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August 1, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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August 1, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

In 2012, I was invited by Change A Life Uganda to visit the medical clinic they were funding. July 4 was opening day! I was there to assess the clinic's needs. It was a rewarding trip and I was impressed by how much can get accomplished by a small group of dedicated individuals. I was hooked. In fact I have committed myself to helping the people of Mygeera and am now the medical chair of CALU :)

I look forward to going back in 2014. There is so much more that has to be done.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 29, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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July 29, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Ever since I was 10 years old, I dreamed of helping those in need in Africa. On a relaxing day in August 2006 – three years after I retired from – I was inspired to help in an even bigger way and really fulfill that dream.

It began with a visit in my New Jersey home with Father Lawrence
Kimbowa, a native of Uganda. He shared the story of his childhood there – the civil war, the refugee camp and the Chicago couple who sponsored his education and changed his life. He also shared the promise he made to himself – to give the children of Uganda the rare opportunity he was given as a child: the gift of education.

Inspired by Fr. Kimbowa’s story, my husband and I traveled to Uganda and witnessed great need. Many children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS and others were unable to attend school because there parents could not pay school fees. For most of these children, a quality education was not an option. We recognized the opportunity to truly make a difference.

CHANGEALIFE UGANDA
Beginning with the sponsorship of 10 Ugandan children by friends who wanted to help, we created ChangeALife Uganda (CALU), which was formally incorporated in March 2007, followed by a 501 (c)(3) non-profit classification in April 2008, CALU was poised to make a difference.

ChangeALife Uganda focuses on education, health care and income-generating opportunities and it concentrates on children, because ‘children, are the catalyst for change. Our goal is to provide these children and other children living in poverty with the education and skills they need so that they and their families have the opportunity for better futures.” We now have almost 300 children in our sponsorship program.

One of the most fulfilling accomplishments took place in August 2012. CALU opened a new health center in Migyera – a truck stop town on the way to the Sudan. In partnership with Mildmay Uganda, the health center began providing testing, HIV care and antiretrovirals to 167 patients diagnosed with HIV.

I remember back in 2006 when a nurse here told me about the large number of people dying of HIV because of a lack of medication. I immediately recalled the 1996 New York Times headline highlighting a 50 percent reduction in mortality because of the new protease inhibitors. Here it was 2006 – 10 years later – and people here were still dying of AIDS in large numbers. Now – 16 years later – the treatment and medication are finally available here, thanks to Mildmay Uganda.

Our 2013 trip brought new surprises. Our women are attending a Literacy Program where they are learning to read and write English. They surprised us with their new crafts - exquisite handcrafted baskets and stylish women's handbags. The children in the micro-enterprise program have pigs, goats and chickens and are paying back their loan and saving their money in bank accounts. Our volunteers shared their talents through their gift of education on how to sew, play chess, write journals, brush teeth, use listening techniques and inspire children with new educational approaches. It was an outstanding trip and the bonds of friendship and sharing enriched everyone.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Develop a medical team visitation program.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 20, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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July 20, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I had the pleasure of accompanying Jean, Dave and the CALU team to Uganda this summer. My wife, Dr. Evelyn R. Wells, was making her 3rd trip to Uganda while Judith, Timmy and I were making our first visit to the "Pearl of Africa". While my wife worked with the clinical staff and teachers my children and I were given the opportunity to teach Chess to the students of St. Joseph's Primary School in Nabbingo and St. Lawrence Primary School in Migyera. We also had a group of local Secondary School students in Migyera stop by to join us for a few lessons at St. Lawrence to bring our Student population to 33 Learners (Plus 7 Teachers) from 3 different Schools participating in our "Change for Chess/Chess for Change" Program. It FAR exceeded my expectations, and I am very proud of everyone involved with the Program. We also had the opportunity to meet our "Sponsored Daughter", Sylvia and members of her family at their home. It was an eye-opening experience to see the distance she had to walk each day to and from school. This led to our decision to board her at school both for her safety and her school standing.
To say that this was a life-changing experience would be an UNDERSTATEMENT!! Our time with the Students, especially Sylvia & those in our Chess Classes, and visits to their homes gave my family and I a look into how the people of Uganda live in comparison to what we see here in US. It was amazing to see how happy people with so little can be. The kids were all happy and outgoing and so interested in everything we did. I can't wait to return and see how everyone is doing. I HIGHLY recommend Change A Life Uganda as an organization you trust and work with to help the Children of Uganda!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The only thing CALU needs is a little more manpower. Jean & Dave are spread a little thin, so please consider sharing your time by volunteering for this wonderful organization!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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