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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Arlington Academy of Hope Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Health Systems, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Health, International, International Development, Literacy, Philanthropy, Public Foundations

Mission: The Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) is saving lives and changing lives in rural Uganda. Our model school provides a high-quality, well-rounded grade school education. We provide scholarships for high school and beyond. AAH has built two health clinics, assists nearby local schools to improve, and supports women's microfinance.

Results: In spite of working in a challenging and poor area, we have very strong results: - In a district with a 14% grade school graduation rate, 100% of AAH students graduate can get scholarships go on to secondary school (high school) and university. - Results of national standardized exams put AAH's grade school in the top 1% of 19,000 schools in Uganda! - Death and serious illnesses from malaria and other conditions have been reduced by the clinics' work. - Over 350 women have increased their incomes through microfinance loans.

Target demographics: give children a future through education

Direct beneficiaries per year: educate over 650 students directly, assisted over 10,000 at nearby schools, over 10,000 at the health clinic, and over 350 women microentrepreneurs.

Geographic areas served: Uganda

Programs: primary education and scholarships for high school and college, health care, and women's microfinance.

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Arlington Academy of Hope gives hope to children who had none and transforms the children into confident and high achievers. Children in rural Uganda can now dream of a brighter future because of the opportunity given to them by AAH. All students in the last 10 years in a row have passed the national exams to go on to secondary. Ordinary everyday people like you and I sponsor children in this program and help to change the course of a child forever for just $400 for a primary student. For the first time, the children who went through AAH program will be graduating College.
The clinic provides critical preventative , maternity and first aid care to the community that had none. First graduates through the AAH nursing program now work at the AAH clinic.
We are thankful to you for choosing to support Arlington Academy of Hope and we hope to meet you at some of our events soon.
www.aahuganda.org

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I give to live, for what is a meaningful life if not making an impact somehow somewhere? I sponsor primary and secondary education for a brilliant young man in Uganda named Malali. He has enriched my family's life as we have enjoyed a window into his talents, daily life, hard work, and scholastic achievements. We look forward to supporting him through his education, and then keeping a relationship beyond.

Review from #MyGivingStory

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We give to Arlington Academy of Hope to give back a little of what we take for granted: education, food, shelter, and medical care. Literally every penny counts in Uganda. The children are so excited to receive a pencil. One thing Ugandan's are not lacking is love and joy. Hopefully the little we give will bring more love and joy to their lives and the world.

Review from #MyGivingStory

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have sponsored children at AAH for years and have had a wonderful experience. Two of my teens have gone over to volunteer at AAH in Uganda and it truly transformed their view of the world. My last child hopes to go over in two years. Love that only $360 per year gives a child a chance. Very responsible NGO and amazing people behind the scenes.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I give, because I have met the children who so desperately want an education, and met the parents who have had children saved by malaria medicine at our health clinic. I've been blown away by the hard work and commitment to give back that the secondary and university students have. I give because I know for a fact it makes a real impact, and transforms many lives. I give because I can, and I think we should help others when I can. I give to Arlington Academy of Hope because I know the people involved and how dedicated they are and 96 cents of every dollar goes to those in need in Uganda.

Review from #MyGivingStory

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great nonprofit to volunteer for - they do super work helping kids in Uganda and they have lots f ways to help here. I have pritned letters, stuffed envelopes, brought materials to events, sold necklaces and baskets,set up and cleanded up after events, and helped spread the word on social media. It makes me feel good that they always make a point of saying thank you and of telling me how the little bit I do makes an impact.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have visited the AAH school in Uganda and I have seen the direct impact that this nonprofit is having in the area. The school is set up to be a model and they work hard not only to benefit their own students, but also to improve the outreach schools so that the entire area can benefit. AAH has superb teachers who work with compassion and diligence to educate and nurture the students. The founders have an amazing vision and are still passionately involved in many projects in the area. AAH is well-run, with excellent and professional support both stateside and in Uganda for volunteers and donations. I have been involved with many projects in Africa and this is by far the best-run one I have encountered.

1 Kevin132

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The kids are angels and the staff is absolutely inspiring. I've never been more moved than I was standing in front of the kids from Arlington singing a welcome tune to our group. The kids at Arlington and their outreach school, Bulobi have never left my heart and I still am motivated to return. The Arlington Academy of Hope is what's right in this world.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsoring the education of children in rural Uganda and have sponsored four so far. Our oldest child there has made it through two years of college already! We are in regular contact with all of the children through AAH and receive lovely, warm, hand-written letters from them. The school is well-run, and I believe all of my money is put to good use there and throughout the school's outreach to the local community. My son also volunteered for a few weeks at AAH and loved it! I cannot recommend this non-profit more highly!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at Arlington Academy of Hope with Lasell College for 3 weeks in the summer of 2014. It was a wonderful experience and the children are amazing. The work being one there is life changing for both the students, teachers and helpers. This organization must stay around and be supported by others. People need a chance to see how great AAH is and I hope everyone once has a day to experience it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with AAH two years ago, I fell in the love with the work of the organization and it's community. It is providing sustainable development practices to an area that really needs it. It has earned so much respect from that community and has influenced the development of education in not only the Bududa District but in Manafwa as well. I felt so strongly about the work when I first arrived in Uganda that I worked hard to become the new international coordinator for AAH and I'm so happy I did.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Arlington Academy of Hope holds a special place in my heart. Through their outreach program, I was able to meet people and experience things that changed my life and world view more than I could have ever changed theirs. This program is spectacular and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nonprofit to work with.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough positive things about AAH! As a volunteer and donor, I can say from first hand experience that this is truly a wonderful organization whose mission is clear and you can feel good about donating both your time and your money and knowing that both are going directly to helping the community. I sponsor a child and I know that the money I donate goes directly to paying her school fees and not lining some CEO's pockets. I have seen the school and its students first hand and it is truly a remarkable place. AAH also does a lot of community outreach within its own community so volunteers and donors are able to
do more than affect one small group of kids and their school. There is an opportunity with work with an entire community. I led a group of college students here in 2013 and both my life and all of theirs were infinitely changed for the better by the experience. One of those students is even back at AAH volunteering for the year right now!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with AAH two years ago and it was an incredible, life-changing experience. The entire staff is dedicated to giving the students the best possible experience, down to ensuring the female students have basic necessities such as undergarments and a private washroom, therefore encouraging them to stay in school for the duration of each month. I would highly recommend working with them!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization shines because the founders are still personally involved at all times keeping the spirit of why it was founded alive. Outstanding people make a personal commitment to the organization and work tirelessly on ways to improve the lives of young children through education.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Well run and focused nonprofit achieving amazing results and truly changing many lives in rural Uganda. We volunteer and sponsor two children at the school. I like that they help lift up the other schools around them too. With education, you give a child a future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is maximizing their effect in the area. Taking care of all of the most grave situations (education, malaria, HIV, and family planning) there. Keep it up! It's truly amazing to see how much of a difference they are making not only in the academy but in other government schools too.

Comments ( 1 )

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Maureen 09/09/2015

Thanks so much! We have the best volunteers!

2 Briana H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer to this organization for years. They are doing more than just fundraising and sending aid, they are providing opportunities to hundreds of children through a top school, clinic, and sponsorship program. It is sometimes hard to see a direct impact, but i went to the school in uganda and have seen the many lives that have been uplifted and forever changed. It is so well organized and they have a great core base of volunteers and board members. I look forward to being a continual part of their growth!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a strong NGO building a foundation for hope in rural Uganda by giving children the chance for a better future through improved education and healthcare. I have traveled to Uganda twice to support the school and clinics. Excellent child sponsor opportunites - only $360 per year! My first sponsored daughter is now attending University in Kampala! Outstanding results in all areas. Get involved!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has sponsored many AAH students and it's amazing how well they all are doing. We've seen several students through primary school into secondary school and now have two in University! We've visited the school a few times which really drives home where these young people would be without the amazing work that AAH is doing. The organization has given these children a much brighter future, an ability to make major contributions to their society, and in working with the children has also had a major impact on this rural community. I'd strongly encourage others to sponsor and become personally involved with a child - but if a multi-year commitment is not possible, any contribution will be put to good use.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has supported AAH students for years. This program is such a spectacular example of how a few can make a world of difference for many. My children began their relationship with our AAH kids in elementary school, and have always helped with our contributions to student tuition. It has been a priceless opportunity to teach them the value of helping others, the importance an education in someone's life and the fact that there is a world of difference in life experience for kids who don't enjoy the benefits we do in our comfortable middle class lives. I've kept every letter we've received from our AAH kids. It's been wonderful to see them grow and mature through the years, and to know that we had a part in shaping their future. This program is very well run, efficient and effective in so many ways for the population it seeks to to serve. It should be at the top of any ratings list of non profits.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a retired teacher, AAH has been a wonderful organization for me to employ my teaching expertise by helping both here and in Uganda. The school is in an extremely rural area where good choices for education were few. AAH has been active for ten years and the transformation of the village and surrounding areas is becoming more and more evident through this now higher standard of education. The first group of students have now entered university - an unheard of possibility prior to AAH 's impact in the village.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great opportunity to interact with a student 10,000 miles away. AAH has a system for its child supporters whereby you write and receive letters 3 times a year. It is amazing to observe the student's growth and progress-going from a first grader with no English to a student later who is fully fluent in English. We have just had 18 of our first students enter into university-a tribute to the ten years of hard work by students, teachers and their volunteers. The school is located in a rural, poverty stricken area of eastern Uganda. Prior to these students, a scarce handful had gone on to university.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think AAH is a great organization because they are really focused on results and making a difference. Its not just charity, its an investment in people that will pay it forward.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

NGO that supports education in rural Uganda. The consistent high national test scores and rating high above other schools shows that this organization has the tool in place to make a significant difference.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have created a school in rural east Uganda where students thrive. Prior to our school existing, no child in the village went beyond grade 7. After 10 years of being in existence, 100% of our students are going to secondary school, and we are now sending students to university for the second year. Many of the mothers have started small businesses, and we have two clinics, where before there were none. By giving the students a strong educational foundation, and working with the parents, we are enhancing the lives of the people in the village.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Uganda 1969-70), I sought an organization with a mission to make a meaningful difference in sub-Sahara Africa. Arlington Academy of Hope works at the grassroots level providing education to more than 600 primary, secondary and college students, and has enabled me to give something back to the people of Uganda, who were such welcoming and gracious hosts when I was there so many years ago. We sponsor two primary school children, and it's great to receive their letters about their lives, families, community and school. It is a solid organization, founded by Ugandan-Americans celebrating its 10th anniversary. Stateside, it is almost all volunteer with a very warm, community feel to it. Can't say enough good things about it.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best non-profit I have had the privilege to work with! The people are so wonderful and welcoming, they really make you feel like you're part of the family.

2 Colleen33

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the proud sponsor of a child in Uganda who is attending the AAH school and she loves it!! The girls & boys are thriving at the school -- and they would not have had a chance to attend school without the sponsorships and donors that help fund AAH.

Keep up the good work!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I had a chance to interact with a few Arlington Academy of Hope volunteers, staff, and sponsors and i was thrilled by their tireless dedication in improving the lives of children in rural Bududa in areas of education and health.
Arlington Academy of Hope have put a positive and constructive impression in Bududa. They have also created a forum to promote and advocate for social and economic change. AAH represents a refreshing lesson on upholding social work rather than talking about it.
I want to shine a light on the great work of volunteers like Caitlan Mc Daniel and Molly Daniels who i personally met. These are a classic representation of the amazing work done at Arlington Academy of Hope.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love that they have found a very specific way to measure success - kids going on to secondary school. When they started, very few children from the community were going on. Now practically everyone is. We sponsor a secondary student. As our own children have grown, I have gotten to see this young man grow up as well. He is already a leader, and he will grow up to be a man who will make a difference, and I am grateful for the opportunity to support his education.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We have sponsored a student through AAH since the beginning days of this fabulous non-profit. The Wanda family is warm, open and caring so it's no surprise that they developed an equally feel-good, do-good enterprise. Their upbringing in rural Uganda gives them the background to channel aid effectively and efficiently to those who need it most while their education and organizational skills give them the ability to accomplish this feat in a thoroughly professional manner.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsoring two students at the Arlington Academy of Hope (AAH) for many years and have also contributed to the funding of the experimental farm at the school. Students at AAH primary school in Bumwalakani have achieved high scores on the national exams to be admitted to high school and to university. The experimental farm is a relatively low cost project where students grow vegetables to be consumed in the school and in the village and where they learn farming techniques which they can share at home or with others. Aside from the school and the farm, AAH has been successful in setting up health clinics where thousands of people have been able to get care annually. AAH has also been instrumental in getting small loans to women entrepreneurs. This has enabled the women to earn income and increase family income for their food, housing, education and health expenses.
AAH has been able to run all these projects for many years with an overhead not exceeding 6% of annual contributions. Its founders, John and Joyce Wanda, as well as their families and the local staff in Bumwalakani have been the exemplary driving forces of this non-profit. Also exemplary have been the Board Members and the volunteers to AAH.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been child-sponsors for 2 students for many years. We have met the Wandas (real people making a difference, who started the school) and we feel like we know our students who write us several times a year. We see their growth through these letters, and it is simply amazing. They know us through our letters to them. Tracking volunteer efforts in Uganda is easy; the newsletter informs us about education and community events as well as tragedies (such as flooding, mudslides, etc). AAH is a model for low-overheard (no overhead?) non-profit NGOs. I hope to someday spend some summer weeks volunteering at AAH in Uganda.

2 Danielle F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the summer, I spent two weeks volunteering with the Arlington Academy of Hope in Bumwalakani, Uganda. To say it was an amazing experience would be an under-statement. During my time there, I got to see the excellent services the organization provides to the community. You can really see the different the education, health services, support, and joy AAH brings to the area. I hope to one day become the volunteer coordinator for the organization; I had that great of an experience with them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited the village and AAH in April 2005 and could not believe all the good work they were doing in this small village in Uganda. Now their impact throughout the area is even more far reaching.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter just spent a year working for AAH in Uganda. This organization, in three words, MAKES A DIFFERENCE. That is why we are all here, isn't it? AAH is dedicated to improving the lives of Ugandan children, and they are ceaseless in their efforts --from fundraising to volunteering,

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the fortunate opportunity to volunteer with AAH last year and had the most incredible, life-changing experience. Uganda, as an East African country, has incredible weather all year long and a population eager to accept visitors as family, creates the most relaxing backdrop to do some incredibly impactful economic development work. At AAH, I stayed in the rural village of Bumwalukani and worked at AAH's primary school. I also got to visit government schools in the area, distribute TOMS Shoes, learn more about healthcare at AAH's clinic, and become a sister and daughter to so many beautiful (yet underserved) village community members. During my free time I saw so much of the beautiful country through cheap/weekend safaris and rafting and hiking opportunities. My favorite part, though, was spending time with AAH's hardworking and thoughtful students. These are the most incredible Holden I have ever met. If you ever get the chance to volunteer with AAH, you can be sure to fall in love with each and every one of them. Hands-down the most rewarding experience of my life!