I’m meandering off the usual photography blog entry today to tell you about the Bunabumali Organization, in Uganda. This organization runs an orphanage and school, out in the outskirts, in a small village in Uganda. This organization is run by one of my Facebook friends, Emmanuel Norman Nakhokho.
According to the resource, The World Factbook, here are some statistics about literacy in Uganda, just to give a basic understanding of the education level for children age 15 and over:
* Age 15 and over that can read and write:
total population: 66.8%
female: 57.7% (2002 census)
* School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 10 years (2004)
* Education expenditures:
Comparison to the rest of the world
5.2% of GDP (2004)
Although this information may be a little dated (2002 and 2004 data), it is still a pretty decent indicator of what’s going on in the country. What these numbers say is that as a country, just over half of the population above age 15 can read and write. The percentage of females who can read and write is staggeringly low, at 57.7%.
I think what the Bunabumali Organization intends to do is to change these real life statistics by raising the literacy rates for children in their area. And that in turn, raises self confidence, independence and self worth. It is a beautiful thing to help a child, any child, to see their potential in the present and in the future.
Every effort starts in small steps, and this is a good way of doing it, in Bunabumali. And, they are making progress, not only with the school, but also in their community by supplying fresh water with a water purifying device.
The contact information for the organization is:
Emmanuel Norman Nakhokho
Good Samaritan Orphan & Needy School
Bunabumali, Buwali, Bubiita, Manjiya
P O Box 36021 Kampala
Tel: +256711465135 or +256753465135
Emmanuel has been actively involved in this organization for quite some time, and if you have questions about the activities of Bunabumali Organization, what they need, how to help, what to donate, or spread the word, then you can go to their website at:
At the moment, they are needing a lot of supplies, including:
Pairs of Scissors
Books for reading
Children play toys
Text books having pictures for children
Office and classroom wall clocks
Anti bacterial chemicals for cleaning the toilets and urinals
Toilets/pit latrines papers
Power installation cables
Medical care /first aid box
Cleaning materials like disinfectants
Games and sports items;
Running shoes (athletics)
Pain relievers like deep-heat,
Black board rulers
Toy watches for children (plastic)
School bags for children
Personal care kits
Energy saver bulbs
Solar lamps & bulbs
Some Photos from the Village: (photos used with permission from Bunabumali Org.)
OK, I’ll end the photos with this one, the schoolhouse. Now, think back to your primary, junior high and senior high school days, and the building that was your school. Compare that image in your mind, to this image of the school in Bunabumali. 1st) At this point, fill your heart with gratitude for your life and the school building that you had. 2nd) Start thinking about how you may help the kids in Bunabumali. Or for that fact, just fill in the blank, “How can you help the kids in ?” Maybe you have another village somewhere else that you want to help. That is OK too. Taking some action is what is important.
If you have any “school connections” – perhaps your school would like to run a donation drive. Even if each child and each teacher were to donate a few pencils, erasers, paper pads, drawing blocks, bandages, vitamins, etc, that would add up to a lot of supplies to be donated.
If the school is unable to pay for transport of the supplies, then maybe you can approach DHL, FED-EX, or UPS, and convince them that transporting these supplies for free would be good use of their SOCIAL RESPONSIBLITY and ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITY Programs, for which they should have a budget. Just an idea!
My main concern is that children from ANYWHERE, need to have HOPE for a BRIGHTER FUTURE – and you can help the kids down the block, or halfway around the world. Children need confidence and security and a sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves. Love and Security are very vital parts of a child’s life, so please think about how you can help!
Now, it wasn’t so long ago (OK, 19 years ago) that I was a graduate student in the Community & Regional Planning Department at UNL, and part of my focus was Planning for People of Special Populations.
So, I asked myself, “How can I help by using that knowledge?” Well, I can give some suggestions and ideas based on what I learned before:
1) The Bunabumali area is tropical, hot and humid. There are some natural resources at hand, and there is potential. I believe the main export of the country is coffee. The people can be trained, learn new skills and cottage industries in their area are possible. The country is land-locked, but that’s not to say that some aquatic farming is not possible.
2) I’m not thoroughly aware of funding for special projects; however, I can throw out some ideas for ANYONE to ponder who may be more attune to special grants from the UN, or World Bank, or for that matter, from private foundations. Of course, all of these suggestions would need A LOT OF RESEARCH to see if they are viable. Nevertheless, I’m just brain storming here with the following ideas:
- Shrimp & Fish Farming in man-made ponds. Product can be possibly sold locally, or exported. Other products are possible from the production of shrimp and fish, as seen here in Malaysia, with what is called Fish and Shrimp Chips (basically deep fried chips, and this product is also possible with the use of vegetables). These can be produced, packaged and sold.
- Hydroponic Farming of vegetables.
- Mushroom Farming.
- Ground nuts.
- Soy Beans.
- Star Fruit.
There are any number of ideas that can be cooked up, and probably a lot more from someone more familiar with the region, environment, ecosystem, and culture.
Well, as I said, I’m just throwing out some ideas. I hope that anyone out there in the blogosphere can pick up on something I said and go further with it.
Take care, and I’ll be back soon with Photography content!
Have a great day.
** Just a note: I’m not associated with this organization: I just think that sharing some information with my readers is something that I can do to help. And, helping children is always a good cause! **