WELCOME TO M-LISADA
Dear Friends, Sponsors, Supporters, Staff, Children, and Their Families,
Years ago, when I was an orphan on the streets of Kampala, I dreamt of a refuge where vulnerable children like me would be safe from hunger, abuse, abandonment, and illness. This dream was all I had, and it sustained me.
Today M-Lisada has fulfilled my dream. Located in Nsambya, Kampala, Uganda, M-Lisada supports up to 200 resident and non-resident children and youth, from 3 to 19 years. We are dedicated to providing these children with a home, love, security, medical care, and education. M-Lisada strives to change the expected destiny of these children, and because we are largely successful, M-Lisada is one of the most highly regarded Non-Governmental Organizations in Kampala.
Much of our success derives from our newest, most innovative programs—which directly empower our children. We are planning to build a school and residence on our land in Bombo, where we will focus on music and agriculture. Our children are repairing instruments and teaching music at diverse places such as a juvenile rehabilitation center, a community school, a home for the disabled, and a fishing village. We have begun a new peer-to-peer urban program where our children are mentoring young street and slum dwellers. One of our girls is graduating from college this spring. And one of our youngest children was successfully adopted last summer. We are currently immersed in the adoption process with another child.
This has been an extraordinary year, but none of our achievements would have been possible without the commitment of our dedicated supporters and donors. Our hope is that you will continue to join us in heart or perhaps even visit us in Kampala. We welcome you.
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.
BBC Radio Documentary
Many thanks to Brass for Africa for their part in bringing M-LISADA to the attention of the BBC.
The program aired on BBC Radio 4 on July 4, 2015. Please listen here.
Chris Weigers, a musician, teacher, and one of M-LISADA’s most impassioned supporters, invited me to hear a band in which he and Julius Ssesaazi—aka Julius Tuba, an M-Lisada graduate—were playing. They were playing at Big Mike’s, a music venue next to the improbably named Bubbles O’Learys.
The band is called Sabar Zibula. The leader is Mame N'Diack, and he is from Senegal. The band is unique in the way it combines East African (specifically Ugandan) music traditions with West African music from Senegal and Mali, along with jazz and R & B influences. The band features Ugandan instruments: adungu, akogo, and drums. The Malian kamelngoni and Senegalese djembe drum are also played.
If you would like the privilege of seeing this band, look for Sabar Zibula on YouTube. Or better yet, the Sabar Zibula CD, entitled "The Journey," is available for sale online at cdbaby.com. People can listen to samples from each song on that site and then they can choose to 1) buy the physical CD, 2) download the entire CD, or 3) download single songs.
Two Great Articles About Us
M-LISADA Children's Home Is Now Ours
On Sunday 2nd August 2015, M-LISADA Organization officially took possession of the children’s home from Chellaston Academy. Originally called John Dickens Home, it was renamed M-LISADA Children's Centre. The receipt of the M-LISADA Children's Centre courtesy of Chellaston Academy is a historical landmark for M-LISADA Organization, and to the vulnerable children served by M-LISADA.
This is indeed an extraordinary need-based gift by Chellaston Academy. It is not only a tangible example of M-LISADA Organization’s passion to extend love to vulnerable children, and to create an enabling environment for them to enjoy their rights and unleash their potential; but it is also a positive response to the aspirations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Thank you so much, dear Chellaston Academy. This precious gift to M-LISADA will forever remain engraved on the hearts of the precious children of M-LISADA and to M-LISADA Organization.
The slideshow photos show Bosco Segawa, M-Lisada’s Director; Richard Karran, who was the team leader of Chellaston team; and the guest of honor, Mary Shockledge, the Deputy Ambassador of the British High Commission Kampala.
On April 22, 2015, M-Lisada Organization received a President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) grant of $24,500 from USAID at the American Embassy. The grant will benefit the vulnerable children in M-LIsada, the local community and the hard-to-reach areas of Kalangala District.
The Community Action on Orphans and Vulnerable Children Project (CAO) will provide the orphans and vulnerable children with educational support and skills development. It will foster income-generating activities; raise awareness on rights and obligations of the children, caretakers and law enforcement people; and sensitize young people affected with HIV in treatment adherence. The primary target is 320 OVC’s.
The grant will equally facilitate the observation and commemoration of the international celebrated days. M-Lisada will be joining other organizations in commemorating the international Day of the African Child.
Trip to the UK
M-Lisada’s senior brass band trainer, Godfrey Mboira, and brass band teacher Frank Kalema were funded by Brass for Africa to travel to the UK, where they participated in brass band performances with members of a UK orchestra. We felt great pride and inspiration as part of the M-LIsada family and brass band.
With assistance from the NGO Masomo, M-Lisada is supporting 100 children with school fees and school requirements, gave money to 8 vulnerable women to initiate income-generating activities, gave out 10 bicycles to the local community to boost their small-scale businesses, and donated 10 mattresses to homesteads affected by HIV/AIDS.
I was able to take seven working laptop computers to Uganda in March. But of course we need more, especially since we will have a dedicated IT room. 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.
Fundraising for Education and Health
Our biggest needs continue to be food, education, and 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.
We need to raise money on a sustainable basis. My focus for the next year will be fundraising for these essentials.
A letter will go out to all M-Lisada supporters in the next few days. I am asking for help, first, to come up with a long list of grassroots fundraising ideas; second, to have our supporters implement these ideas; and third, to engage someone you know, who is new to M-Lisada.
We are shameless, however. So if the above sounds like too much work, we will also accept donations. If you would like to contribute to M-Lisada, remember that we now 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.
Weebale nnyo—thank you very much,
Rochelle Zabarkes, president
M-Lisada Africa Foundation