East Africa Children’s Hope (EACH) was officially incorporated in 2011; however, prior to its official formation, EACH co-founders (Melanie Dascenzo and Melissa Budnick Maliqi), along with friends and family, raised more than $35,000 for the children of Upendo Children’s Home and School in Kenya and the Good Hope Initiative in Uganda. Since obtaining official nonprofit status, EACH has raised over $290,000. Over the past twelve years, those collective donations allowed both Upendo and Good Hope to grow and thrive on the road to self-sustainability.
In 2017, Good Hope’s accomplishments in Uganda by far outweighed our expectations. EACH was able to purchase additional land for GHI to engage in agricultural initiatives to not only educate the children but to feed the increasing number of students at Good Hope, and set them further on the road to self-sustainability. Part of the land was set aside to be used for a physical education area/playground for the children as well as for the additional classrooms Good Hope will build in 2018 to accommodate the increasing population of students. EACH was also able to provide funding for a truck to assist in the management and transportation of supplies for the pig farm and new farm land. Finally, EACH was able to sponsor seven Good Hope students in their quest for secondary school! The example that is being set at Good Hope by the “Pioneer” students resonates all the way to the youngest primary school students.
At Upendo in Kenya, we were able to fund the secondary school education of fourteen girls. This is the most we’ve sponsored yet! We are so impressed of these young women and all they have accomplished. Three of the students completed their secondary school program and are now seeking post secondary school opportunities. The students are so grateful for their sponsors and we know they will continue to make us all proud.
Good Hope was the completed several constructions projects in 2016. EACH was able to provide funding for 4 new permanent classrooms that will allow the children to learn in a more conducive environment not dependent on the weather or noise from nearby classrooms. Additionally, EACH was able to build a dormitory for the children who previously traveled several miles a day on foot. The children will now be able to spend less time commuting to school and more time studying. More than dozen children from Good Hope graduated from primary school and hope to attend secondary school next year, something previously unheard of in the Kisweera village. Finally, EACH was able to donate money to purchase additional land to expand the Good Hope campus in 2017.
At Upendo, EACH was able to send 13 girls to secondary school, our most to date! The girls are thriving in their new schools and are so lucky to have generous donors help them realize their goal of furthering their education. We are proud to announce that two of our Upendo orphans also began college this year. In 2017, we will have a total of 10 girls in college. We couldn’t have accomplished so much this year without our long standing supporters, a big thank you from EACH!
EACH completed some big projects in 2015! The Good Hope Initiative Pig Farm was constructed and became fully operational. As of the end of 2015, 4 adult pigs live at Good Hope, 9 piglets were born and 2 of the adult pigs are pregnant! We expect the first litter to be sold toward the end of 2016. The profits from the pig farm will be invested back into the farm and into the school. In addition to the funding for the pig farm, EACH provided a motorcycle to aid in the transportation of supplies for the farm and the school. The motorcycle will reduce the operating costs of the farm by eliminating its reliance on others to bring the pig supplies to the village. Finally, EACH brought a continuous water supply to the village for the community, school and the pig farm. We are also so happy to report that 96% of the children at Good Hope are moving onto the next grade. This success rate is much higher than other Ugandan schools and we attribute it to the volunteer teacher’s dedication as well as the support of the entire community.
At Upendo, EACH was able to support the secondary education of six girls who otherwise would not have been able to go to school. The girls sponsored by EACH have been performing well. Upendo had its first two secondary school graduates in December 2015. We are so proud of them and all they have accomplished. Moreover, their dedication has set a wonderful example for their sisters who will soon follow in their footsteps.
In 2015, EACH’s triathletes raised over $13,000 and we were the recipient of grants from the RMH Foundation, BTIG and the Beck Foundation. We thank all three organizations as the impact their donations have made will be seen for years to come.
We can’t wait to see the dormitory that will be constructed at Good Hope in 2016! As always, thank you for your continued generosity. Your donations have changed the lives of EACH kids.
2014 was another great year for East Africa Children’s Hope. At Upendo, EACH was able to sponsor four girls to attend secondary boarding school, allowing them to continue their education beyond primary school. At the Good Hope Initiative, the classrooms that were funded in 2013 were completed and over 40 students were able to attend class in a safe, permanent and waterproof environment for the first time in their lives.
The children at both Good Hope and Upendo schools are performing well and the schools are each ranked as one of the top schools in their respective districts. While the children in Uganda and Kenya were hard at work in school, EACH was able to raise enough money for the construction costs to build a self-sustaining pig farm at Good Hope, its first revenue generating project. The pig farm’s profits will be used to support the operating costs of the school as well as future expansion. EACH is so excited to watch this project unfold throughout 2015.
In 2014, 96% of your donations went to our project sites. We are so thankful to our EACH team triathletes who raised over $10,000 for us in 2014 and to the RMH Foundation and BTIG for their continuing support. Moreover, we would not be able accomplish our important work without the help of our individual donors who have supported us from the very beginning.
A big thank you from the EACH family and the children at Good Hope and Upendo.
2013 was quite a year for EACH! We set a lofty goal for ourselves at the beginning of the year: $50,000. With generous supporters like you, we were able to reach and surpass our goal. We raised over $58,000 in 2013. We are so thankful for our donor’s continuous support and look forward to continuing to aid students and communities in East Africa in 2014.
In 2013, we were able to fund several infrastructure projects at Good Hope and at Upendo.
At Good Hope we were able to provide the children with a new permanent classroom to replace one of their current classrooms. The Salvation Community School run by the Good Hope Initiative is currently made up of temporary classroom structures made with reed walls and dirt floors. This new classroom will have solid walls and a strong roof with a cement floor, to ensure a safe and comfortable learning environment for the children.
The Good Hope Initiative desperately needed to replace their toilets to ensure a healthy environment for the children. EACH, thanks to your generous donations, was able to send the necessary funds to GHI to meet this need. The picture on the left represents the old toilets prior to replacement. As you can see, these new toilets will promote health and privacy for the children and will serve Good Hope for years to come.
In addition, EACH provided GHI for the following necessary items to ensure the successful running of the school:
- Extension and repair of classrooms due to overcrowding
The girls at Upendo will benefit greatly from our donation to begin the construction of their dormitory. The girls are sleeping two or more to a bed and are growing into mature young woman. The dormitory will allow the girls to remain healthy and thrive in their new environment. The Upendo Board of Directors is working to obtain donated materials from construction companies in Kenya to reduce the overall cost of the dorm. We are so excited to break ground at the site we will keep you updated with photos. In addition to the dormitory, EACH has also provided funding for teacher salaries to ensure that the Upendo children continue to receive a high quality education.
Thank you for your kindhearted gifts this year, you are changing the lives of our students at Good Hope and Upendo.
East Africa Children’s Hope held its 1st fundraiser since its incorporation and raised more than $13,000! These funds were split between the Good Hope Initiative and Upendo Children’s Home and School.
The Good Hope Initiative, led by Deo Kagimu, was able to purchase several items that will significantly increase the quality of life for the children in the Kisweera Village. Our greatest accomplishment to date at Good Hope is the purchase of two solar panels. Access to electricity allows the children to study in the evenings and Good Hope will no longer rely on very expensive kerosene. In addition to the solar panels, Good Hope purchased two water tanks to collect rainwater. These water tanks will allow the village to retain large amounts of water instead of walking long distances to fetch water for cooking and cleaning.
In 2012, your donations provided Good Hope with:
- Two water tanks
- Bulbs for a solar panel
- Two temporary classrooms
- Food for a whole year
- ½ year salary for 4 Good Hope teachers
- 50 desks
- Textbooks for the new classrooms
Your donations are making a significant impact on the lives of these kids. They are able to continue their schooling and with the construction of new classrooms and solar power look forward to the next school year.
A little bit goes a long way in Africa. At the Upendo School and Children’s Home, led by Founder, Eunice Kamotho, your donations funded annual salaries of several teachers and solar batteries. In addition, your donations were able to fund secondary school tuition and fees as well as restore the generator at Upendo.
All of us at East Africa Children’s Hope are extremely excited to continue to fund locally led revenue-generating projects promoting self-sustainability at both Good Hope and Upendo. Our generous donors and volunteers have made a great impact at both of our project sites and we couldn’t be more grateful for all of their support.
Several EACH board members were able to visit both Good Hope and Upendo. The progress made since 2006 was astounding and during this visit, the idea to formally create East Africa Children’s Hope was conceived. The fundraiser held soon after this visit was able to partially fund the construction of the second dormitory at Upendo. In addition, Good Hope was provided with notebooks, pencils, mosquito nets and clothing for over 100 children and families.
Our annual fundraiser was able to provide Upendo with its first income-generating project, in a giant step towards self-sustainability for the orphanage. Our donations funded the purchase of posho (grain) mill that allows Upendo to mill its own grain and also to mill grain for the local community. To date, this posho mill allows Upendo to earn an average of $3.50 per day by milling grain for the community while saving money by processing all grain for their needs on-site.
Melanie visited the Good Hope Initiative in Mubende Uganda for the first time. She met a little girl named Evelyn who was suffering from several medical complications from an intestinal deformity. Melanie was able to donate funds towards her medical care and to coordinate several surgeries – these funds and planning saved Evelyn’s life. That same year, we were able to donate funds that paid salaries for three teachers, a social worker, a janitor, two gardeners, two night guards and 2 home mothers at Upendo; in addition, we funded the completion of the grade 5 classroom for the Upendo children.
Our donation funded the purchase of textbooks for the schools as well as salaries for newly hired and existing teachers. In 2008, due to post election violence, Upendo lacked basic necessities such as food and supplies. Fortunately, we were able to send emergency funds to get the children through this difficult time. That same year, funds were sent to Upendo to build volunteer & staff housing, and purchase a water pump & tank, enabling self-sustaining water storage for the compound. This water set-up greatly decreased the previously labor intensive water retrieval from the well that was necessary several times each day.
Thank you to all of our generous donors and volunteers who have made all of this possible.