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Friends Of Buyijja NGO

Success Stories

Since the initial seed for hope was planted in the Spring of 2014 with the idea of doing something to help the Buyijja Village School prosper, we have accomplished a great number of ongoing and standalone projects that have changed the lives of the children of the school, as well as the people in the village of Buyijja. Each project answered a specific need that was identified, and each was given with unconditional love and support from a worldwide list of donators.

These projects exists solely through their generosity and support.
We are eternally grateful for their faith and trust in our mission.

Fifteen Rounds of School Supplies, Books,
and Teaching Aides Offer Hope

Our first goal continues to be our most important goal; that of making sure that the Buyijja Village School has proper books, teaching supplies, and teaching aids.

Since the Spring of 2014, we have provided books, teaching supplies, and teaching aids each term (3 per year), with results that make the importance of this effort self-evident.

When we began our mission, teachers were without even basic teaching supplies. No books, no posters and teaching visual aids, no pencils, pens, testing or homework books. Before we began our support, the school was testing at an annual passing rate of just 24%. After just two terms with proper supplies and books, the passing rate soared to 93% passing.

The direct effect was obvious, but the extended effect has been equally amazing, as children from several neighboring parts of the district have begun pouring in to become part of the Buyijja School, with enrollment almost doubling, from 145 students, to 279 students. The budget for books and supplies increases with each term, but the success this key educational component brings is invaluable.

Education brings Hope. Hope creates a sense of Peace. We give with unconditional Love.

Southtowne Rotary and District 5110 Bring Water and Light!
We were especially excited to be chosen as one of the District 5110 grants with Southtowne Eugene Rotary! It was the first Rotary project in this region of Uganda, and it is our hope that it will be one of many. Rotary does such amazing work around the world, and to begin making a difference with a bore-hole well, and some additional solar lighting for the school, was both welcome and wonderufl!

Digging a borehole well is an arduous feat, as it is all done by hand. Bucket by bucket, each foot of depth done by someone lowered into the hole. It is truly amazing...and a testement to what the people of this region must go through from somthing for which we take for granted...clean water.

A part of the same District Grant, the remainder of the $4,000 donated went toward adding more solar lighting to another classroom in the school compound. As has been written about before, students and teachers often must stay overnight in these buildings, due to weather conditions, or the long commutes by foot back to their home villages. This lighting, and the charging stations for satellite phones is essential to their safety.

Let There Be LIGHT!

At the Buyijja Village School in rural Uganda, it is not unusual for some students and teacher who have come from distant villages, to spend the night in the school, rather than take the long trek home each day. When darkness comes, their only source of light is small, kerosene lamps that are neither safe, nor practical. The charging/lighting stations that we will provide, will create solar lighting and a charging station for each of the three primary buildings in the school. This provides a safe, secure way to light their lives...while helping those who come to volunteer their time to be able to charge mobile devices for communication and education.

In the summer of 2017, we installed the first round of solar lighting and digital charging stations in two of the classrooms. In 2018, we hope to finish installing lights in the remaining 4 buildings.

Beds for our teachers
As has been reported, a number of teachers end up staying at the school, as the commute back to the cities is impracticable. They had been sleeping on mattresses on the dirt floors, with gas lanterns for light. In addition to the solar lighting installation, we were able to install two sets of bunk beds for our teachers. Small comforts make a big difference!


Water Changes Lives…For Children and the Village

Emergency Water Tank Project
After the devastating drought conditions that have been prevalent over the past year in the Buyijja region, almost all of the water sources for the village and the Buyijja village school have been depleted or exhausted. The well we built has run dry...and the spring that is more than 2.5 miles away, has become sporadic and feted.

Adding to this, climate change has also altered the regular "rainy season" when the ground water tables are renewed, and they now start later, and last for a shorter time. For this reason, we need to build a rain/collection storage tank system to gather and store rain water for all uses, including drinking, washing, and cooking.

This will be the first of many tanks- but we want to start quickly, and move forward from there, while we begin raising funds for a new well.

There is no doubt that one of the most vital elements of existence on this planet revolves around a source of clean, sanitary water. When our daughter, Maddy, first visited the village of Buyijja, she noticed two things.

Those who lived and worked in the Prometra housing, drank bottled water, transported from Kampala. The village people drank unpurified water, carted from a spring more than 2Km away, which had to be boiled. The job of hauling the water was left for the most part to the children. An almost daily task, in all sorts of weather conditions, the water while needed for washing, and cooking, had to be boiled before use.

The deplorable conditions of the only bathroom for the school, combined with the lack of clean potable water, made for a veritable breeding ground for diseases like malaria, typhus, and other water-born sickness to become a deadly factor in the lives of the villagers.

After fund-raising, and more than a month of heavy labor, the first well was built, and implemented. The work was back-breaking, with more than 80% of the labor done by hand. But, in the end, it was all worth it.Now, just a short walk from the school, cool, clean, safe water is now available. On 4/13/15, the village elders and school officials attended a “handover ceremony” for the well. Our hope is to build at least three more in the coming year, as well as a large rain collection tank for general purpose water-use.

The well was dedicated by Friends of Buyijja, to the memory of Emma’s father, who passed away in January of 2015.

We are hoping to build more wells in the future. As they say, "watch this space for details!"

Bathrooms for the Buyijja Village School

One of the most dangerous and prevalent health deficiencies facing a village with no infrastructures in place for running water or waste treatment, is sanitary bathroom facilities. The Buyijja school, serving more than 260 students and 12 staff members had no sanitary bathroom facilities.

When Maddy described the conditions of the bathroom facilities for the Buyijja Village School, I shuddered…and became just a tad ill. It was at the top of the “wish list” from the Headmaster of the school…but, supplies, books, playground equipment and shoes seemed more important at the time. After seeing pictures of the previous "facility" it was easy to understand why shoes were so important. When I imagined a little children having to use these facilities in bare feet…and having no place to wash their hands afterward…I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with emotion as I looked at a picture of a little girl, smiling shyly from behind the dilapidated, crumbling structure.

Plans and a contractor were selected, and over the course of three months, the bathrooms
were designed, built, installed and then ceremoniously handed over to the school.

The new 8 stall facility, complete with a sanitary washing facility has changed the lives of children and villagers alike.

A Tale of Shoe City… Putting Shoes on Student’s Feet!

One of the first things that Maddy recognized when she visited the school, were the cracked, painful little feet of most of the students in the Buyijja village school. One little girl even told her that she would “feel much smarter” if she had shoes, and wasn’t distracted by her pain. The story of how we took care of shoes for more than 260 kids is amazing…but continues to be an ONGOING need, as the school continues to add new students.

The process is very "hands and feet on." Each child, many with broken and cracked feet, had their foot traced onto paper, with their name written for identification. It took a full day of tracing, but finally, they were ready to buy the shoes!

Small problem. The Shoes were in Kampala more than 70 miles away. The shoes needed to be bought from a large number of individual shoe merchants. Every shoe merchant needed to be convinced to sell at a reasonable price. Each pair being matched to a hand-traced outline of the prospective owner’ feet, fell to Emma and his cousin, who spent 4 days procuring shoes (for TWO different shoe projects) On both Show Distribution Days at the school, the shoes arrive in two HUGE bags.

The tracing paper disintegrated with weather and wear, so each child’s name was written on the shoes they were to receive, and they waited excitedly for their names to be called!

When you look at this smile…can you doubt how much happiness $5 brought? So many of you bought MANY more than a single pair…but EVERY pair changed a child’s life! Rain frequently makes the roads impassable. Dust can become choking when it is dry. And once you are in the village, even the barest of necessities for modern conveniences are a rarity. What you have done for the children of this remote rural village is immeasurable. You have given them hope.

You have allowed them to walk the dusty, dirt roads, without splitting their feet over roots, cracked earth and rocks. Such small comforts...such huge smiles of thanks!

Mrs. Miller's Class Builds a Playground

While identifying the needs of the Buyijja Village school, watching children kick around a single, half deflated soccer ball on a dusty, dirt field struck us as a need. All kids enjoy playground equipment. It was the perfect project for fundraising, for Mrs. Miller’s 4th/5th grade class at Twin Oaks Elementary in Eugene, Oregon.

A Music Video was produced. Several small, personal projects were devised and executed by the students. See the Video HERE

The kids went to work, and the word went out to friends, families, and online supporters. In less than a month, we had raised the money. And then the REAL work started! More than friends and family, as well as countless friends and family of Deb’s students gave freely… of your heart…to help people you have never met…without strings…without rewards. THAT is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Unconditional means without conditions or limitations of politics, religion, color, geography, gender or age. It means that you realize that we are ALL ONE…and the balance of our lives, happiness, and ultimate existence relies on unifying rather than dividing. These children…the lives of whom you have touched with your generosity…will never forget this act of kindness.

We have no idea what effects these small acts can do to shape hearts, minds and futures…but we do know that simply ignoring them wasn’t an option. Here is the proof that your gifts continue to give. CLICK HERE TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE PLAYGROUND ARRIVING!

The PlayGround Arrives after an almost 100 mile journey from Kampala…over highways, small roads, and dirt trails…and is installed to the delight of every child in the school!

Contact Information

For Questions, Press Inquiries or Donor Relations,
Contact: Patric Miller

To contact Emma (Emmanuel Kibubuka) our project manager in Uganda

Once again…thanks for your support. Without your help, none of this work would be possible.

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