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Friends Of Buyijja NGO


Our Story and Basic Mission

Our Mission…
Unconditional Support for the Education and Welfare of Children…in an effort to deliver hope and opportunity.

Our Story...
In the Spring of 2014, our daughter Madelyn Miller, began an internship in Uganda that was destined to change the lives of those she met, as well as those of us back home who began to follow and participate in her journey. While her primary internship focused on education and administration with a Non-Profit group (PROMETRA) dedicated to bringing traditional and Western medical services to rural villages, her interests, and desire to do more quickly, expanded.

Her field work was in the rural village of Buyijja, a small village in the jungles approximately 70 miles from Kampala. The village, like most rural Ugandan villages, has no municipal services, water or waste treatment, and has suffered the effects of major disease (AIDS, TB, Malaria) because of it. In addition, national unrest, an unstable government, and frequent raids from neighboring countries have left the region with a high percentage of orphans in addition to a mortality rate that hovers near a life expectancy of just 52 years old.

Economically, rural villages have little to offer in regards to future earning potential, with average wages earned being as low as $1-$3 per day, if work can be found. For this reason, education, and the opportunity to go on to higher education, and the chance for a better way of life is essential.

The daughter of a teacher (her mother Debbie) and coming from a family of teachers and educators, Maddy made contact with the village school, the “Buyijja Model Parents School” which serves more than 260 students, in her first week in the village.

Maddy found out that while the school charges a small yearly tuition to attend (there are no state sponsored schools), a large percentage of the children are orphans, who are being raised by the village, and do not have the resources to pay. No child who wants to learn is turned away.

It was discovered that the need for help and support was great. The school had no school supplies, no books, and no teaching aides (charts, graphs, globes, maps etc.) and the staff was teaching mostly from blackboards, with no writing or art supplies.

But then, Maddy did something very important.

Rather than tell the head master and the teachers what she was going to do for them, she asked the question, “What do you need?” The answers were not surprising, but required different solutions, as each presented their own challenges.

Since Maddy asked that question, and more than a year after her return from her internship, our work continues.

Since our initial project to provide books and supplies, we have:

  • Provided Books, Supplies, and Teaching Aides for four consecutive terms of school, helping to boost term test scores from 24% passing to 93% passing.
  • Provided Shoes for more than 275 children
  • Built a Sanitary Bathroom Facility
  • Excavated and Installed the Village's First Sanitary Well and Pump
  • Provided Water Storage
  • Installed a Playground for the School
  • Augmented Teacher's Salaries

See Detailed Success Stories Here
See Upcoming/Ongoing Projects Here


Our Methods and Working Partnerships

What became obvious almost immediately, is the great difficulty faced in trying to ship anything to Uganda, with any degree of comfort that it will get there. In addition, the level of government tariffs, import fees, and other ways for those involved to “get a taste,” adds untold costs to every project if we attempt to ship materials.

While in Uganda, Maddy made friends with a small cadre of workers who in addition to their duties for PROMETRA, were more than willing, and infinitely qualified, to act as project managers for each stage. Their ability to source reliable contractors, negotiate “local rates,” and see the jobs through have proven invaluable. The small “thank you” rewards that they have received have been a fraction of the overall expense, and scant compensation for the time and effort expended. We are truly blessed to know them.

Our growth has been slow, and deliberate, relying completely on private funds and the generosity of friends, family and gracious strangers who support our efforts. Our intention is to begin the work in Buyijja, and if successful in creating sustainable support, expand the model to other rural villages in the same region.

We didn’t actively choose Buyijja, it kind of “chose us,” through Maddy’s actions. However, because of its location, the village is more safe and stable than many in the border regions of the country. It is a good place to begin.

Why are we choosing to work in a foreign country when there is so much work to be done here?
Well, again, the projects presented themselves, and we reacted. But I admit to there being more to the concept of working internationally, beyond “random selection.” Western nations are nations of great wealth. Our poorest, and most underprivileged have many resources available to them, and receive monthly payments that may equal as much as two years’ worth of wages in a country like Uganda.

But, there is more.

Coming from a family that has dedicated our lives to educating and supporting children, I know the value education plays in the opportunities children have in becoming happy, productive citizens. I believe strongly that giving should be done unconditionally…without expecting a result, or wanting something in return. This expands to my belief that religion, politics, and borders have no place in helping one another. Let the leaders squabble over ideologies. I believe we are best served when we remember that we are all the same…and that those who “win the genetic lottery” to be born into nations of great wealth, are best served when they elevate those less fortunate to a more stable set of circumstances.

Terrorists, dictators and bullies prey on those who are so desperate for a way out of their circumstances that those in need will follow almost any ideology.

The operative words of our mission are Peace, Love and Hope. I believe that peace is best created through unconditional love…which begins when despair, poverty, and lack of resources are replaced by hope.

Every dollar helps achieve this goal…for children who have little or no part in their circumstance…but deserve our help, and and a chance for hope for the future.

My sincere thanks for your support!

Patric Miller

Reach Patric at patricjmiller@gmail.com or friendsofbuyijja@gmail.com
by phone- 541-912-3975

Friends of Buyijja Helping to Change Lives in the Rural Village of Buyijja, Uganda
NGO # 1980690 a Non-Governmental Organization in Uganda ~ Registered United States Domestic Non-Profit Corporation- #118217298