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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kisoboka - Christmas Party

The Joy of the Christmas Season celebrated in the Village of Bakka  Friday December 18th.
350 Children and 50 Adults attended a church service where they heard about the birth of their Lord and Savior.
There were many speakers at this service and I was  happy to be one of them.
I called in and told them all how much Our Father in Heaven loves everyone of them, so deeply he sent his son to earth in the most humble of circumstances to be our living example.  (I talked for 20 minutes but that was the major point of my message)

The celebration would not have been possible without all the hard work and support.  It takes a Village!

Hope, Paddy and Esther  Bulungi did an amazing job coordinating the party.
They found a place to host it,arranged the speakers, prepared the program, arranged for tents, chairs, and dishes and much more.
Trinity Covenant Church provided the  funds for the meal.
Several  moms helped prepare and serve the, meal in very crude conditions.
An anonymous couple  who gave so generously for bikes for the top performers. 13 bikes were given out!
Many people donated to the party which included - sweeties, face painting, games and random gifts of balls, balloons and more.
Our High School Students came to help with the games and festivity.
The Christmas Party started at 10:00 in the morning and ended at 7:00 in the evening. It was a very good day!
Thank you to everyone that helped make it happen!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Praising God for the supporters of Kisoboka!

Many people giving a small amount making a difference!
Kisoboka has support in 14 states and 4 countries.  In 6 years together  we  have accomplished
  1. Building  a school
  2. Purchased land
  3.  Provided a water tank
  4. Provided education for 400+ students
  5. Provide a meal  for 358 students every school day.
  6. Paid teachers salaries
  7. Paid cooks
  8. Provided health care for 212 families.  
  9. Mosquito nets for every child
  10. Shoes for every child
  11. Uniforms for 200 children
  12. Provided 192 families with a gift of a hog
  13. Provided dental care for 358 students
  14. Opened 5 businesses in the village of Bakka
  15. Funded two bore holes
  16. Provide students with 3 field trips including the zoo, air port, Lake Victoria, 3 businesses and 3 museums.
  17. 22 students high school education is being provided for
  18. 2 trade school mechanics
  19. 8 families are being provided monthly food.
  20. Rents being paid for families
  21. Major health care being provided for children suffering from Spinal TB,  Epilepsy,  cerebral palsy,  sever malnutrition  requiring a 4 week hospital stay and  several parents and student suffering from HIV  
This year together we have raised $84,000.00.   My goal is to hit the $100,000 mark by the end of 2014!  The funds will be used to lovingly and gently lift families out of extreme poverty in 2015!
KISOBOKA- It is Possible!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Imagine living in a village where the average level of education is 4th grade.
Imagine living in a village where the average age is 15
Imagine living in a village that does not have running water. 
Imagine living in a mud hut
Imagine sleeping on rags on a dirt floor.
Imagine everything you eat is what you can grow
Imagine walking for hours to carry 5 gallons of water on your head. 
Imagine The food you are growing withers and dies, because the water you carry needs to be used for everything to drink, cook, wash  your self your clothes and your dishes.
Imagine peanut butter sandwich being something you have only dreamed of having one day.
Imagine being so hungry you eat dirt to fill your stomach.
Imagine looking into the face of a starving child and doing nothing.
Imagine looking into the face of a starving child and sponsoring them.
Imagine your  sponsored child's graduation from primary school
Imagine your sponsored child's graduation from Senior High
Imagine your sponsored child changing the village!
KISOBOKA- It is Possible

Please consider sponsoring a child. So we can gently and lovingly lift them from a life of extreme poverty!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bakka Christmas Celebration

I am filled with so much Christmas JOY!
 I have not shopped for my family yet,  my house is not decorated for Christmas yet.  So by the US standards I have not prepared properly for the event that is only 10 days away.

My JOY is for the children in Bakka,  While their  Christmas will not have trees, wreaths bells, bows, ribbon, cards or  even chocolate. We are preparing for a crowd of 400 people coming  to enjoy a humble celebration or our Lord's Birth.  The families are preparing too.  They will all wear the best clothes they have. For many sponsored children it will be the gift of clothes provided by their sponsor from our last visit.  They would have saved it for this very special day.

It will be a service reflecting on the birth of Our Lord and Savior,  Singing songs  and dancing in celebration.   Followed by a meager meal of meat, rice and beans, every person will have 1 bite of cake and an orange soda.  Some children will save their soda to share with someone at home. 

Children will enjoy face painting, and small gifts will be provided.  The top performers will receive bikes.  Some sponsors sent money to get a gift for their child.  Some Children will receive blankets, mattresses and cars and dolls.  

 I am praying that every child and every family will be abundantly blessed at this celebration. May they all be filled with HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE during the Christmas Season.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2014 Highlights!

God has been so faithful in providing so many blessings in 2014 we can’t fit them all in one newsletter! 
We have a new name: KISOBOKA – It is Possible!!  And we have expanded the work we do into the community of Bakka.

An Introductory Note
You may notice the omission of Pr. Frank Mukiliza’s name from this newsletter.  That is because we have severed our relationship with Pr. Frank, for the work of both Kisoboka and Hearts and Hands.  The foundation of any successful ministry partnership is trust and a shared vision.  After much thought, prayer, and discussion, we came to the conclusion that we did not have the trust or shared vision necessary to move forward with Pr. Frank.  We are, however, completely confident in Hope Kalibbala, Paddy Patrice Walakira, and Steven Kakayira.  Together, we will press on with the vision and be a stronger, more effective ministry.  Please rest assured that all funds contributed have been – and will continue to be – used for their intended purpose.

Fresh Clean Water!
A very generous donation provided for two bore holes in the village of Bakka. One is at the school in Bakka Parish and the second is in Bumera Parish at the furthest point in the village.  The bore hole in Bumera is deep in the bush, so we had to walk to get to it.  This gift is helping so many people.  During the dry season people living in Bumera had to walk for 3 hours to get water, and children were suffering from severe dehydration.  Now they have fresh, clean water nearby! 

Community Businesses
We started our community project by asking parents and guardians of sponsored children, “What do you do well?   How can we help you do it better?”  With the support of Zonta International-West Suburban Boston, we have been able to provide 3 business opportunities to women in Bakka.

Noel is a single mother providing for her family (her son Farouq who suffered from Spinal TB and his 2 brothers) as a subsistence farmer.  In 2011 Noel had no means of obtaining income and had given up hope.   This year we supported her in opening a fish stand, and now she is making $3.00 a day.   In Uganda most people live on less than $1.00 a day.

Justine is a single mother of 3 children whose husband died a few years ago from AIDS.   Both Justine and her young daughter, Promise, are HIV-positive.  Promise has been sickly and Justine has been too weak to do subsistence farming.   Justine felt hopeless.  With our support, she has opened a retail stand and is now making $3.00 a day. 

The final Zonta project is a beauty salon located in shared space with the Kisoboka office.  When it opens the beautician will train 2 young mothers, Rachel and Miracle.  Both are around 15 years-old and have no other skills and only a 5th grade education.

Goats Galore
Through amazing fund-raising efforts, 10 families will be blessed with a pair of goats.  Thomas, a guardian caring for 10 young children, told me that his dream was for the children in his care to receive an education.   Angel, one of those children, is deaf; this was caused by hot porridge spilling on her neck when she was 3.  Thomas could not afford to take her to a doctor, so an infection set in, resulting in the hearing loss.  Angel is now receiving treatment and has regained some hearing.  Thomas and his family have been blessed with 2 male and 2 female goats.

Family Care
Carolyn is a struggling 19-year old mother of two young children, Prayer (5) and Daniel (1).  Carolyn was raped on her way home from school when she was 13.  Prayer was the result of the rape.  A few years later, while she was working as a maid, the family’s son got Carolyn pregnant with Daniel.  Daniel was diagnosed by Cure International with cerebral palsy.  Carolyn has been doubly blessed with family sponsors as well as sponsors for Prayer’s education.  Daniel has been provided the equipment needed to help with mobility, and Carolyn has been given an apartment and daily assistance with Daniel’s care. 
The project also provides support to 7 other families, including rent, food, extensive medical care, and more.

Student Highlights
It has been a blessing watching the children grow up!  Geoffrey and Brian, our first students to go into a trade, are training to be mechanics.  Frank, also a mechanic, never dreamed he had a future – I have known him for 6 years and had never seen him smile before.  This year he was glowing; he is already earning money from the skills he has learned.

Peter and Regina will be graduating from Mwezaba High senior one.  They are our first graduating students.  We are dreaming that we see them all the way through college.  

This year we have 22 students in the graduating class.  So many prayers are being answered!

Bakka is being filled with bikes: 6 sponsored children received a bike as a gift this year!  At the Christmas Celebration 13 more children – the top performers and 3 other sponsored children – will be receiving a bike.  The joy on the children’s faces when they receive the bikes is PRICELESS!

Kisoboka 2015
Every year God opens our eyes to new challenges and problems to solve.  This year the next steps were provided in February.  We became involved in the community.  We talked with parents and guardians about their challenges.  We asked what we can do to make it easier.  These conversations have guided our 2015 decisions for Kisoboka.
The sponsorship model is going to change.  We are becoming family focused.  We are going to have an on-the-ground support team visiting the sponsored children’s families.  We will support children attending the school of their choice.   Many children walk for hours to school; we are going to help find them a school closer to home or find ways to transport them.
Families and children can come to the Kisoboka office in Bakka with their needs and concerns – someone will be there and available to help.
We will be starting more family business in Bakka.  There are 8 different villages in Bakka Parish and many possibilities for new businesses.   A small business helps a family to generate income and complement their subsistence farming; this makes it easier for parents and guardians to send their children to school.

Hearts and Hands for Uganda Update

Mr. Todd Klipp is the founder of Hearts and Hands for Uganda, a ministry of Trinity Covenant Church in Lexington, Massachusetts, to the people of Uganda.  Begun in 2007, Hearts and Hands for Uganda provides educational scholarships to students of varying ages and financial support to small business owners, primarily in the capital city of Kampala.

During our fall visit, Juliet Nantongo  arranged an evening of celebration hosted by several of the 35 students who have been sponsored in their studies by Hearts and Hands.  Every student in attendance spoke about what was happening in their lives before they were sponsored and how their lives have been transformed by the gift of sponsorship.   It was an amazing evening with hardly a dry eye in the house.  The highlight was when the students presented a plan to “pay it forward” by supporting the education of a needy person identified by the group. 
Student Profiles 
We would like to highlight three individuals who were recipients of a college education through the sponsorship of Hearts and Hands.  They are all amazing young men who are paying it forward.
Hope Kalibbala was sponsored by Hearts and Hands for a degree is in community leadership and development from Uganda Christian University, Mukono.
Hope now works for Hearts and Hands for Uganda.  He helps identify individuals to be sponsored for education or for small business development.   Hope follows the progress of each sponsored student and small business owner and provides guidance to ensure they are successful.
Using his education in community leadership and development, Hope has also been working as a project manager in the village of Bakka where he oversees the sponsorship program, the community projects, and the bore hole construction.   Currently, Hope is the chairman of the board of directors of Kisoboka, a community based organization (CBO) in Bakka village.
Patrice (Paddy)  Walakira received sponsorship from Hearts and Hands for a degree in theology from Auckland Park Theological Seminary in Johannesburg, South Africa.  With this degree, Paddy is now working as the Youth Pastor at Harvest Church under Pastor Fred Muyimba.
Paddy also partners with Hope at Hearts and Hands for Uganda.
Paddy has been working as a project manager in the in the village of Bakka, overseeing the hog project, the goat project, and the sponsorship program.   He is the treasure of Kisoboka CBO.
Together, Hope and Paddy are the dynamic duo of Kisoboka and embody the concept of good and faithful servants!
Steven Kakayira has been sponsored by Hearts and Hands for two degrees.  He received his B.A. in community leadership and development from Uganda Christian University in July 2010.  In 2012 Steven completed his master’s in educational ministries at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston.
Steven is now married; he and his wife Judith are expecting their first child in January. 
In September 2014, Steven and Judith started the Shalom Restoration Academy in Mukono, Uganda, which is receiving capital and operating support from Hearts and Hands.   Nicholas and Agnes, Stevens’s sibling, are overseeing the school’s operation.  Steven’s mom, Sylvia, and sister, Rose, made uniforms for all of the children attending the school.  Agnes is currently being sponsored by Hearts and Hands for her education in accounting.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kisoboka Gift Cards!

The holiday season is a wonderful time to reflect upon the blessings in our own lives and also to contemplate those in need. We ask you to please consider making a donation to Kisoboka in honor of a friend or family member or in memory of a loved one as a gift this season. We will send a card to the recipient letting them know that a gift has been given to the village of Bakka in his or her name, as well as a follow up letter and photo.
Below are some ideas for suggested donations, but please feel free to make a donation in any amount if you do not have something specific in mind.

$1000 will help a Ugandan family to set up a business. Updates and pictures will be provided as the business progresses.
$300 provides sponsorship for a child for one year. This covers his or her school fees and family’s healthcare costs. You will receive information about your sponsor child right away as well as updates and letters throughout the year.
$25 purchases a blanket or mattress. We will send you a photo of the child receiving the gift.
$10 will buy a mosquito net or pair of shoes. You will receive a photo of the child with his or her gift.

Donations can be mailed to Trinity Covenant Church - Attention Sandy Gannon or using the donate button on my blog  

Thank you so much for your continued participation in our work in Uganda.