Welcome to Kisoro Children's Foundation
Who We ARE | Letter From the President
Welcome to the Kisoro Children's Foundation, a Massachusetts Public Charity designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. The Foundation exists to support the education, health, and welfare of children and families in Kisoro, Uganda. We are extremely grateful to our many donors who in the past year have helped us raise the funds required to build a permanent home for the Ineza Children’s Center and the Ineza Parents' School. The buildings are beautiful and the children and families are thrilled. Thank you!
We broke ground in July, 2017, and the buildings were finished in late May, 2018. Just recently, through the generosity of our donors, we have provided for some additional needs for the community center and school: a filtration system to provide clean water; permanent walkways on the school grounds; and two smoke-free, energy-efficient cooking stoves (with the help of partners in Uganda and Germany). Since 2016, we have supported an ever-increasing number of scholarships for children at Ineza Parents’ School and an ever-increasing number of sponsorships for extremely vulnerable girls of secondary school age in Kisoro.
Here is what we need your help with in 2019. We hope to further equip the library; provide furniture for the school; build a playground; and purchase a property next to the school that will allow us to keep the day care center on site and have more room for future programs. We are also raising funds to provide scholarships and living support for impoverished secondary-school-aged girls who would otherwise not be in school (46 girls for 2019); scholarships for students at Ineza Parents' School (30 children for 2019); and sanitary supplies for the 525 girls at a local girls' secondary school.
I was first introduced to Kisoro in 2009 when my oldest son lived there for a year working with Doctors for Global Health. Through my son, I met Jackie Baganizi, a remarkable administrator and community organizer who dreamed of founding a school to provide Kisoro’s children with an alternative to the overcrowded and understaffed public schools available to them. Jackie's long-term vision was to offer a progressive education of the highest quality, in which children would be encouraged to be joyful, be creative, and be themselves--in a safe atmosphere in which they would never be physically disciplined. The current Ineza Parents’ School and the Ineza Children’s Center grew out of Jackie’s dream and the dreams of the Kisoro community.
The Foundation has no employees and will continue to operate exclusively on the efforts of volunteers. The Foundation distinguishes itself from other organizations of its kind by firmly pledging to use all the donations it receives from the public to advance its mission. Thus, no money raised by Kisoro Children's Foundation will be used for travel or other Foundation expenses. The few necessary administrative Foundation expenses such as government filing fees and insurance will be contributed by the founders and will not come out of any donations given by others.
Thank you very much in advance for visiting our website and learning more about the Foundation. We appreciate any support you can offer and hope you will consider getting involved in this work.
Ellen K. Williams, M.D., M.Ed.
President of Kisoro Children's Foundation
Kisoro Town is located in the far Southwestern corner of Uganda and serves as the headquarters of Kisoro District. It borders both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is framed by terraced hillsides and three massive volcanoes. The population of the town of Kisoro is roughly 16,000 people, while the District comprises over 280,000 people. It is a place of considerable hardship, but also great joy, where deep religious faith, strong community ties, and a profound respect for education are the norm.
The 2014 Uganda National Population and Housing Census starkly reports on the reality of life in Kisoro District. 86% of households have subsistence farming as their main source of income. 60% of the population is under 19 years of age. Only 25% of girls aged 13-18 are in secondary school. 39% of children aged 10-15 are working. Among households in Kisoro District, less than 8% have access to electricity and about a third have access to piped water, but this water is untreated. Public schools are crowded, often include physical abuse of children, and generally have no food or clean water for children.
Kisoro Children's Foundation was founded to address such inequities and open the door to new opportunities for the inhabitants of Kisoro.