I am so excited for The Bernie Project to be getting off the ground. This project has been percolating in my soul for many years, but it began taking real shape over the past four months.
Our first initiative, stabilizing the feeding program at the Wakiso School of Hope (WSH) is our most imperative and urgent. WSH receives most of it's funding from a small organization AGLMUK in Wales, those funds are stretched very thin as their budget manages all components of the school. Currently WSH has limited funding for their feeding program this month and no funding for the months of August, October and December. When I spoke with Pastor Joshua (the administrator of the school) this past week I asked him, "what happens if you don't receive the funding." He replied "the children receive fewer meals or we take out a loan for the food and we go in debt."
For 250 children to receive 3 meals a day of porridge for breakfast, posho and beans for lunch and dinner the total cost is approximately $3,000 for one month, that's .13 cents a meal per child. While these meals keep the children from starving to death it is far from nutritional. The Bernie Project wants to incorporate fruits, vegetables and protein, ensuring these children are receiving the vitamins and minerals that help them focus in class, ward off illness and grow to be healthy girls and boys. By donating $25.00/month you are providing one child 3 meals a day for a month, along with hygiene supplies that are appropriate for their age.
Once the feeding program is improved and stabilized, we want to evaluate the farm land WSH owns and create a program that not only allows for fruits and vegetables to be grown and used at the school but also to be taken to market and sold providing additional support to the school and village.
I'm traveling to Uganda in August and will sit down with Pastor Joshua and lay out a plan for improving the feeding program, along with plotting out what resources and finances will be necessary to create a successful and viable farming project. I hope to see the farming plans in place by mid-2014.
The short term goal of stabilizing their feeding program for the rest of the year is the most urgent. However, our long term goals of improving the nutritional quality of the feeding program and implementing a successful farming project are just as important.
I chose the tagline It Starts With One, because the first time I was in Uganda I wanted to personally affect positive change in one child's life, knowing at that time that was all I could invest in and afford. Over the past few years it has become apparent, that it is my duty to affect positive change not on only one child but many. However, I can't do that alone, so while it may start with one, it will take many to meet the goals of The Bernie Project. I hope you consider being a part of our team.
With abundant gratitude,