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It was in 2008 that I first met Bruno.
Our paths crossed in Kabale, Uganda. I was on a journey to visit the mountain gorillas of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Bruno was a passionate local tour guide down on his luck.
Bruno talked about his great ambitions and I felt even back then, that he was a special guy who could do great things if given the opportunity. We kept in touch over the years via Facebook and the occasional phone call and I promised that one day I'd return to Uganda to meet him again.
In 2015 I was following Bruno's progress on Facebook and his attempts to introduce primary education to the small poverty stricken village of Kafunjo in Ibanda Province in Uganda. Bruno had recently moved to the region and felt compelled to act after witnessing a dire lack of opportunties available to the villages poorest children, many of whom were orphans. Bruno was testiment to the opportunities education can provide as he had been fortunate enough to find support through a benefactor when he was a boy, allowing him to attend school and recieve a good education.
Bruno took it on himself to begin teaching some of the children, firstly in the shade of a tree then later in the village church. Following a gift from Anne Shaw, a citizen of The United States, he was able to purchase a small plot of land adjacent to the church where he hoped one day to construct the St Anne Mary's Nursery, to be named in her honour.
Bruno contacted me and asked if I would be willing to assist with fund raising to build the school by setting up a GoFundMe page and using Facebook as a means of encouraging support to purchase the necessary building materials. I set up the page and soon we were accepting online donations from people around the world.
Bruno kept his supporters up to date with the progress of the build, uploading photos as the new school took shape and soon, within a couple months and costing just over £2000, the new school was built.
In January 2016 I decided to visit Kafunjo to see firsthand what progress had been made and to reconnect with Bruno who I hadn't seen for almost a decade.
When I arrived I was blown away by what had been achieved in just a few short months thanks to the generosity of our friends on Facebook. In addition to the school, a new kitchen facility was built to provide one nutritious meal for each child every day. Additional funds were used to purchase mosquito nets, water filters and medication for the children plus a plethora of learning materials covering Mathematics, Science , English and Social Studies to ensure all subjects on the national curriculum would be covered.
The most striking realisation for me during my visit was to witness the untapped potential of the children. I could see amongst the "Kafunjo Kids" there were natural leaders, performers, engineers, doctors, teachers and environmentalists plus a host of other talents locked inside these little minds. Education was the key to releasing this potential.
If you would like to make a donation towards The Kafunjo Community Project please click on the button below to visit our GoFundme page.
You can impact the lives of numerous children and adults by volunteering to teach at The Kafunjo Community Project. You don’t have to be a teacher on our teaching projects. There is no need to have a TEFL or TESOL qualification to gain international teaching experience. The teaching program is open to all volunteers whether you are on a gap year, at university or wanting a career break.
Please get in touch for further details.
Come and visit us
The doors are always open for our supporters to come and visit us at Kafunjo. Why not combine your trip with a safari around Uganda where you can take in some of the continents most spectacular wildlife including the mountain gorillas of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the Eastern Chimpanzees of Kibale National Park or the "Big 5" in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Bruno is also a qualified tour guide so can arrange a tour that is right for you.
Send learning materials
St. Ann Mary Nursery School
Po Box 190
All packages can be sent to the following address by DHL or another international courier service. We will update you with photographs of your gifts when they are recieved.
The Richard Lander School in Cornwall, England organises the annual Ugandan Exchange Visit where over 20 students visit Uganda, taste the African way of live and spend quality time with students from our sister schools. In 2016 they visited The Kafunjo Community Project for the first time and donated much needed resources for the school.