is a grassroots, 501c3 nonprofit that provides time, talent, and treasure to support the Maranatha Integrated Schools project located in Mityana, Uganda. is one of several small-scale nonprofits across the country that support Maranatha. With the effort from KidsUganda, Maranatha provides 1400 students and ~200 orphans with a valuable education, as well as a place to call home. is continually growing, optimizing its donor network to implement project-based progression. recently celebrated the acquisition of its first executive director on the ground in Mityana! We are so excited to have Christine on board! As an all-volunteer organization with no overhead costs, 100% of all funds raised go directly to fulfilling the mission:
" support a pathway that will provide children
to become productive and contributing
within their community."
For more information, please visit: KidsUganda OR About KUYB
My freshmen year of high school, one of my best friend’s and biggest inspirations, Margaret, offered an inroad to this long insightful journey when she took me to my first KidsUganda Youth Board meeting. That was just the beginning. Through attending weekly board meetings with other high school students, working on different committees to organize large and small events, I fell in love with the idea of planning fundraising events to manifest such a merited mission. In the process of planning fundraising events, I gained my first taste of public relations, through communicating with local business for solicitations, donations, time and space, and mutually beneficial partnerships. I began to understand the concept of optimizing stakeholder networks, tailoring marketing strategies to different audiences, and the intricacies of end-to-end event planning. I also learned to appreciate every donation of time and effort; its the little things that count and no detail is too small. Fundraisers included constant bake sales, the "Rummage for a Reason" rummage sale, local business "percent nights," the "Share the Distance" walk, various holiday events, and the bi-annual "Bright Night" live auction event. Working on the Youth Board was a springboard
This was the year the Youth Board visited the Maranatha schools. It was an unbelievable experience that taught me a ton about stakeholder engagement and preparation for such an emotionally hands-on trip. The trip itself was not a "volunteer" trek; in essence, it was an opportunity for the KidsUganda Youth Board members to see first-hand the impact our work was having in the lives of the children at Maranatha, as well as get a glance at what other areas of the schools should be focal areas for improvement. We had the blessed chance to visit all five schools, as well as wake up before the break of dawn to great the children as they ran to school in the morning. It was rewarding, humbling, resonating. Prior to the trip, we wrote letters to major corporations such as BIC, Johnson & Johnson, among others, to garner donations to bring with us as we ventured over the Atlantic. We each were allowed two pieces of luggage, one of which would be filled with our clothes, the other chock full of varied donations.
My year of high school, one of my best friend’s and biggest inspirations, Margaret, offered an inroad to this journey when she took me to my first KidsUganda Youth Board meeting. That was just the beginning. Through attending weekly board meetings with other high school students, working on different committees to organize large and small events, I fell in love with the idea of planning fundraising events to manifest such a merited mission. In the process of events, I gained my first taste of public relations, through communicating with local business for solicitations, donations, time and space, and mutually beneficial partnerships. I began to understand the concept of optimizing stakeholder networks, tailoring marketing strategies to different audiences, and the intricacies of end-to-end event planning. I also learned to appreciate every donation of time and effort; the little things that count and no detail too small. Fundraisers included constant bake sales, the "Rummage for a Reason" rummage sale, local business "percent nights," the "Share the Distance" walk, various holiday events, and the bi-annual "Bright Night" live auction event. Working on the Youth Board was a springboard
After graduating high school, I made the decision to take a post-graduate year and attend the Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA. During my time at Berkshire, I had the opportunity to take several insightful elective classes, my favorite among them, the Study of Economics and Philanthropy. It was an intensive class focussed on putting theoretical concepts into practicing. In doing so, the 20-person class was given the chance to to compete for a $10,000 grant. The semester-long process taught me the process of negotiating, communicating with networks to maximize potential in competition by reaching out to request a matching grant, and responding constructively to while KU lost by one single vote, I was able to mobilize my community back home to gather families, generous individuals, and large groups and organizations to donate enough money to build a matching grant. An unwavering amount of support was shown, when 88% of the donors insisted on maintaining their donations as gifts. Thus, I was able to raise $8,800 for KidsUganda, which contributed to fulfilling the vision to build a library with electricity and Internet access. The library project was recently launched, which will provide students with a safe place to study at night, as well as offer countless educational benefits and outreach possibilities, with access to the Internet.
As a Sophomore at Furman, I applied for and was accepted to participate in an annual fundraising competition sponsored by the Furman University Student Activities Board. This competition, coined HAVOC, is sort of a "game show meets survivor" type of experience. Participants are required to dress up in a costume relevant to the Homecoming theme of that year, choose a charity to champion, come up with a tagline to use as a selling point, and optimize the university networks to try and out-fundraise the competition, all while operating within certain parameters. One of the rule is that money can solely be raised on campus and between certain hours. Thus, students must strategically think about who they want to target and when. Not to mention, there are fun "challenges" each day, such as a scavenger hunt slash frozen scrabble letter spelling bee and human hungry-hungry-hippo with cotton snowballs, and so on and so forth. If you can get the picture, its a pretty fun week, and one that's filled with a whole lot of pressure as well. I was fortunate enough to land a spot on the podium at the end of the week, which is a feeling I'll never forget; getting 2nd place, and receiving a cash prize of $250, I was able to raise over $2500 for KidsUganda. It was such an experience! Participating in HAVOC taught me a great deal about SALES and what it takes to be a successful seller. Though my biggest passion is selling missions, that was a point of challenge, particularly with selling a mission against my competitors with equally reputable and significant missions, in a student-dominated market that was arguably saturated by sheer redundancy of selling to the same people all week. But, that was what I loved about it! It gave me a newfound sense of knowing my audience, and really opened my eyes to the the fact that there's always potential to increase your scale!
2017: As my involvement in The Heller Service Corps at Furman deepened, I decided to take a leap and open the conversation with Heller leaders about establishing KidsUganda's presence at Furman. I had planned on bringing KidsUganda to Furman ever since move-in day. I am beyond grateful for Heller to allow me to perpetuate my passion for KidsUganda's mission, by fostering the continuance of my eight-year involvement with the organization. The support was overwhelming. I decided my strategy for bringing KidsUganda to Heller was, instead of implementing it as a stand-alone extra-curricular global volunteer activity, KidsUganda could fit into Heller's structure, and be an added fixture in the service model. Heller operates by dividing different realms of service into divisions, such as Child Education, Child Recreation, Crisis Centers, Animal Concerns, etc. Under each division exists various agencies, which function as the local organizations that Furman provides student volunteers for (bridging the gap). Hence, I thought the best way to broaden Heller's reach and build an open door to further growth, would be to build a 10th division within Heller, call it the International division, and have KidsUganda serve as the start-up agency under the newest branch of service. That way, it gives other students potentially with international philanthropic endeavors to fulfill their missions and manifest their passion by bringing new ideas to the table. After making KidsUganda an official agency within Heller, I began to garner support.