"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Thursday, March 01, 2007

change the truth update

The information that is available concerning USE (Universal Secondary Education) in Uganda has been somewhat confusing. I asked Rosemary, director of St. Mary Kevin’s to clarify what is going on. I received this response from her:

“We’re all exited about USE but we don’t know yet if we shall have it. Also, this started with Senior One this year and will be continuing with those children to Senior Four. That means children who are in Senior Two now are also still paying. This Universal Secondary Education has just been introduced to Uganda and it has not worked out yet to some areas in Uganda so our children are still paying who are in secondary.

About the young children in primary, these children are meant to pay money to the school such that the school can run its needs, for example teacher’s payments and other school needs. As you know we have St Mary Kevin Orphanage and St Mary Kevin Primary School.
St. Mary Kevin Primary school makes a fees subsidy to the orphans. Tuition fees for the orphans are subsidized at 50% level costing Ush 20,000 (US $10) tuition fee per child per term, with three terms a year. We normally try to look for that money through the small projects like the beads making, weaving, brick making where those Items are sold to generate income for the orphanage.

Thank you Gloria and Change the Truth for your advocacy in United States concerning the needy children in Uganda. You are making the St. Mary Kevin Community very happy at the possibility of finding these, your children, a better life.”

I would also like to acknowledge the incredibly generous and talented people who are working hard to Change the Truth. These folks have been kind enough to do work for the organization without expecting any payment. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate their efforts:

Brian Reisinger (Brooklyn) has a design firm called Swandive. He is doing all of the design work for the brochure and the website.

Take 2 Productions (Kansas City) is offering up the skills of the wonderful Cara Meyers to put together the video presentation.

David Andre and Joan Herman (Kansas City) are lawyers - and good friends of mine - who are busy working on trademark issues and not-for-profit status.

Jayne Olderman (Atlanta) is a singer-songwriter who helped out with the production of the CD featuring the kids from St. Mary Kevin’s singing "A Child of Africa."

Susan Panelli (Minneapolis) is a filmmaker who recently went to Uganda and shot lots of great footage at St. Mary Kevin’s. We’ll be able to use this in the video presentation, as well as on the website.

Lynn Auerbach (Boston and Uganda) operates a non-for-profit called “Connect Africa.” She has been very helpful in getting funds from Change the Truth transferred to St. Mary Kevin’s.

This is definitely a group effort. Thank you so much to all who are assisting with this project, whether it is with your talent and time or with your dollars. It means the world to the kids at St. Mary Kevin’s.

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