OUR JOURNEY

November 2017: Uplift program to provide business training and microfinance to HCU families is implemented by Project Director Harry Marshall and Kevin Okumu. Loans and trainings provide support and increase the sense of community surrounding HCU, while interest rates provide a new source of sustainable income.

October 2017: Construction begins! The first disbursement of money from Global Giving is made to Program Director Kevin Okumu, and work begins to level the land and prepare it for construction.

September 2017: After being accepted to online crowdfunding platform Global Giving, Hope Center Uganda passes the September Accelerator: a program requiring participants to raise $5,000 from 40 donors in two weeks, for a specific project. Our project, construction of our first Youth Center, was ranked #6 out of 286 participants. We surpassed expectations and raised $15,403 from 97 donors.

August 2017: New arts education program is launched: Starface Arts & Dance.

July 2017: Preliminary research into working in refugee resettlement camps begins with a menstrual hygiene training and sanitary pad distribution to 80 women in the Boroli settlement of Adjumani district.

May 2017: HCU’s first-ever interns travel to Gulu! They help develop and launch our Girl Power Gulu program to teach the importance of menstrual and reproductive health to the 47 girls enrolled in HCU. They fundraise enough to run the monthly education & distribution program until 2020 with their successful GoFundMe campaign.

June 2016: Ella and Jamie return to Gulu. They do field research for continuing the program, including interviews with parents and Kasubi Central Primary School Teachers.

HCU secures its own office space, Barclay’s Charity Bank Account, and invites local education philanthropist Eric Odong to join our board. Pilot program teacher Mirriam Orumu is hired full time as a teacher and Program Officer to continue pilot program for the next two years.

Jamie, Ella, Kevin, and Mirriam host a field day with the kids during their summer break, boosting morale and providing snacks and education.

January 2016: 6-month pilot program offering English classes starts in Gulu, using funds raised through GoFundMe. HCU begins renting two classrooms at Kasubi Central Primary School, where classes are held on Saturdays and Sundays for kids ages P1-2, 3-4, 6-7. This original pilot program targeted Sudanese refugee children in the area, in an attempt to get them caught up with their studies so they could enroll in school the coming August- however, many refugees were not participating so HCU began enrolling locals as well.

September 2015: GoFundMe campaign is launched and mentioned in The Daily Tar Heel (“Students’ Gofundme supports new Ugandan center”)

July 2015: Further research suggests a program offering vocational education would help fulfill the community’s need. Hope Center Uganda registers as a Ugandan NGO and purchases a 2-acre plot of land and its accompanying legal rights, in an area that is safe and accessible to nearby schools.

June 2015: Jamie and Ella travel to Gulu to intern for Women’s Global Empowerment Fund(WGEF) and Volunteer Action Network(VACNET). They notice that despite the high population and number of existing NGO’s in Gulu, there is a lack of programs addressing children’s education outside of often underfunded and overcrowded schools.