach schools. The relationship quickly blossomed as Principle Mitch Pascal, became a huge advocate for supporting education in Uganda. The Tuckahoe community has helped to fundraise for library books, the construction of a school kitchen, and the school’s feeding program

This year at Matuwa Primary School 17 second grade students have seen their lives changed because of the sponsorship program that was introduced to their school this year. Orphans and children from very needy families were identified as in need of additional support to keep them in school and confident about their studies. The Tuckahoe community, again, jumped to the occasion to help Matuwa by sponsoring students through AAH.

In addition to receiving school fees, the students were happy to get new books, pencils, backpacks, sharpeners, a pair of shoes, and a pair of stockings. They also have had their meals paid for at school and were given a new uniform. All these supplies have helped these students to stay in school and focus on their studies undisturbed.

This sponsorship program wouldn’t be a reality if it weren’t for the strong partnership with Tuckahoe Elementary School. All the money used to buy the supplies and provide Matuwa with general support is due to the efforts of the great team of our partners at Tuckahoe Elementary School in Virginia. With their efforts we hope for more sponsors in the future. If you have any questions about Tuckahoe’s involvement with AAH please email tuckahoe@aahuganda.org. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for a student at Matuwa Primary School, please select “Matuwa student” on our sponsor page.

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