Ebenezer! Look how far we have come! In 2012 when our organisation was a mere side project, all that we have achieved together was just but a dream. We were spending long evenings talking about a world we could create. We were thinking about how we could publish books – good inspirational stories and get them to every child, we were thinking about how we could engage parents to build a strong foundation for the children, we were also thinking about how to prepare the 50% of Uganda’s population below 15 to be the change they want to see. We asked ourselves what we could do for our country, before asking our country what it will do for us. These all seemed like dreams that could easily be dismissed!
Towards the tail end of 2012, we overcame the fear of losing our ideas, and we documented it, wrote it into a concept and started to interest people, first off was a team of friends that would become volunteers. We asked them about the kind of country they would want to have in 2062, and challenged them to dedicate their STEM (Skills, Time, Effort and Money) as Peter Mugogo used to say, to make this fledging project survive. The team gave their very best and in October 2013, we managed our very first Spelling Bee. To say the least, the excitement from the schools shocked us. We had never run or seen a Spelling Bee, and here we had transferred an idea from our heads to real life and others liked it very much.
In 2014, we started to fundraise for this, and to turn it into a real organisation, by registering it, and opening a bank account. Your help and support has enabled us to reach 1,500 schools around Uganda, impacting 1.5 million kids before COVID19 hit. It also gave us the opportunity to gain significant insights into Uganda’s education system. In 2016, with your help, we launched a teacher training program, built on the back of seeing how teachers in service and pre-service seemed unprepared to teach the nation. In 2018, we started to publish and launched a campaign to get books to children who needed them most. We launched the book giving campaign around DEAR Day and you, our community and supporters came together and donated money for books that were taken to Kaabong. This has since turned into an annual fundraiser and during this pandemic, we actually started to reach a different community every two weeks, to encourage children to read.
Along the way, thanks to your help, we have been able to give out over 300,000 books to children in different communities around Uganda, helping each of them to own a book. The Spelling Bee continues to spark excitement and to unlock the imagination of many children, spurring them to become the best they can ever be. 90% of the children who participate in our programs go one to complete primary school and join secondary school, and those who become Champions join a mentorship and peer growth club that supports them to become the kind of leaders we have been waiting for.
Your giving, has in many ways over the last 9 years shone a bright light in many children’s lives and helped us to spread love.