Book Sale Success

DSC_0042This spring, The Mwebaza Foundation’s 6th Annual Book Sale Fundraiser was a huge success! This year, Niwot Elementary and Eagle Crest Elementary held separate book sales. This allowed each school to send all funds it raised directly to its own individual partner school.
The funds raised at Niwot Elementary are allocated for the construction of a new secondary/middle school in the nearby town of Nkungulutale. This new school will accommodate students who graduate from Mwebaza Primary School and middle school students from the village of Nkungulutale.
The funds raised at Eagle Crest Elementary will assist in the development of a sustainable lunch program at their partner school, Empakasi Primary School in Kenya.
Altogether, the funds raised from the sale of second-hand books, framed batiks, and beautiful African beaded jewelry amounted to an astounding $4,900. The Mwebaza Foundation sincerely thanks all the volunteers and participants of this year’s book sales.

Eagle Crest Elementary’s New Partner School

DSC_0030Eagle Crest has definitely made a difference, and now we’re looking forward to a new adventure, new friends, and helping in new ways.

Over the past couple of years, we have raised over $5,000 to help Mapampi School children in Zambia. We assisted in getting them tables, chairs, locks, school supplies, sports jerseys, toys, sports equipment, and even helped with building a house to successfully attract a qualified teacher! But, because of Mapampi’s remote location, communication has been difficult.

Empakasi Primary School is located in the Nairobi National Park in Kenya.  We are looking forward to meeting our new friends through pen pal letters!  There are 350 children and 9 teachers there. They all speak Swahili. Most students are a part of the Masai Tribe, and some may not have a permanent home. They move from place to place, raise cattle and goats, and make lots of jewelry.

Students and staff at Empakasi Primary School face many challenges. They do not have a lunch program. There is poor security. They have no running water or electricity. Transportation is difficult there. Every day, some students have to walk over 3 miles to get to school. On their way they might even see a wild animal and have to turn back!

Eagle Crest students have spoken up about how they’d like to help!  We would like to assist with getting a self-sustaining lunch program started. Students believe gardens or an egg-layer program would be very helpful to the community there. It will take a lot of planning, however, because we don’t want to attract wild animals to the school!

We are very much looking forward to building our new relationship with Empakasi Primary School students and teachers. Our hope is to someday Skype with students there, or even invite a teacher there to visit our school here in Colorado!

Welcome, Ms. Namatovu Catherine!

After a long couple of years and two previous, frustrating attempts, Ms. Namatovu Catherine, the headmistress of Mwebaza School, will set foot in the U.S. for the very first time!  On Monday, December 5th, she will arrive in Denver for a lengthy 3 ½ week stay in Colorado.   After years of anticipation, so many teachers, staff members, students, and parents are eagerly waiting her arrival.

Several key components allowed us to finally secure a travel visa for Ms. Namatovu.  These include Mwebaza Foundation President Dale Peterson’s recent award from People to People International, Congressman Jared Polis’ staff working to convince the U.S. embassy in Uganda of Ms. Namatovu’s integrity, and the help of a generous immigration lawyer from Boulder (Megan Hall, Green & Gardner Law Firm).  Ms. Hall assisted Ms. Namatovu in assembling a portfolio showing her strong ties to her home country.  Of course, much credit can be attributed to Ms. Namatovu’s hard work, persistence, and faith.

During her stay in Colorado, Ms. Namatovu has a busy and exciting agenda planned.  After a short time to recuperate from traveling, she will be visiting and observing classrooms at Niwot Elementary, as well as giving classroom presentations to Niwot students about Mwebaza School and Ugandan culture.  Then, on December 15th, there will be a culminating, all-school, “All-American” celebration in honor of the cross-cultural friendship between Niwot and Mwebaza schools.  In addition to spending time at Niwot Elementary, Ms. Namatovu will be visiting Coyote Ridge, Lyons, and Eagle Crest Elementary Schools, where she will deliver more classroom presentations.

Sprinkled amongst her work at schools, Ms. Namatovu will be enjoying a myriad of social events, including holiday gatherings, sight-seeing, dinners out, and even spending the holiday in Durango and Colorado Springs with the Peterson family.  New experiences such as sledding, a Narrow Gauge Train ride, and a visit to Garden of the Gods and Seven Falls will culminate her travels.

It is with gratitude and warmth that we welcome Ms. Namatovu to Colorado!

Letter to the Niwot Community

The relationship between Niwot Elementary and its sister school, Mwebaza Infant Primary School in Uganda, continues to grow!  Niwot students received letters from their Ugandan pen pals just before the end of the school year last May.  [Read more…]