HELP CELEBRATE M-LISADA'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY
A letter from Rochelle Zabarkes, M-Lisada Africa Foundation president:
Do you wonder why I support M-Lisada?
I have dedicated time and resources to M-Lisada for six years now. If I had to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say that their code of ethics, their generosity, and their unconditional love of the children is evident in everything they do. They have grown a great deal, sometimes taking very small steps, but always going forward. Here are some letters from M-Lisada. They are beautiful but long—please take the time to read them.
I hope they will influence your decision to support this wonderful children’s home. We need money for food ($100 a month), medicine ($300 a quarter), tuition ($600 annually), and a car to transport the children to school ($4,500).
Bosco and Lucy, directors of M-Lisada and The Mummy Foundation, are getting married on October 29. If you are feeling overly generous, please send a donation to help them pay for their wedding. I think the entire population of Kampala has been invited. Please donate to mlisada.org.
Here are the letters:
M-Lisada resident Rebecca Kabagimu received a scholarship to attend the Yale University Young Global Scholars Program this summer.
Leaving Uganda and coming here was like a dream come true to me. I have always wanted to come here and had a feeling of what America is like. It’s something that I could have never imagined but now I am actually knowing how it feels being here. Everything here is so different starting from people, their behaviour and the way of living.
Coming here was through a challenge that I managed to take up. It was a Yale opportunity that I had to put in so much effort since I knew that I was competing with students from the whole world. I never believed in myself that I would actually win a fully paid scholarship from one of the top institutions in the whole world. It’s a short summer program and I am majorly specializing in sustainability, energy and environment. I am so determined to go there and show the world what Uganda is. I feel the responsibility of representing my country and M-LISADA. Though I had less self-esteem I would like to thank everyone who kept me going. My M-LISADA family, thank you so much for believing in me. Though we had internet problems and some other challenges that really dragged me down, you always brought me back to the top. And I am so happy I am not only taking a class but also visiting other places in the US.
I have met people here who are all trying to see that I have a great future. It’s so surprising how everybody yearned to stay with me - something that has never happened in my life. I never thought I would be that person everyone wants to talk to. This trip has showed me that there is a lot this world has to offer. I have interacted with many people and I have realized that there is still a lot I don't know. It has widened my mind about different stuff. So now I know I don't have to think on a local level but rather internationally since I can compare lots of things.
I know everybody back home would love to come here and I wish it happens for anyone who wants it so that you can really see what happens outside of Uganda.
I can't stop thanking God because he played the great part since I have been praying for this to come and now look here I am. Sometimes I forget that I am in the US and it hits me at once. This makes me cry since I am in the place where millions of people want to come and the place that I am sure will shape me into the person I desire to be in future.
My greatest thanks to whoever helped me get here, their endeavours and hosting me here. Thank you that you have kept tight with me and made sure I get whatever I want. I cannot go hungry and I sleep well. I have whatever I want and I am given everything I ask. I am so glad for this.
Executive Director Bosco Segawa wrote about the grueling 210-mile walk from Gulu to Kampala, to celebrate M-Lisada’s 20th anniversary.
The walk was a vivid reminder of how much we have, of how much we can offer, of how difficult life can be and of how much help people need. We visited schools where 18-year-old Secondary 6 students studied for their final exams in a building that only had a few sticks for walls and a blackboard with holes in it that sat on top of a chair. As we walked past villages filled with kids who had no clothes or were dressed in ripped dirty clothes, we saw kids without the option of going to school, without the chance to get an education or to learn job skills. instead, we saw vulnerable families who without help were destined to repeat the same form of impoverished struggle and existence. Seeing all of this reinforced our belief that the best way we can help improve lives and make a better future is by building a primary and vocational school for those who need it the most.
We wish that you could've shared our laughs and smiles. We wish that you could've joined us when we met officials, teachers, parents and children and planted trees at schools, churches, mosques and homes, with wishes for a better future. We wish you were with us when we made our jubilant and triumphant return home to M-LISADA, where we were joyfully reunited with our staff, children and families. We wish you could've joined us at M-LISADA for our homecoming party, where we were joined by friends, community members, national newspapers and local partners. We wish you were with us as we celebrated with cultural dances, African drumming and a performance by M-LISADA's Senior Brass Band. We wish you were with us when we had a special gift ceremony for Team M-LISADA walkers and sponsors.
Be with us now, as we continue forward.
Below are links to letters from Jazmin, a student at Silver Spoon Primary School, and Deus, who also attends Silver Spoon; just click on the thumbnails to see them enlarged.
Congratulations to everyone at M-Lisada!
Our mission is to reduce the number of children living on the streets in Uganda, by providing them with a home, an education, and protection.
M-LISADA strives to restore dignity and self-confidence through the teaching of life skills, music, and the arts, thereby improving the lives of vulnerable children, and their chances for the future.
Gulu-Kampala: Walking for a Better Future
Fifteen days, 210 miles, 13 participants, hundreds of onlookers, dozens of sponsors.
Click on the thumbnail below for a day-by-day description of this excruciating and exhilarating walk.
Rebecca Went to Yale
Rebecca Kabagimu, an M-LISADA resident, attended the Sustainability, Energy, & Environment session of the Yale Young Global Scholars Program from July 26 to August 8, 2016. Prior to the Yale program she travelled around New York with Susan Wiliams and to Las Vegas to visit Mike Rice and family. Now she has just arrived in Kansas as the guest of David Westfall; then on to Salt Lake City to visit with Kristeen Arnold, back to New York, and home to Uganda on September 2. Congratulations, Rebecca.
Bosco and Lucy’s Introduction Ceremony
Bosco and Lucy traveled to meet with Lucy’s family, the first step leading to their marriage ceremony, which will be held on October 29, 2016. This promises to be a wonderful event.
New Administration Building
Many thanks to Richard Karran and Chellaston Academy for giving M-LISADA a wonderful new administration building. Finally, M-LISADA has room for all of us to work.
Arts & Crafts Shop
And if that isn’t enough good news, volunteer Ellen Ruden visited M-Lisada and taught the kids to make African fabric napkins. Presales exceeded $1,000. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to order some. She also set up an exquisite craft shop in our new building.
Now that we will have a separate library and IT room in our newly constructed dorms and administration buildings, we need used laptop computers, for students and staff, more than ever. If you, a friend, or your employer have any PCs or Macs that are not being used, please let us know. We can repair them if necessary. Or if you don’t have a used computer but want to help educate our children, you can donate $500 to M-Lisada on our website, and I will purchase a used Mac to take with me to Uganda. See the story on Rebecca in the M-LISADA NEWS section if you need convincing that our educational programs are successful.
We are always in need of medical supplies. The health department needs an Olympus-type microscope. If anyone knows of a used model, I can bring it to Uganda in November. M-LISADA also needs an examining table, which costs about $400. Please consider donating for either the microscope or the exam table.
If you would like to contribute to M-LISADA, remember that we have 501(c)(3) status, which means that your contribution is fully tax deductible. One hundred percent of your donation goes to M-LISADA—there are no hidden administrative costs. Please indicate if you would like your contribution to go toward a specific need. I'd be happy to discuss any questions you may have; just send me an email. Our donation page has been upgraded—see the article in the M-LISADA NEWS section.
Weebale nnyo—thank you very much,
Rochelle Zabarkes, president
M-Lisada Africa Foundation