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LEAD Uganda View Charity Profile
L.E.A.D Uganda exists to give hope to kids who had no future, to heal their pain, and make their dreams come true.
“L.E.A.D Uganda is preparing morally upright, academically very strong, and responsible leaders for this country. One day you are going to prepare a President for this country.” —John Muyingo, Member of Parliament, educator & founder of top schools
How L.E.A.D Uganda Works
(1) We find children with the potential to become entrepreneurs and innovators. We identify smart children affected by AIDS, war, and poverty. We locate AIDS orphans, former child soldiers, child laborers, youth in refugee camps, street kids, and victims of abuse with the help of community leaders and teachers, and staff visits to the communities. Once identified, children and their guardians go through a rigorous selection process.
(2) We enroll our children at the best schools so they gain the skills to become leaders. We furnish them with everything they need to succeed: books, academic tutoring, clothing, medical care, leadership training, and discipline. We give our kids skills because we want them to grow into self-reliant adults who can compete with anyone in the world.
(3) We give our traumatized scholars a disciplined, loving family, a clan, because the clan is the glue of African society. Our children feel inadequate, depressed, and alienated because their families and clans have been decimated. We treat the children like we care for our own children, not as objects of charity. L.E.A.D Uganda’s clan gives them stability and a place to stand in the world.
(4) We heal their pain, so they can feel whole again. Healing their pain is crucial. Our children have been traumatized by war and AIDS. Healing can be a long process, especially for those youngsters affected by war. The Ugandan staff nurtures and counsels them. We foster close ties with their L.E.A.D Uganda brothers and sisters. The family culture we have created is a vital part of the healing process.
(5) We are their extended family. We mentor them like aunts and uncles. We base our intense, mentoring approach on a successful formula employed by Friends of the Children, a mentoring program in the United States that helps abused and neglected children by putting caring people from the community into their lives. Mentoring in an extended family context provides the children with discipline, builds their confidence, helps them set goals, and encourages them to blossom into leaders.
(6) Our students are stakeholders, not clients or victims. We call them student-members. They are part of a strong, vibrant clan with 100-plus siblings, and aunts and uncles on two continents.
“I remember asking the assembled students, ‘Raise your hand if you are an orphan.’ Every hand shot up. ‘I don’t see any orphans here.’ Puzzled faces looked back at me. ‘Look around you, are those your brothers and sisters’ ‘Yes’ they replied. ‘Do you see Mummy Monica? Is she your mom?’ ‘Yes,’ ‘If you have brothers and sisters, a mom and a dad, and uncles and aunts, then how can you be an orphan?’ This was met with broad smiles.” —Stephen Shames, L.E.A.D Uganda founder
(7) We keep them in the community, not in an orphanage, because we believe leaders must stay in touch with their tribes and communities. Every child in Africa has someone. We search out our student’s relatives. In some cases, it takes years to re-integrate them into their kinship group. Though they left as outcasts, they return as heroes.
(8) We transcend tribal and religious differences. Our children will be able to bring the nation together because we have successfully linked Christians and Moslems; and children from disparate tribes into a strong clan.
(9) We go the distance. We do whatever it takes to help our children succeed. We’ve built a culture of success. Our student-members are the backbone of our success. Our older students mentor their younger “siblings”. They have plans to take over L.E.A.D Uganda in the coming years. The community elders are already telling them they are the “hope of the village”.
(10) We imbue them with a strong work ethic and a desire to serve. We are the Marines. We teach our children to overcome all odds.
“When I see people suffering, I feel I should do something. I aspire to be a doctor. I want to fight AIDS that takes the life of many in my country.” —Sanyu Nakyeyune, L.E.A.D student / head of household at 10-years-old, looking after two younger siblings
The solutions to Africa’s problems exist in the hearts and minds of the continent’s neglected children. They can do the job if given the education and skills. But they can’t do it without your help.
LEAD Uganda Volunteer Information
There are many ways you can help. Some of them are outlined below:
LEAD Uganda plans to create a state-of-the-art computer learning center at a high school. The center will train and prepare individuals from all over East Africa, including LEAD Uganda’s scholars, in technology skills, which are essential for today’s competitive global job market.
The computer center will not only imbue our scholars with marketable 21 st century skills, but will produce income for Concern for the Future, the NGO (non-profit) that runs LEAD Uganda.
Please help us make this dream a reality. Are you in the computer industry? Do you want to help Africa join the digital age? Contact us.
download computer center PDF
Conduct a Workshop in Uganda
If you are a teacher or a professional videographer, photographer or web designer, you could conduct a one or two-week academic or art workshop for our students during their school breaks. We have held workshops in English, writing, science, math, video production, photography and web design.
Corporate Matching Programs
Many corporations have matched giving programs. Please contact your employer’s Human Resources office and ask if we meet the criteria. If we do, every donation you and your co-workers make is matched.
Donate equipment and supplies
We need lap top computers (Mac and PC), digital video and still cameras, and art supplies for our workshops.
We need a satellite dish to connect to the internet.
Our boys and girls (aged 8 to 20) need tee shirts, clothing, and shoes. Our students need books — novels — to read. Our children love to watch DVDs (movies). Moses and Wasswa during Errol Daniels’ photography workshop.
Our goal is to provide our university-bound students with marketable communication, computer and leadership skills.
A number of corporate and individual donors have helped make our workshops possible by contributing computers, dv video cameras, and digital still cameras.
Perhaps you or your company have an old computer, DV video camera, or digital still camera that you no longer use. Please consider donating it to us. Writing and art workshop in Pader IDP (refugee) camp conducted by our students. If you have something to donate, call or email Steve Shames.
Phone: 718.622.2650. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
We greatly appreciate the donations we have received from the following donors:
• Tekserve donated a new i-Book G4 and an iBook computer
• Apple gave us a new i-Mac computer with a 20 inch screen
• Thomas Robinson donated a Canon 10D professional camera
• Ben Schumaker of The Memory Project donated art supplies
• Dan Cohen & Sons contributed a Toshiba laptop computer
• Photo Habitat donated a Nikon Cool Scan digital camera
• Philip Reeser gave a Nikon Cool Scan digital camera
• K&M – Tribeca donated a digital camera
• Foto Care donated a Kyotera digital camera
• Hayes Greenfield donated a G4 computer
Church and School Partnerships
We have partnerships with a number of churches. Elementary, middle and high schools, students have raised money for our students.
Ask your school or university; your church, synagogue, or mosque; or your colleagues at work to sponsor a child. You will receive a photograph and biography of the student you sponsor, as well as, letters from them and frequent updates on their progress.
We will provide educational materials about children in Africa and set up a pen-pal exchange for schools who sponsor students. This is a good way to educate students about the issues, reinforce the value of education, while empowering them and helping them realize they can contribute to the world. Students at the Haverford School near Philadelphia sponsor Ocen Dennis