The Uganda Children’s Project began in 2001 when a nurse from Uganda visiting the US to raise money for her clinic learned that her brother-in-law back in Uganda had died. With no one else to care for one of his children, she would add the young boy to her household which already included four children of her own and three AIDS orphans that she had adopted. She asked a group of people in the US for help with the school fees for her new child. A man agreed to pay for the boy and Lisa and I agreed to help by making wire transfers from the man in Georgia to the nurse in Uganda.
The nurse returned home to Uganda. A few weeks later, we received a package containing 14 photographs and 14 stories of AIDS orphans and other children in desperate need. The package contained a tiny note: “These kids need help, too.”
We found sponsors for these children. A few weeks later we received another package with 58 more photos and stories. A little later, we received a package of 150 stories and photos and the Uganda Children’s Project was born. We began as a mission of Brainerd Presbyterian Church. In 2008, we incorporated as a free-standing faith based 501(c) 3 corporation with a fully independent board of directors. We began traveling to Uganda in 2002. Since then, the Project has sent someone to Uganda at least twice each year.
Since the Project began, we have worked with more than 500 children through the sponsorship program and with more than five thousand in the shoe project. Within the sponsorship program, we have had 34 University graduates including 2 doctors and an architect as well as more than 50 technical school graduates in such programs as welding, catering, plumbing, and hotel management.
Today, a team of locals in Uganda provide the day-to-day management of the Project under the direction of a US President. The US Board of Directors provides general oversight for the Project.