Albany, NY, January 07, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- The non-profit Engeye Health Clinic organization has announced the establishment of the Engeye Scholars program. The mission of the Engeye Scholars program is to support the educational initiative of the Engeye Health Clinic located in Ddegeya Village, Uganda. The principal objective of the program is to help meet the educational needs of children living in and around the village to positively impact their lives and enable them to seek an adequate education on their own.
Engeye Scholars was born through the work of Theresa Weinman and Elaine Pers Hickey and a website created by 14-year-old Brian Hickey. The idea for the program was inspired by the courage and strength of Susan Nabukenya, one of the first patients treated at the Engeye Health Clinic in 2007. Four years ago, Susan was burned from her chest to her toes when she stepped too close to a cooking fire and her kerosene-stained dress ignited. She had lived with burn contractures and open wounds since the fire and sought help at the Engeye Health Clinic for her wounds. Frustrated that they did not have the equipment or capacity to help this 14-year-old girl, the Engeye Health Clinic applied to Boston Shriner’s Hospital to see if they would be willing to provide pro-bono treatment for Susan. The request was granted for the summer of 2008 and Susan successfully received life-saving plastic surgery. With renewed confidence and hope for a brighter future, Susan was excited to begin her new life. Unfortunately, however, since she had been living with debilitating scars for 4 years, she was forced to drop out of school and was now terribly behind. It seemed that the odds were against Susan: She had no money, was behind her educational grade level, and did not know how to access the education she desperately wanted. She had lost all hope.
Through Engeye and its supporters, Susan not only received life saving treatment, but also enrolled in school for the first time in four years upon her return to Uganda. Theresa Weinman and Elaine Pers Hickey and other friends and supporters she met during her stay in the United States, have committed to paying for Susan’s primary school education costs in Uganda. This education will provide Susan with additional hope for the future. The costs of education in Uganda are minimal compared to the costs of education in the United States. For less than $1,000.00 per year in Uganda, Susan is enrolled in a good school and has the funds available to pay for her supplies and related expenses.
From Susan’s experience grew a desire to help other children in Ddegeya Village receive hope through education. Upon meeting Susan and John Kalule, the Engeye Clinic co-founder who accompanied her on her journey to the United States, many of their new United States friends and supporters wanted to give other children in the village the gift of education. With the help of generous donors, Engeye Scholars is organizing the sponsorship of children from Ddegeya Village and surrounding villages - children who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend school. Most scholarships are dedicated to those who have been orphaned and are in need of assistance. The first primary school Engeye scholarship recipients include: Flavia Najjemba, Immaculate Nabuma, Susan Nabukenya, Bena Nabukera and Jeffrey Kalule. Jeffrey Kalule is the son of John Kalule, the Engeye Health Clinic manager and co-founder. Special thanks to the generous donations of people dedicated to helping children a world away. Through their vision and promise, the dreams of these children will become a reality – an Engeye Scholar will be born.
Current Engeye Scholars and their generous donors at the graduate level of education are:
· Ronnie Matovu and Dr. Joe Murley
Dr. Joe Murley, one of the doctors who originally opened the doors at the Engeye Health Clinic in 2007, is sponsoring Ronnie Matovu. Ronnie is working toward his Bachelor in Guidance and Counseling degree, a three-year program. Ronnie began in November of 2007 and is taking courses in psychology, human growth and development, counseling theories, communication skills, and computer study. Ronnie plans to become a mental health counselor.
· Hudson Nsubuga and Anny Su
Anny Su, one of Engeye's most generous and reliable partners and also a member of the Engeye board of directors, is sending Hudson to graduate school. Hudson will begin his advanced training degree, also in Guidance and Counseling, at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. This graduate certificate will not only allow Hudson to enter the field of psychology and enable him to work with troubled youth, one of his long-time dreams, but will also provide him the tools necessary to co-found a mental health center, adjacent to the Engeye Clinic.
Rather than an endless stream of aid, many believe education is the key to lifting Africa out of poverty. Stephanie Van Dyke, Engeye co-founder, asserts, “On our visits to Ddegeya Village in Uganda, we have been struck by the value the villagers place in their schooling. It is a Ugandan's greatest hope to be able to attend not only primary school, but also secondary school and higher education programs. We admire these scholastic goals and hope to help empower Ugandans so they can create their own lasting changes and solutions. Through the support of generous donors, we have begun to sponsor students at all levels of education.”
There are many more children of Ddegeya who can receive promise and hope through education. Donors can make a difference and provide an educational opportunity for a child for less than $4.00 per week ($200 per year). To learn more about the program and how to become an Engeye scholarship donor, please visit: www.engeyescholars.com/index.html
About the Engeye Health Clinic
The Engeye Health Clinic is located in Ddegeya Village in southern Uganda. The entire clinic and two volunteer houses were constructed during the summer of 2006 at an estimated cost of $50,000 by the Engeye Health Clinic’s co-founder, Stephanie Van Dyke, her parents, Gary Arnold, who led the construction efforts, several other volunteers and at least 50 villagers. John Kalule, a native Ugandan, co-founded the Engeye Health Clinic, and manages the daily operations of the Clinic. The word Engeye means "white monkey" in Luganda, an official language of the country, and is John’s family clan name. Stephanie, Misty Richards and Anny Su comprise the active board of directors for the 501(c) (3) tax deductible, nonprofit organization.
The Engeye Mission Statement:
To improve living conditions and reduce unnecessary suffering in rural Africa through education and compassionate health care. Implicit to every project is the understanding that it will ultimately be sustainable with little or no outside assistance, and that it will be accomplished free of the imposition of any foreign social, political or spiritual values.