Albany, NY, December 15, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- The Engeye Teen Connection Board Members recently led a fundraising effort to help purchase textbooks and school supplies for children in rural Uganda. The program was inspired by 16 year old Sara Weinman’s visit to Ddegeya village in February. While in Ddegeya Village, Sara had the opportunity to assist with teaching responsibilities at a local village school, St. Gertrude's Primary School. At one point, Sara was called upon to step in and teach an English class at St. Gertrude's when the teacher was called away. Sara was struck by how the teachers and students at these schools are able to accomplish so much without even the basic resources such as books, text books and chalk.
Sara had the opportunity to spend time with all of the Engeye Scholars and meet with administrators and teachers at each school. Her experience at Sydney Paul, reminded her again of how much is done for the students without the benefit of basic textbooks. Sara realized how much more could be done at this school if the teachers and students, simply had access to a complete set of textbooks. To learn more about Sara's trip, please go to: http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=705419.
To respond to the incredible need, ETC board members Sara Weinman, Brian Hickey and Greg Hickey launched a fundraising effort to provide textbooks for the students at these rural schools. 100% of the donations received support educational initiatives and the purchase of textbooks and school supplies for these students. The teens set a goal of $10,000 and they were able to reach that goal in a few short months, through small events and a large scale online campaign which Brian expanded through a running website that he had created for his high school. To find out more, please visit: http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=726820&cat=15.
In July, Brian traveled to Uganda to meet with rural school administrators, and deliver hundreds of new textbooks purchased in Uganda to the rural schools. Brian's blog of his experience is still available on the Engeye Scholars website (engeyescholars.org). Through his blog he was able to share his experience with donors, family members, friends and classmates. The school and educational improvements continue and a community day is planned at St. Gertrude's school in January where community members and parents will come together to repair, update and paint their school with resources provided through ETC’s efforts.
Education is the key to the future for students of all ages. Bright children in and around Ddegeya with great promise lack the basic school supplies and textbooks to help them learn and succeed. ETC has launched a new program “ETC Bucks for Books” through which ETC members are working to purchase textbooks and other school supplies for neighboring schools in Uganda. The teachers at these schools are trying to educate children without textbooks and the most basic supplies. A donation of $50.00 can buy 4 classroom text books. 100% of the donations to this program will be used to purchase text books and school supplies. For more information, please visit: www.etcbucksforbooks.org.
ETC continues to work on several projects and programs with the Engeye Scholars Program, school administrators and the villagers of Ddegeya to continue their mission to make a difference in the lives of children and families in rural Uganda. The continued projects include, website initiatives, classroom sponsorship programs, facebook updates, pen pal arrangements between students in the US and rural Uganda, presentations at local schools in the US, and fundraising events. Next summer, ETC Board member Greg Hickey plans on traveling to Uganda for the first time and Board member Sara Weinman is making plans to return for a second time. These teens are committed to continue the work they have started.
About the Engeye Health Clinic and Engeye Scholars
Engeye, a U.S. and Ugandan NGO based in Uganda, was created in 2006 by a dedicated group of medical students to address the disparity in basic health, education and environmental needs of rural Ugandan villagers. Since its inception, the Engeye team has grown to include lawyers, architects, physicians, public health enthusiasts, engineers and more. The Engeye Health Clinic provides care for a region in Uganda that is voiceless, despite its substantial need, and that otherwise would not have access to healthcare. Dr. Stephanie Van Dyke, Dr. Carlos Elguero, Stephen Po-Chedley, Misty Richards, James Walker, Keith DesRochers and John Leisure make up the Board of Directors. The Engeye Scholars program was born to assist the schools in Ddegeya Village. Education is highly valued in Uganda and many experts believe education is the key to raising poor countries out of poverty. Through scholarships, the children of Ddegeya Village have the opportunity to attend boarding school, which delays child bearing, empowers women and provides newfound hope for a child to fulfill his or her dreams. Elaine Pers Hickey and Theresa Weinman are Co-directors of the program.