Project

Fr. Tom at the school
Father Tom at school

Ekisande is a non-profit organization that supports the local community in Bwera, Uganda near the Congolese border.

Through education, vocational training and health care we want to have a lasting effect on the Bwera community.

VAMCAST Vocational Training

Together with the local Bishop, Father Tom, we have made excellent progress, but our work is not done.


I am a down-to-earth person. I live in the reality of life. I give my best to serve another person.

Father tom

Results

A bit of history:

In 2018, 4 friends started a non-profit organization, Ekisande, to support a school in Uganda. While the non-profit organization is new, we have been involved in the project since 2014.

It all started when Dirk, one of the Ekisande founders, was in Uganda to build a university radio station at Mountains of the Moon University, partly funded by Thomas More University of Applied Sciences. He met Bishop Thomas Kiiza PhD, one of the local coordinators of the inter-university project with several Belgian universities.

School in 2014
School in 2014

Father Tom, as the bishop is often called, also helps the people of Bwera, a small village in Uganda. It started with schooling for orphans and deprived children in his church, later Father Tom added a football club, a health care centre and a vocational training centre for young people. .

We decided to gather funding and other support to help Father Tom grow his program.

School in 2016
In the class room

What we’ve done so far

Since 2014 we gathered over €40,000 in funding and used that to buy land and improve the infrastructure:

  • two-classroom building for a primary school
  • toilets for boys and girls
  • a new campus called Virgo Maria for the kindergarten and primary schools.
  • three-classroom building at Virgo Maria
  • healthcare centre, called Mama Sabina
Virgo Maria Campus
Health Care at Mama Sabina

A second three-classroom at Virgo Maria building is currently under construction. We also provide food for our 300 students and wages of the school personnel.

Construction of new class rooms

Most of the work & material is sourced locally to improve ownership and increase the positive effect Ekisande has on the Bwera community.

You can find our sites on Google Maps:
• Virgo Maria: 0.019957, 29.729825
• Mama Sabina: 0.014917, 29.730444

Bwera – Virunga National Park
Virgo Maria – Mama Sabina

Future plans

We want to keep supporting this school for another 5 years, during this period we will continue to improve the infrastructure and overall quality of services provided by our school:

  • Improve and grow the health care centre. The existing class rooms will be converted to a wards for men and women.
  • Provide electricity and water for both the school and health care centre.
  • Buy more land and build a larger campus for the vocational training centre. Add business oriented classes to stimulate entrepreneurship.
  • Provide 700€ monthly support for staff wages and food for the children. We want to keep our students healthy and our teaching staff on board for sustained quality in schooling.

We work as much as possible together with Higher Educational Institutes to provide professional support in specific projects.

  • Academic year 2018-2019 nursing students from Thomas More University of Applied Sciences will go to Bwera to work on sexual education and health. The will also initiate a student follow up system, because a good health is the best guarantee for good schooling.
  • Academic year 2018-2019 students interior design  from Thomas More University of Applied Sciences will design a functional set up for the health care centre, in the frame of their service & human-centered design.
  • In the ACTEA project from AP University College, sponsored by the EU EU, the vocational training centre (VAMCAST) will be outreach partner. Teachers from VAMCAST will be trained in industrial electricity and automation.

We will strive to make the local organization self-supporting:

  • Various vocational departments (hair dressing, car repair, wood work,…) will offer their services against payment.
  • Eco-tourism

After the 5 year period ends, we will continue to provide for the wages and food. And we will evaluate the constructional needs. If a decent level of self-sustainability is reached we will move on to another project for investments in infrastructure.


How can you help?

Even with a contribution of €5 per month, you can pay for 2.5 days of a teacher’s wage.

Monthly donation


€30 / per month
two cooks

€30 / per month
one grounds keeper
€40 / per month
one nurse

€60 / per month
one teachers

€80 / per month
one head teacher
€150 / per month
lunch for 300 pupils

Single donations

Donations for infrastructure: an average 3-unit school building costs €10,000

• Material
We try to limit this as much as possible and source our material locally.
2 exceptions:
    – Technical infrastructure
    – Football jerseys

• Support on site: we are open for any collaboration on site, this will be explored & discussed on a case by case basis.

So what are you waiting for?
Give in to your inner philanthropist or compensate for your other shady activities by supporting a nurse in Uganda for 40€/month.
It will set you back an acceptable 20€/month after you tax deduction. 
Besides the sense of enormous well-being, you will get a conversation starter to get you through boring receptions.

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Schools, companies, organisations and private sponsors can pay directly to our account: BE33 0689 1089 0146

Schools, companies and organisations


Team

  • Jan Calliauw
    Jan houdt van risicoloze ontwikkelingsprojecten, hete saus koken en sponsorgelden inzamelen. Hij is een echte Robin Hood van den Aldi.
  • Greet Dufraing
    Greet coördineert de Lopen voor Oeganda acties. Zij houdt alle officiële documenten bij, volgt wettelijke zaken op en zoekt overheidssteun.
  • Ijou El Kaimoche
    Ijou is onze specialist public relations. Onze ogen op de wereld.
  • Dirk Van Merode
    Dirk is één van de oprichters van Ekisande. Via zijn aanstelling als onderzoeker bij de AP Hogeschool heeft hij een Europees project in Oeganda, Tanzania en Ethiopië. Daardoor kan hij alle initiatieven ter plaatse bezoeken en het opleidingscentrum mee betrekken in het groter geheel, zonder kosten voor Ekisande Belgium.
  • Father Tom
    Father Tom is de juiste persoon voor het project ter plaatse te managen. Als bisschop krijgt hij respect van de ouders, lokale overheid en andere organisaties.

Wij van Ekisande appreciëren hem omdat hij een open denker is, die gelooft in gelijkheid voor mannen en vrouwen en hij een pragmatische visie heeft op veilig vrijen en aids.

In de jaren van onze gemeenschappelijke inspanningen, is Father Tom een hard werkende, eerlijke en intelligente leider gebleken. Hij heeft een duidelijke visie en doelen over hoe de verschillende initiatieven te verbeteren. En hij heeft de juiste mensen op de juiste plaatsen om het werk gedaan te krijgen.