July 12, 2012
Poverty, AIDS, and political instability run rampant in Uganda, a country located in eastern Africa between Kenya and Rwanda. However, on the eastern border of Uganda, a community of Jews-by-choice continues to grow and strengthen. Facing the same hardships as other communities in the region, the Abayudaya (“Jews” in the local Luganda language) are developing economically and Jewishly with help from people around the world. Kulanu, Inc was among their first friends, having “found” the Abayudaya community in 1994. One of our proudest achievements in this 17-year partnership is the establishment of an elementary and high school where young Jews can gain an education without being forced to convert to Christianity or suffer hostile anti-Semitism. Although both schools are run by the Abayudaya Jewish community and supported by Kulanu, the students are a mix of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children, who study and play together in peace – not something you see very often in this part of Africa.
A crucial aspect of the two schools is the nutrition program started by Kulanu several years ago, with generous challenge grants from the Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation. This program provides two meals every school day to the 800 students enrolled at the elementary and high schools. Before this program began, students would often come to school hungry, leave campus and walk long distances in search of food at lunchtime, and usually return home at the end of the day with empty bellies. Thanks to the nutrition program, teachers and school administrators have reported an increase in attentiveness and student performance, and a decrease in tardiness and absenteeism. Children are better able to focus in class, and their impoverished families have one less thing to worry about.
Now, however, as enrollment increases as more families learn about the excellent education the schools provide, the nutrition program is at a serious juncture. It costs $40,000 to feed all 800 students for a year, a continual challenge for Kulanu. We need $5,000 before September 1st to feed the students for the rest of this semester. Won’t you please help by contributing, and passing this appeal on to your friends and colleagues? Any amount will be so much appreciated!
To contribute to the Abayudaya school nutrition program, please click here to donate online, or mail a check payable to Kulanu in US dollars to 165 West End Ave, 3R, New York, NY 10023 – write “Uganda nutrition” in the memo field of your check. Then pass this appeal on to your networks via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, or even the phone!
Thank you so much!
We at Kulanu rely on the dedication of our wonderful donors and volunteers. If you have donated recently, thanks so much! Your involvement, and the support of your friends, family, and other networks, have a powerful impact on these hungry African children.
Inspired to do more than just make a donation? Click here for our fundraising tips and find out how you can serve the Abayudaya community as an activist!
Thank you for your participation and your support!
Harriet Bograd, President