As a most basic human need, providing shelter is a significant component of the work KidsUganda has done with Maranatha. A safe and stable place to live allows students the ability to focus on school, and enables them to make their studies a top priority.
KidsUganda has funded multiple building projects supporting Maranatha in their efforts to provide shelter. Mizigo is the only MISP school that houses students as boarders. KidsUganda has built spacious, energy efficient dormitories for both the male and female boarding students, allowing the number of Maranatha students taken in as boarders to grow. Click on the pictures below to learn more about building each of the Mizigo dormitories.
In partnership with Andy Stuart and True Impact Ministries, Nkonya staff housing was built. This housing allows the school to remain open after rain floods the sole remote, dirt road leading to the rural fishing village.
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On October 29, 2011, the boys vacated their small and congested dorm and moved into their newly constructed home. Patrick Walusimbi shared the following photos from moving day with KidsUganda. "The boys," he wrote "would like to express their love, joy and appreciation to all of the friends and supporters who helped to make this dream come true."
How it came to be
In May 2010, ten high school students who had recently returned from a service trip to the Maranatha Schools in Uganda, formed the KidsUganda Youth Board and pledged to raise $50,000 to build a dormitory for the boys at the Mizigo school.
Fundraising efforts began in June 2010 with school bake sales, a car wash and a major letter-writing campaign. With almost 50% of the money raised by September, the students focused on organizing a community-wide fundraising event held in November at CROYA (our local youth organization). This event coincided with a previously planned visit to the U.S. by Maranatha School founders Reverend Patrick and Eva Walusimbi.
The event, Drumming Up A Dream, included African music, decorations, and a heart-felt video narrated by five students who visited the Maranatha Schools as part of a service trip in February 2010. The video told the story of their experience in Uganda and of the children who touched their lives so deeply. The event also included a silent and live auction featuring youth services such as yard cleanup and babysitting. More than $1000 was raised when one student agreed to shave his head at the event in support of the boys' dorm. A highlight of the evening was when Reverend Walusimbi took the stage to talk about his home and the challenges faced daily by young people in Uganda.
The event was a huge success, raising over $18,000. Furthermore, the youth succeeded in building awareness by educating more people about the needs of these poor and vulnerable children. The student-organized event was inspiring for all who attended.
The Woodlands Academy Service Club showed their support by baking for and staffing their school's fall play concession stand. All proceeds from the weekend's concessions were donated to the boys' dorm project.
Fundraising efforts continued into 2011 with the Youth Board hosting a benefit concert for young children ages 2-7 and their families, featuring local favorites Teddi and Fred Koch and The Lil' Cow Band with special guests poet Bill Buczinsky and Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Ella Jenkins.
Through the hard work of about 25 core Youth Board members and the incredible generosity of many people, the KidsUganda Youth Board reached their $50,000 fundraising goal within nine months. Construction of the new boys' dormitory began in February 2011, exactly one year from the date of their service trip.