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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Connect Africa Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Economic Development, Financial Counseling, Human Services, International, International Development, Microfinance, Rural Economic Development, Youth Development - Business

Mission: Our mission is to empower Ugandans to achieve their potential. Many orphans and disadvantaged youth have elderly grandmothers as their sole provider. Families often consist of 8-15 children. Connect Africa works with the villagers who are overlooked by large charitable organizations. We enable Ugandans to achieve sustainable income through start-up business loans, vocational training and educational sponsorship.

Target demographics: orphans and disadvantaged youth and their caregivers

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2020, 81 children were provided educational scholarships. To date 250+ families have received business start-up or education loans with our micro loans; 50+ children attend our acadmic enrichment program; 20 individuals derive income from sales of native crafts; 73 students participate in our vocational training programs.

Geographic areas served: many districts of Uganda

Programs: educational scholarships for children; business start up loans for guardians including business support and financial advice; children's academic enrichment program covering topics like academics, peer relationships and life skills; vocational training for youth and adults in carpentry, catering, electrical installation, plumbing, tailoring, hairdressing and metal work.

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

We are two, long-time contributors, who thought we had a reasonably good idea of the wonderful work Connect Africa had been doing for the past six years. However, when we visited Uganda last October it became obvious that we had no concept of how important this work is and how deeply it touches the lives of the villagers. We were almost reluctant to visit because Lynn was scheduled to be in Boston. However, as Lynn promised, the co-director Kalule Charles welcomed us warmly and introduced us, with passion and love, to his Uganda and to the people Connect Africa serves.

We met the "aunties" and the “jajjas,” relatives who hugged us and cried as they thanked us for enabling their children to attend school and have the opportunity to pursue a promising future. We visited the children in their elementary schools - simply constructed rooms with dirt floors, and saw students crowded together behind rows of long benches. The children would rise en masse to greet us with shy, beautiful smiles, open arms and words of thanks. We visited students at the secondary schools where they board, and we were struck by the seriousness with which they approached their studies. Groups of adolescent girls or boys (never girls AND boys together) would gather on the ground during free time, doing homework and helping each other with their studies.

We met some of the loan recipients: Teopista is a small shop owner who sells beans, maize and household supplies. We tasted the spirits that Olivia, a spirits’ distributor, sells to local villagers – truly a “potent potable” strong enough to make your body shiver. Edward, a driver of a motorcycle taxi called a “boda-boda”, offered to give Kurt a ride around the town; but having seen the chaotic, high-speed traffic on the incredibly rutted dirt roads, Kurt declined the offer and later wished that he hadn't.

Our experience in Uganda was filled with contradictions– sobering and encouraging, depressing and hopeful. The people we visited do not have electricity, indoor toilets or running water. They are optimistic, industrious, and determined to improve their lives. The work that Charles and Lynn are doing inspires people, one at a time, to move forward toward attaining their dreams.

Do visit the Connect Africa community in Uganda. They are currently building a community center with a guest house where you can live and experience change in action. All are welcome.

With admiration and appreciation of Connect Africa
Arlene and Kurt Pressman

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dear Friends,
In the 14 years that I have been a Connect Africa board member it has been thrilling to know that Lynn and Charles have created an ever-expanding force that works every day to build a future for our children, for our young adults and for Uganda.

I personally have both love and admiration for what is happening in a tiny part of Uganda. What I love most is that many of you have also become captivated by CAF through watching the progress one relatively small organization can have on many lives.

I think I speak for all Board members, when I say that it is my pleasure to share with all of you the many faces of CAF:
2 brothers who live in a mud hut by themselves about 3 hours from our base. They had never seen a white person, had never been in a car, had never been to school and there was CAf deciding to help.
The mother who gets hit by a truck as she protects the 2 children who are standing with her, now we sponsor 2 of the 4 orphans
An older student who received a loan to start and business and then cost shared with CAF for his university degree.
One of our first students was having behavior problems. The Board chose to ask for help from his devoted sponsor. He provided much needed guidance and advise that saw the student through many years and phases.

The Success and even the problems have helped us be better at providing a holistic approach to our work in the villages, to the members of those communities, regardless of their age and level of need,

As we learned from and worked in collaboration with our communities, we saw a need for skills based learning and a place to build that capacity. We now have men and women who are attending our vocational institute, the newest addition to our Community Campus in the village of Jogo.

All of this can only happen with persistence and partnership. I remember the Board talking in 2006 about the idea of vocational training and now 10+ years later, after hard work and with your help we have a model vocational institute for the entire country.

2020 is our 15th anniversary year, let’s plan a trip together to meet the CAF children and families; travel the dirt roads; eat bananas, avocadoes and mangos right off the tree and stay at our Guest House in Jogo.

Warm Regards,
Abby Flam

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dear Friends,
February 2015 marked my second trip to CAF, the first having been 6 months prior. As 2015 comes to a close, my heart is full, never having expected how these trips would change my life.

Some point of every day finds me thinking of my friends in the village of Jogo very remote from the world I know and my first night time arrival to the Guest House. As the van turned off the rutted road, my view diminished by the blackness of midnight, I could never have imagined the beauty that awaited my awakening the next morning.

I can still see the smiling faces of the children who welcomed me with song and dance that first day. I hear their voices and recall their excitement when they entered the connect Africa library the afternoon that the doors were first opened to them.

The 7 of us who were tasked with organizing the new library books had clear instructions from Lynn on how the books would be introduced to the children. I laugh at the memory of how our plan for a staggered and orderly introduction to the books was tossed aside as all the anxious children could wait no longer, many to hole a book for the first time.

Some days find me remembering my first science lecture, delivered with trepidation to young girls at a remote high school, remembering the bravest among them who would ask the first question and the others followed.

There are days when I cannot stop thinking of my young 16-year-old friend Brendah, and our trip to Kampala in the crazy taxi van to sort out the paperwork necessary to reenroll her in school to become a nursery teacher. I hold dear the memory of the hard working and ever proud jajas and aunties who attend the literacy classes, humbling me as they kneel in the dust at my feet thanking me for loving their children.

Bright and talented children who are committed to their studies, with shiny black shoes and fees paid by CAF, are offered a chance for a new beginning at schools of which they may have only dreamed of attending.

I have been given so much, on so many levels and in so many ways. After my trips, my life feels nothing but extravagant and my financial support of CAF comes from the gratitude and acknowledgment of all that I have and that I share with those who have nothing.
MariAlyce Worden

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our week with Connect Africa was definitely one of the greatest experiences of our 18 months of world travels. We will always remember the generosity and warmth of the extraordinary teachers, families and students we befriended as we observed the wonderful work that Connect Africa does to support and empower Ugandan people and help improve their quality of life.

We enjoyed our stay in the guest house, which we shared with bright, personable Raymond, a student in the Connect Africa program, who was studying for a national college placement exam. Raymond taught us so much about life, current affairs and the dreams, realities and aspirations of youth in Uganda, and invited us to his home to meet his family.

While at the guest house, we were very well attended to by several people, including the brilliant Connect Africa teacher, Denham, as well as a cook and her assistants, who brought us tasty traditional Ugandan meals and snacks – which we happily shared with Raymond. We soon learned that the meat and good food we were served was only eaten on Christmas by most Ugandans, whose typical daily diet was far simpler - another glimpse into the reality of African life. Denham and Raymond took great care of us, showing us around the quaint village of Jogo, introducing us to people, telling us all about Ugandan life, and even cleaning our shoes for us – an act of appreciation and kindness.

During our stay, we participated in some of the Connect Africa classes and activities for adults and children, which gave us an opportunity to talk with local people, hear their stories and learn more about their lives. We received lots of love from the children and their mothers, who made us feel like welcome friends, and invited us for meals in their homes. We were very impressed with teachers, Denham and Margaret, who demonstrated a natural talent for understanding and motivating the local people, helping them develop valuable life skills and self-esteem. It was inspiring to hear the success stories of the women in Margaret’s class, who learned how to count money, manage a budget, assert themselves with their husbands and start their own businesses. Margaret invited us to her home for a delicious lunch – the kind usually served only on special occasions. We were moved by her hospitality and generosity.

We also spent time with Connect Africa directors, Lynne and Charles, learning more about the program, and visiting some special sites around Kampala, such as Charles’ historical church, and riding with them to drop off students on their first day of high school at different schools around the city. Needless to say, we highly recommend a stay at the Connect Africa guest house. We treasure our experience there and the friendships we made with some amazing Ugandan people.
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

April,2017 a trip 10 years in the making finally came to be as my daughter Odessa and I traveled to Uganda. When Odessa was in 2nd grade Connect Africa was an organization at the annual social justice curriculum project. Odessa and her brother were the only African American in the school– and she immediately connected with the faces she saw in the photos of the children in Uganda. Odessa held lemonade stands and other fundraisers.

Fast forward 10 years we were on a plane headed to Africa. Whatever we imagined to be it was that and so much more. You are hit immediately-the smells, the heat, the people. It’s hard to know where to look first.

Our first day was walking through the village, meeting so many of CAF friends who have been helped by the generosity of donations or projects of CA, and trying to absorb it all. Uganda is a poor country and it’s everywhere – the children who are not in school because their families cannot afford to send them; small home front businesses selling potatoes, tomatoes, chickens…There are a lot of people just hanging out. But everyone met us with a smile and many welcomed us into their homes.

We met Helen whom Odessa has been writing to over the years, and Rosemary and Gertrude. We ate lunch with our hands – posha and beans – and sat in on classes. As it was almost Easter, the students celebrated Love Day where they shared small gifts with a friend. Laughter and singing was everywhere. It was hard for us to sit in the heat of the day, no electricity, open rooms and dirt floors. For them education is so important – it’s a way out of poverty and so they are all serious about it.

When at Lynn’s house and the children were very curious about Odessa – wanting to touch her hair and learn about her life in America. They have seen some American movies and wanted to know about high school and prom. Odessa spent the day with them, eating sugar cane that they cut up and taking photographs.

We took Maria home and could see that when it rains it floods and the homes which are the size of a smaller closet. But again we were met with hugs.

Meeting Helen’s jajja, her grandmother who has raised her. After all these years, it was very emotional to hear her story and to sit with her in her home. At the end of the visit she gave Odessa a mat which in Uganda many people use to sleep on instead of beds. It’s a treasure that now has a home in our home.

Then there was the Saturday enrichment program for the village children, then there was spending time with the newly opened vocational training center—truly it goes on and on of laughing blowing bubbles; learning how to dance; buying clothes made by the tailoring students– and Rosemary and Gertrude surprised us by walking from the secondary school to see us. The smiles were never ending.


it’s really the people we met who are the story. They are optimistic, friendly, happy and welcoming. They are interested in learning about us just as we are about them. In Uganda it’s hard to see where the opportunity lies which is why the work Connect Africa is doing is so important.

Odessa hopes to go back. When we were planning the trip I really did not know what to expect. I knew we would have to just be in the moment. It was much easier than I imagined. It’s a land of contrasts. You should visit – but if you can’t visit support the work they do by making a donation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a week at the Connect Africa Guest House in Joggo village on the outskirts of Kampala. It was one of those few trips in life that really makes an impact on you. I came away from Uganda with a strong feeling that every American, in fact every Westerner, at some point in their life should seek out this kind of experience. What is wonderful about this guest house is that it gives you an opportunity to spend quality time in a small African community outside of the big city, and yet you get to stay in clean, comfortable, peaceful, safe, friendly accommodations. And actually Kampala is not far either - between 30 and 50 minutes depending on traffic. I traveled into the city a couple of times by a combination of Boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) and Taxi (minivan from the town of Seeta). I was well looked after by Charles, the Connect Africa Co-Director, Raymond, Getrude, Annette, Emma and everyone. The food was excellent - simple, local and healthy. I am a vegetarian and they were great about accommodating my needs. And then there are the children! Beautiful, friendly, inquisitive children.

I have traveled quite a bit over the past few years on 'conventional vacations' and while they were very enjoyable, they tend to blend together in my mind. I highly recommend a visit to Kampala, Joggo, and the Connect Africa Guest House.

For a life experience that will leave a lasting impression on you. I am looking forward to going back in the near future, and at some point I would love to bring my 22 year old daughter.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Uncle Charles and Aunti Lynn A speech from your children
Coming up with the idea of starting Connect Africa and after a few years, the community center. Completely without doubting describes who you are. It really shows how humanitarian, honest, kind, loving, brilliant, strong and hardworking you are. It’s not easy to manage such an organization so with a lot of challenges. However, it has been a dream come true.

Connect Africa has sincerely improved so many people of all ages, tribes, characters from being mistreated by the rough way of living. Thanks for we are proud of you.

“omuganda agamba nti etesima ebula agiwa” which means if you do not appreciate what you are given you lack someone to give you. At this juncture allow us to say thank you to Connect Africa, our sponsors, and the board members who may not be currently in Uganda. But more especially Aunt Lynni and Uncle Charles for working tireless hard, for the sacrifice they have made being with us other than their families. Lynn travelling up and down all over America to fundraise and all over Uganda to ensure that everything is in order as a mother taking care of her children. Charles going half head at 3am in the morning the list is endless of what you are always doing to make our lives best they can be.

Before joining Connect Africa our live were a mess. We did not know where we were going, as per now with the advice and the financial support you have given us. Who ae we to get all this hot cool stuff, being loved, paying our tuition on time, getting all school requirements, proper health, coming to our school visitation every time. there is nothing we can do to pay you back. You have really done what our parents could not do. We are looking forward to working extremely hard and bright to achieve a brighter future. Which will automatically uplift our loves to greater horizons. from the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate the wonderful work going on in our little village with beautiful trees with funky monkeys and the guest house in the village named Joggo.

We won’t let you down and we shall always be part of Connect Africa. We pray to God to bless the hands of your works. We love you very much. THANK YOU

From your beloved daughters and sons

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family had the chance to travel to Uganda this summer while my husband was there working for the month of July. We were so grateful to have found the Connect Africa Guesthouse to stay at. It was comfortable with far more than enough space for us and our 3 kids (ages 7, 11, 11). You can actually experience village life (it is about 45 minutes outside of Kampala in a village called Jogo) while still having electricity, a stove, a mini fridge and running water to bathe in.

Annette made delicious Ugandan breakfast for us daily, kept the kitchen stocked with clean water and the most delicious fruit you’ve ever tasted, and even did our wash. Charles, Lynn, and Raymond were incredibly helpful in familiarizing us with necessary information about the area and culture, as well as introducing us to fun things like trying sugar cane right off the stalk behind the house. Raymond also took us to visit and read at a school nearby which was really fun. They were also able to connect us with a reliable driver who took us grocery shopping and on weekend trips to Jinja and Murchison Falls.

However, the absolute best part of our time there was getting to know the neighborhood children who are part of the connect Africa program. We got to help tutor/read with them on Saturdays and the remainder of the week they came after school to play soccer, swing or read with my kids. It was so fun to watch true friendships grow, which definitely made it hard for us to leave!

We always felt safe and thoroughly enjoyed our stay! We’d highly recommend this spot to any family, group, couple, traveling near Kampala.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Uncle Charles and Aunti Lynn
A speech from your children
Coming up with the idea of starting Connect Africa and after a few years, the community center. Completely without doubting describes who you are. It really shows how humanitarian, honest, kind, loving, brilliant, strong and hardworking you are. It’s not easy to manage such an organization so with a lot of challenges. However, it has been a dream come true.

Connect Africa has sincerely improved so many people of all ages, tribes, characters from being mistreated by the rough way of living. Thanks for we are proud of you.

“omuganda agamba nti etesima ebula agiwa” which means if you do not appreciate what you are given you lack someone to give you. At this juncture allow us to say thank you to Connect Africa, our sponsors, and the board members who may not be currently in Uganda. But more especially Aunt Lynni and Uncle Charles for working tireless hard, for the sacrifice they have made being with us other than their families. Lynn travelling up and down all over America to fundraise and all over Uganda to ensure that everything is in order as a mother taking care of her children. Charles going half head at 3am in the morning the list is endless of what you are always doing to make our lives best they can be.

Before joining Connect Africa our live were a mess. We did not know where we were going, as per now with the advice and the financial support you have given us. Who ae we to get all this hot cool stuff, being loved, paying our tuition on time, getting all school requirements, proper health, coming to our school visitation every time. there is nothing we can do to pay you back.

You have really done what our parents could not do. We are looking forward to working extremely hard and bright to achieve a brighter future. Which will automatically uplift our loves to greater horizons. from the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate the wonderful work going on in our little village with beautiful trees with funky monkeys and the guest house in the village named Joggo.

We won’t let you down and we shall always be part of Connect Africa. We pray to God to bless the hands of your works. We love you very much. THANK YOU

From your beloved daughters and sons

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A Wonderful Experience with Amazing Ugandan People
Our week with Connect Africa was definitely one of the greatest experiences of our 18 months of world travels. We will always remember the generosity and warmth of the extraordinary teachers, families and students we befriended as we observed the wonderful work that Connect Africa does to support and empower Ugandan people and help improve their quality of life.

We enjoyed our stay in the guest house, which we shared with bright, personable Raymond, a student in the Connect Africa program, who was studying for a national college placement exam. Raymond taught us so much about life, current affairs and the dreams, realities and aspirations of youth in Uganda, and invited us to his home to meet his family.

While at the guest house, we were very well attended to by several people, including the brilliant Connect Africa teacher, Denham, as well as a cook and her assistants, who brought us tasty traditional Ugandan meals and snacks – which we happily shared with Raymond. We soon learned that the meat and good food we were served was only eaten on Christmas by most Ugandans, whose typical daily diet was far simpler - another glimpse into the reality of African life. Denham and Raymond took great care of us, showing us around the quaint village of Jogo, introducing us to people, telling us all about Ugandan life, and even cleaning our shoes for us – an act of appreciation and kindness.

During our stay, we participated in some of the Connect Africa classes and activities for adults and children, which gave us an opportunity to talk with local people, hear their stories and learn more about their lives. We received lots of love from the children and their mothers, who made us feel like welcome friends, and invited us for meals in their homes. We were very impressed with teachers, Denham and Margaret, who demonstrated a natural talent for understanding and motivating the local people, helping them develop valuable life skills and self-esteem. It was inspiring to hear the success stories of the women in Margaret’s class, who learned how to count money, manage a budget, assert themselves with their husbands and start their own businesses. Margaret invited us to her home for a delicious lunch – the kind usually served only on special occasions. We were moved by her hospitality and generosity.

We also spent time with Connect Africa directors, Lynne and Charles, learning more about the program, and visiting some special sites around Kampala, such as Charles’ historical church, and riding with them to drop off students on their first day of high school at different schools around the city.

Needless to say, we highly recommend a stay at the Connect Africa guest house. We treasure our experience there and the friendships we made with some amazing Ugandan people.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am writing to introduce you to a fantastic organization called Connect Africa Foundation (CAF). Lynn, my friend and mentor, is the founder of Connect Africa. I met Lynn back in… hm....I think it was 2005ish, when I was contemplating a big change in my life. She encouraged me to explore the possibilities in Africa and in 2007 I took the plunge and made my first trip. Over the years, I have gotten to know Lynn, Connect Africa and Charles, the Ugandan Director, pretty well! Check it out at http://www.connect-africa.org/

I INVITE YOU TO GRAB A COFFEE OR DRINK, RELAX AND ENJOY A STORY ABOUT CONNECT AFRICA WITH ME.
'
In all honesty, what Lynn and Charles are doing is not just sponsoring kids to go to school and supporting women of the families to provide small business opportunities. THEY HAVE BUILT A FAMILY! Brothers, and sisters, Aunties and Uncles, Mothers and Fathers THAT SUPPORT AND NURTURE EACH OTHER, CHALLENGE AND ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER, AND LOVE AND CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER. Building and living by a set of values for the kids and their families that provide not only hope but a sense of "I can do this"! I can look beyond where I come from and grow into a responsible adult.

Over the years, Connect Africa has expanded! Building a COMMUNITY CENTER, LIBRARY and GUESTHOUSE to provide services to their members. Recognizing that there are limited opportunities for employment after schooling is complete, Charles and Lynn decided to build a VOCATIONAL CENTER! The school is still being built and will provide catering, carpentry, metal work, and tailoring classes to young adults. IT NEVER STOPS!!!

I have known the CAF family for years now. Meet Brenda, an amazing lady whose story is included in the attachment.-- And Emma. Ah...Emma! My first memory of Emma was on a tour of Kampala with a few of the other Connect Africa kids. He was about 14 years old. A quiet bright young boy, who has been encouraged by Connect Africa to expand and reach his potential for more than 10 years now. Over the years I have become his friend and have seen how CONNECT AFRICA HAS HELPED HIM TO BUILD CONFIDENCE IN HIMSELF AND GIVEN HIM THE CHANCE TO THRIVE WITH ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES. Now 21 and in University, Emma will graduate with a degree in Engineering, he has moved into his own apartment, stays connected with Connect Africa and enjoys spending time with his friends I AM ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN HE CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING HE WANTS!

Connect Africa is about a way of life, a set of values, an opening of the mind to dream of possibilities, and an introduction on how to achieve those dreams!

I AM GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP FULFILLING MY LIFE! I AM GRATEFUL TO HAVE FRIENDSHIPS AT CONNECT AFRICA AND I AM GRATEFUL TO HAVE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDSHIPS TOO!!!

As you enjoy the holiday with your family and friends, I hope that you will consider supporting Connect Africa! To check out more go to http://www.connect-africa.org/

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello
My name is Kayizzi Martha , I am an orphan I lost my dad and mom before I started understanding and I've grown up with my grandma .My life before I joined connect Africa was really difficult being a toddler with a poor guardian who loved me but couldn't afford to keep me in school constantly without being sent home always for school fees balance , struggling to raise money to buy me books, or having a new uniform when I outgrew the old one .
It was quite tough for me given the fact that I picked so much interest in academics and my love for school made people around me feel the need to push me forward and that is how my uncle Richard told Lynn who is his friend about me and showed her my good grades, Lynn picked interest in me and that is how I became part of Connect Africa Foundation. Ever since then I've been given a chance to freely exercise my abilities in class without worrying about where I'm going to get my next tuition from or how much I will toil to get books or pens or food at school .

Connect Africa has helped me join my dream high school, I mean the best schools in the country and now a once hopeless child with just a dream leaning on my grandma for everything I got parents from Connect Africa. They have taken me through this life's journey and I've been able to reach university. I am now in second year pursuing a bachelor's in economics and guess what!!!! I love what I'm studying. I become an economist so that I stabilize and make better economic policies for my country Uganda.
I am kindly begging for your continued support and donations to this organization, in any form! It needs to carry on for many children’s future.
I love you all and please continue to practice social distancing and wash your hands and sanitize to stop the spread of Corona virus. Thanks for your time.



Client Served

Rating: 5

Written by Nabacwa Brendah
“The day Uncle Charles came and picked me from my school and walked me home, we talked and talked. To my surprise, after he talked with my auntie, the next day I went to a new school where I took the interview and an exam and I failed it since I was coming from a bad school. They had me repeat a grade. Uncle Charles and the Head Master told me “if you do well this term we will put you in p5” and I did very well. I started doing well in school.
I have now been in Connect Africa since 2007 and have gotten to know all the CAF students. Funny enough for many years I was the only girl. We spent every weekend at Lynni and lived together happily. Some of these students are my very best friends. We were the first group of CAF and today we take care of the new young ones.
P7 was a very eventful year in my life. All along I knew I was taking medicine but I didn’t know why. I always asked my grandmother and she would always give me an excuse. Then when they knew I was old enough to take ARV they disclosed to me I was HIV positive. I was shattered. I thought I was going to die anytime. I didn’t want to study any more coz it was of no use. I went to my bed and was refusing to eat, go to class and was waiting to die. The Head Master, Uncle Charles and Aunt Lynn comforted me and gave me good support.
I got out of bed, though the whole year was difficult.
My mom died of HIV and my dad is living positive. Sometimes I am concerned for him. I am very healthy, I have learned and continue to learn how to live positive. Now that I am older and a bit interested in boys I am dealing with how to tell people, especially a possible boyfriend.
I believe anytime it can come to an end anytime they will come with a cure. If they have come up with the ARV that are saving my life, in my lifetime there will a cure.
I had a difficult time in secondary school. In Uganda you go from 4 courses to 18. Managing all the new words, the new information and memorizing so much I found hard. After some time Uncle Charles and Aunt Lynn told me they would not focus on my weaknesses but only my strengths. In fact, I was very good with young children so I began going to Jogo on Saturdays and Holidays to work with the children. Jogo is where CAF has a program for enrichment for the poor children in the village. I truly excelled and the better I did the more the teacher gave me to do.
Connect Africa has done better than good. I have received a lot of love and care. It has really done the best in changing my life. It has given me a good education, life skills activities, discipline and provision of basic needs. And with time I will achieve my goals with the foundation they have laid for me. The advice from Lynn and Charles has brought me up to be a good person. Meeting with my classmates, it has helped in solving my problems in some subjects. I feel am different from the time I joined Connect Africa.
I realized my strengths were not in academics though even today I sometimes feel badly. I get scared when there is an exam assuming I will again do poorly. I decided to become a nursery school teacher. I did not have to go onto A level. I finished my O level passing and now I am enrolled in the YMCA early childhood course to become a nursery teacher.
I will finish my training in September 2016. I love it. It is the exact profession for me. My dream come true. It’s the profession that fits. And my sponsor for all these years is a teacher. There were times he was writing me to encourage me to do better in school. He has always been an inspiration.
Thank you Mark.

Donor

Rating: 5

I wanted to go on an African safari, and later meet Bangi Said of Uganda. The first two weeks was an organized safari in Kenya and Tanzania in National Parks. We saw and photographed the “big five” animals in the wild and the wildebeest migration across the Mara river.

The third week was a side trip on our own to a village in Uganda where Connect Africa is doing its work. Connect Africa were such wonderful hosts. I loved it, and Rita tells everyone it was the best trip ever.

About five years ago I had contacted Connect Africa to inquire about helping them. I didn’t really have any understanding of Africa except for my misunderstandings. Through other connections I had learned that Connect Africa was honest and helped people in Uganda.

I spoke with the founder and “big push” of Connect Africa, Lynn Auerbach. Half her time is in Newton, MA, the rest in a Uganda. She suggested we mentor a certain young Ugandan boy about to enter high school. What a blessing for us ever since. Bangi now is a second year law school student who earned admittance to the best law school in Uganda!

He and I started corresponding via email. Many young Ugandans speak and write English. Some was information and opinion exchanges; some was tough love as if I was his real father. He had no one else. He had survived from lower grade school on without knowing parents, relatives or friends, lived in a dark room he found, very lonesome, and scrounged for food. He found room and board for a few years working as a house boy until the beatings and the four-hour sleep time allowed became unbearable. He read whatever he could get his hands on, which brought on the beatings because he should have been using the paper to light the fireplace.

Then Connect Africa and he found each other. The relationship has blossomed! Rita and I are so thrilled to be of some help for a needy smart ambitious kid, knowing any donation is spent wisely by Connect Africa on necessities. We and Connect Africa will enable this special young man to be a leader, practice law in Uganda and help others to become educated and be productive in Uganda. The bottom line for Connect Africa in everything they do is “SUSTAINABILITY”, not a one time hand out. What I saw was a focused pair running Connect Africa in a hard nosed but benevolent dictatorship with those they pick to help. Only the best and brightest children qualify. They are super super kids, no different really than great American kids.

We were met at the airport by Lynn and Charles, the Uganda co-director driven to the village where they have a simple but comfortable Guest House. He and Lynn make a great team, impressive. They shape policy, strategy, and tactics and do everything else too. In addition, Ugandans volunteer too. The Guest House is on 21/2 acres of land outside a village near Kampala. We ate the local food and the bed in our room had a mosquito net. We had a private bathroom with shower, and shared the common room and kitchen. Lynn took good care of us.

Bangi took us on a neighborhood walk and visit --- learned about the gardens, fruit trees, herbs for medicine and a chicken farm. Some fruit and vegetables we had never heard of. Stick something in the ground, and it will grow!!!! When driving out on the dirt path/road, Lynn drove slowly to stop and visit with folks along the way, or offer a ride. Most folks walk, or ride a motorbike. A home might be one or so rooms, dirt floor, no glass or doors, of home made bricks or scrap lumber.

We accompanied Lynn and Charles transporting some of the 40 students about, like from home to the Connect Africa program, and to their boarding school for the start of the third and last term of school. Connect Africa is not an orphanage or boarding school. The homes and schools of the client/children are scattered throughout greater Kampala. Volunteers also transported some on a motorbike --- a common mode of transportation. Connect Africa has one Toyota minivan, which seemed to have never ending space for just a couple more picked up along the way. And then there were the boxes of school supplies, uniforms, and comparatively little clothing. One time when we had no other passengers, Lynn let Emma, a teen age boy in the Program drive the Toyota. He had a grim from ear to ear. From little things, to big things Connect Africa is there.

Rita and I participated in the last Connect Africa children’s day-program before the fall school term began. They speak Uganda and English. They had lots of questions. They loved my point-n-shoot camera. By just watching me a short while, they were able to take and then view their shots on the camera screen. They are so observant, quick to help, fastidious, quiet, the best and brightest. They can be the future of Uganda.

One afternoon a couple dozen local women met at the open shelter. Once a week a Connect Africa volunteer teaches English, and other skills like handling money and writing. Again, we participated. There was quite an age spread. They too asked many questions or discussed matters with us. They kidded us and had a wonderful sense of humor. It was all so inspiring for Rita and me.

Then we learned very special things were happening! The women had prepared dinner for us. After dinner they each brought us gifts from their garden. And we partied! Danced! Well, at least I tried. One lady could do the twist like never seen before! They all introduced themselves and told us something of themselves. And they expressed gratitude for what we do. It was humbling, and wonderful.

The key word with Connect Africa is “Sustainability”. Connect Africa is changing things for a small part of Uganda so it sticks into the foreseeable future. Lynn and Charles find smart children who otherwise will not get an education. Connect Africa loans money to the guardians for tuition. Charles and Lynn monitor their progress. They must keep up scholastically and behaviorally to remain in the program.

Connect Africa also makes loans to folks to help start a small businesses. I understand the pay back record is very good. Apparently these folks trust Connect Africa, but almost no one else --- not officials, not banks, not priests etc, etc. Connect Africa wants to change the culture so that folks will save for upcoming needs instead of needing to borrow.

Connect Africa is a small but effective organization --- a small fish in a big pond. It is a model for others. It has the capacity to do considerable more if we help them with resources. They know how to stretch a buck. Every donation goes a long way with them doing something SUSTAINABLE.

Jerry Hiptas










Client Served

Rating: 5

Sembatya Raymond: RESCUED FROM THE PITS
"What a joy to share the autobiography of a total orphan, who has lived in total rejection under abject poverty!

I am not a blood relative of the grandmother who raised me. My father, who died of AIDS, on his dying bed asked that I be raised by her. I never really knew my mother. Though I was accepted by this grandmother, I was not accepted by the other members of the family. I was always the outsider.

I am Sembatya Raymond, a Ugandan, aged 26 Years. Allow me to share my story about the organization that gave me a family thirteen years ago, when I had no hope, when life was meaningless. In 2005, I used to see a white woman drop by my village to clothe the almost naked little boys and girls, bare footed, with mucus flowing down their cheeks. We were easily 15 grandchildren being cared for by our grandmother. Continually another grandchild was being dropped off. My grandmother could not afford to pay tuition and we often went to bed hungry.

In 2007 I heard the smiling white lady say, “We’re willing to sponsor this child in his secondary education”. It was as though I was day dreaming, until another voice translated in Luganda to confirm what I had just heard. Grandmother with a wide African smile said tens of unending thank you(s).
"Like a caring parent, Connect Africa wished the best for me carefully choosing the correct standard of the school I would join. Hard work coupled with continual counseling from Charles and Lynn paid off and I excelled. I realize that the people in charge of our lives at Connect Africa are generous individuals who really listen, understand, respect our emotions and gently guide us."
After graduating secondary school, I acquired a micro loan from CAF to start a business selling sand for construction. Within five months I raised 50% of the required tuition for University and enrolled for a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Lynn marvels that I am the only student so far who has worked and gone to university at the same time.

Because of the virtues that CAF has instilled I am now the Assistant Director in charge of General Duties and Internal Accounts of a large whole sale business.

Long live CAF to help the thousands who continue to live in abject poverty."

Donor

Rating: 5

My first trip to Africa was to visit Connect Africa in Uganda. I spent 12 days there in April of this year. Everyone asks what did I do and why did I go and sometimes that is hard to answer because I did not do touristy things. I did not see gorillas. I did not go to game parks. But I had so many meaningful experiences that continue to touch me deeply.

I stayed at the guest house which is beautiful and serene, and the co-directors, Lynn and Charles were wonderful hosts. I visited schools attended by Connect Africa children and met students. I observed women learning English and others knitting dolls. I attended their Saturday Children’s Enrichment program, watching 30 children study and learn, then play a vigorous game of soccer-girls and boys together. I spent 1:1 time with older students, giving them a chance to talk privately to me about their medical issues.

I debated and agreed with youngsters whose minds are being challenged in school. I talked to aunties and grandmothers who are raising second and third generations of children. I spoke with students who had very little in material possessions but were full of energy, drive, and gratitude, and are being introduced to what is possible with hard work. Connect Africa also provides micro loans. I was transported on a boda boda/motorcycle by a young man whose burgeoning business was financed through a loan.

One night 11 students ages 11-21 spent the night at the guest house with me. In many ways they were typical teenagers. But they were perhaps wiser, worldlier in a life experience kind of way. They engaged me in a very lively give-and-take about religion and God and politics. I cannot recall ever having such a deep thoughtful interaction with young people. I was profoundly touched by their sincerity, eagerness and honesty.

It is hard to describe the significance of this experience because it is deep inside me. I felt safe, appreciated, useful, embraced and hopeful. I realized many of my first world worries seemed trivial in this third world country.

Children are our hope. Education is most often the ladder to help climb out of poverty and improve one’s life. Connect Africa is working hard to expand minds and provide opportunities for children and their families.

Not everyone can visit Uganda. But even if you cannot be there in person, you can be there in spirit, by supporting the important work of Connect Africa. Donations go to sponsor students at every academic level, as well as for micro loans, and other projects that promote self reliance and well being of families and women.

I hope you will open your hearts and donate generously to Connect Africa.
Visit and experience what has affected me so deeply.

Sincerely, Linda M Cohen M.D. MPH

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello dear friends and colleges,
My name is Valdete Sokoli, 43 years old, from Pristina, Kosova. I have worked for three years in the Ngo in Fushe Kosova, with communities children. I love working with children, especially with those in need. I also write projects and am studying Psychology... Via internet we have created friendship with international NGO, African and Yemenis... although invited to collaborate with needy children/ Save for the needy, at United Citizens Child Support OrganizationI, Uganda- Kampala andhttps://www.facebook.com/NFDHR , Yemen / , I found no case of go so far. if we get involved with the help of volunteer work in Africa will be very thankful ... I wish good luck and much success in the wonderful work you do ..

Will be waiting after your replying,
best regards,,
Valdete Sokoli

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love Connect Africa Foundation for the services it has provided me with like education and discipline. It has also taught me how to be confident when I am with people for the past two years. I joined Connect Africa in 2012 when I was in senior one. To be honest, Connect Africa has changed my life. I pray to the almighty God to keep the connect Africa family very safe and live. Thank you so much for what you have really done for me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I Rashidah, Connect Africa has done the best that we need, it has done for me many things like paying for me school fees, taking me to the hospital, giving me school requirements, e.g books, pens and pencils. Since I entered Connect Africa in 2008, It has taken care of me. Which helps not to stay at home like other children.

May the spirit of the lord come upon you. thank you connect Africa.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I Frank I joined Connect Africa in 2011. What Connect Africa has done for is totally a lot but to mention a few.
Connect Africa has particularly improved upon many lives in many ways.
First and fore most, Connect Africa delivered me from the life of not being educated and being mistreated.
It has helped me to discover my talents and imparting special etiquette in me.
It made me really feel that I can make something of myself and for other people surrounding me.
It gave me good counseling which made me feel as good as a responsible person in the society.
It gave me courage to feel that I am not a social misfit.
Connect Africa made me a successful by uplifting me to better grade.
It inserted God fearing spirit in me which made me successful.
It protected me against child abuse by educating me and many others
I conclusively say that Connect Africa has made me stand for myself and speak something which can be taken as advice from me.


Kayima francis

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am by name Nsangi Daisy I am 16 years old studying at Trinity College Nabbingo. I am so grateful for having joined Connect Africa in 2011. It has paid my school fees, provides with scholastic materials. More so it has enabled me to get new friends with whom we discuss academic matters and our social life so that we live a better life. Many of us can not afford school fees and buying all the necessities but because of Connect Africa, we are able to go to school and learn so that we have a bright future. Through the meetings of my friends in Connect Africa, I have been able to be more disciplined and see how every thing is done in the right way. Thank to Aunt Lynn and Uncle Charles for having started up this organization to help all the children who can not be able to go to school have education for a brighter future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Connect Africa has empowered my education by providing me with school needs, it has really helped me find the way of achieving my goal. What a wonderful organization it is! It has also supported my standards of living because the time since I joined it, I felt a lot of joy and peace. Almost my new life started when I joined this wonderful organization in 2013. Connect Africa has started my new life of living.


By NANSIMBI AGNES

Client Served

Rating: 5

I LOVE Connect Africa for having helped me in my life’s basic needs like education, food and discipline, confidence while speaking to people. For the past four years. God has blessed us so much. I currently go to school at Trinity College Nabbingo and am in S.3. I joined in 2010, before that happened I used to suffer with school fees because I lived with my grandma and she is a low income earner. I was totally poor but now am rich at heart and in the brain because of the knowledge I have acquired. If am to say out everything that Connect Africa has done for me. I might not finish today because it is uncountable. To be honest, my life is changed. Thanks be to Aunt Lynn and Uncle Charles for working tirelessly for the our well being and the donors being exemplary even if they do not know us.

Long live CONNECT AFRICA FOUNDATION UGANDA


KAYIZZI MARTHA

Client Served

Rating: 5

Connect Africa has been there for me in many ways. When I joined in the May 2006. I Nalukwango Sarah was a poor girl. Connect Africa turned my life into gold. It has helped me to pay school fees and scholastic materials, I have learnt how to use a computer, to associate with others where by I have met many people. I have learnt their characters, it has comforted my life, I love Connect Africa because it is my home where life goes well like milk and honey.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I Nabachwa Brenda Suubi I joined Connect Africa on the 8/august/2009. Connect Africa has done better than good. I have received a lot for example love and care. It has really done the best in changing my life. It has given me a good education, life skills activities, discipline and provision of basic needs. And with time I will achieve my goals with the foundation they have laid for me. The advice from Lynn and Charles has brought me up to be a good person. Meeting with my classmates, it has helped in solving my problems in some subjects. I feel am different from the time I joined Connect Africa

namugala martha

Client Served

Rating: 5

I Martha have been helped since 2012. Connect Africa has paid my school fees. You have disciplined me and I have received a lot of love. It has made my life one that every one would admire. My education improved since I have Aunt Lynn and Uncle Charles. I have my classmates and others to revise with things which give me a headache and give me advise. You did for me what my parents would not do for me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just like everyone’s dream in life, my ability to succeed even when I hardly had anything to start with goes far beyond my wishful thinking, when my hopes were dishonored just by the fear I held inside, and that my dream could not be fulfilled. Connect-Africa was my answer.

I am Umar Nsubuga, and am part of a large Connect-Africa family being honored to acquire tuition fees, medical treatment and counseling of which not only enable me acquire quality education and a generous health but as well provide hope that my dreams are yet to come true. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the finest University in my land- Makerere University and all the credit goes only to CONNECT-AFRICA FOUNDATION. Lynn, Charles and everyone out there supporting the “CONNECT-AFRICA FAMILY”, I am so proud to let you know that all your fighting for to help the Ugandan Child is a true genius of the UNSUNG HERO!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege to work with Connect Africa since its inception. Lynn Auerbach had a vision and we, as her Board members, work to help make the program a reality. It's a unique experience working at a grassroots level with a program so geographically distant but yet so personally close. The needs of the children and families are universal. Education is our primary goal, by helping children obtain a quality experience. The Aids epidemic left families bereft, so lending micro loans has helped individuals become self sustaining. The program is hugely successful in these two areas. We are expanding the work all they time. Adult education, a library, and a community center are recent projects. Now we offer a place to visit in Uganda, outside of Kampala, to see first hand the excellent work taking place. Come to Connect Africa and see for yourselves!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a board member since the inception of Connect Africa when a few of us were invited to Lynn's house, sat on her front porch, and were asked to donate $100 to begin to actualize a vision for an organization that would provide hope, empowerment, and build leadership capacity to a severely underserved area of Uganda. And what an amazing journey it's been. Through providing micro business loans to women, all single care takers, and educational support for student tuition to AIDS' orphaned children, Connect Africa has made a real difference. Recipients of loans have not only had success in starting and maintaining businesses but have given back to their community. The rate of repayment on these loans has been phenomenally high. Older students who've received school tuition have progressed to higher education and have become role models and mentors for our younger students. Rental housing units that were built provide sustainable income to support new loans and tuitions. New projects include building a library and community center. It's been and continues to be an inspiring journey for all of us involved both here in the states and in Uganda.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been part of Connect Africa since it's founding and feel honored to share in shaping the Connect Africa vision. Even more important is to see the impact on the lives of children and jajas as they imagine a future with advancing educational opportunities, and establish and grow businesses to support families. The vision to develop community resources, a library and to make all investments sustainable is a testament to the commitment of those who live in Uganda, and those who listen and respond to real and perceived needs.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a board Member of Connect Africa. I have met some of the children that the organisation supports and have seen improvements made to the home of one of the jajas. Their lives change in the way they need- to get the basics-food, shelter, education. Their participation in the micro loans scheme helps kick start entrepreneurial skills that ensure sustainability. Connect Africa is transforming a whole community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently became a board member of Connect Africa but have been fascinated by the work Connect Africa does and the positive impact it has on so many lives for years!! I have been donating to help educate a child named Nalule Doreen since 2006. My son and Doreen write to each other, she has progressed from barely being able to write and now she is finishing her first year of secondary education. Doreen is an orphan and I am so privileged and honored to have her as my daughter. I know where every penny goes in caring for this child as well as the long term goals Connect Africa has for sustainability to ensure the children are never affected in their pursuit of an education and a future. Now I am thrilled to be helping with the greater vision and everyday affairs of such an amazing organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

The powerful work that Connect Africa is doing is a tribute to what one woman can do to empower others to change one life, a community and eventually the world. The program started with a simple premise, to live among a community and identify their needs and help the community meets their challenges. It was not imposing some foreign idea but rather the art of listening and listening with love. What a wonderful, wonderful non-profit.

Donor

Rating: 5

Connect Africa is my favorite place to donate money because the funds go directly to improving the lives of the children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Uganda and their grandparents who are raising them. The money goes to education sponsorships for the children and business loans to the elders. The outcome for these families is tremendous: the children are receiving an education and the elders are creating business, both of which work towards creating a community that is growing towards self-sufficiency. My mother and I are regular donors and the occasional letters we receive from the child or elder we sponsor are heartwarming. Giving to Connect Africa is a fantastic way to make a difference by helping others who are less fortunate. Connect Africa is thriving and growing in controlled and smart ways.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Lynn Auerbach's vision and hard work has changed the lives of many children who were orphaned by the AiDS epidemic in Uganda. I know when I donate to Connect Africa, that the money will be used efficiently and effectively to help these children who otherwise would have very sad lives. In addition to providing access to education for the children, community centers built by Connect Africa play an important role in bringing the community together as these families heal from the loss of the parents of so many children. I know that my donation to Connect Africa has a direct and positive effect on a child's life in Africa.

Donor

Rating: 5

We learned of Connect African when Lynn came to visit our school when my daughter (now 14) was 7. She was so inspired by her story of a passion for helping those in Africa that she began doing lemonade stands and other activities to help raise money for CA. Lynn has continued to inspire her and has kept her involved by meeting with her when she is in Massachusetts and having her help her do mailings and other administrative tasks, while continuing to share her experiences and stories. My daughter even began a pen pal relationship with one of Lynn's students in Africa. What a terrific person and a terrific organization.
Abby E, Brookline, MA

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learnt of Connect Africa in the early days of it's inception. They are an organisation that has persistently adhered to their principles, changed and continue to change lives daily and best of all, a grassroots organisation driven by love. I am always impressed by their accountability to the community and prudent use of their resources.
Connect Africa is one of the few " real" Not for profits that I know to make a real difference in the lives of the people they serve.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that is able to significantly help many impoverished people improve their lives and the lives of people in their community and it is able to do this very efficiently!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Connect Africa is driven by passion and purpose and completely guided by the needs/wants of the local community. I'm inspired to support Connect Africa year after year based on the benefits it delivers to women, children and communities.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lynn Auerbach is a member of my long-running book group. She meets with us whenever she's able to be in the U.S. Lynn explained to us long ago that one of her dreams in life was working for the betterment of people in Africa. We have seen her carry this out by creating jobs for women, sending children to school, and helping "her" village in so many ways. Lynn and Charles are people who care honestly and passionately for those they work with. Being able to help her in a small way has been very satisfying to me and my husband. We know that the money is being used effectively for good. We have complete trust in Lynn and Charles as overseers of the use of the funds.

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned about Connect Africa from a friend about 5 years ago and have made a 4 figure contribution every year since for the following reasons:

1. CA is focused on a limited number of achievable objectives--its small staff has the knowledge and expertise to directly carry out these objectives on site without any layers and very little overhead.

2. CA communicates efficiently with its donors about its achievements without overdoing it or repeating itself. The information is concrete and credible and the successes are linked to the goals and synergistic for families that often participate in several ways.

I encourage other donors and volunteers to support Connect Africa in whatever way you can. You will not likely be disappointed.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a terrific organization started by one woman determined to make a difference to the lives of young people in a remote village in Uganda by providing them with access to education. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide direct support to individual students through Lynn's wonderful program.

Nathan A.

Donor

Rating: 5

I had known of this amazing organization for many years from Lynn coming to my church and giving her annual presentation of the children and families she supports in Uganda. These presentations inspired me and motivated me to make a difference of my own. At the time I was in Boy Scouts and was working my way to becoming an Eagle Scout but needed an idea to conduct an Eagle Scout Service Project. After Lynn's presentation that year I was talking to her about Boy Scouts and I realized that helping Connect Africa and those amazing families in Uganda would be the perfect project! Lynn was ecstatic about the idea and the next thing I know, I am presenting the proposal of gathering boarding and school supplies for the children in Uganda to the board of the Boy Scouts of America and they tell me that this was one of the best projects they had heard of in a long time! By the end of my project I had spread the word of this amazing organization across about 50 different businesses and gathered over 5,000 different items from shirts and bedding to calculators to send to Uganda for these children to go to school and get the education they deserve. I am very proud to have helped this organization and those children the way that I did and I hope that I also inspired others to realize that they can make a difference too!

Advisor

Rating: 4

I have known Connect Africa for 8 years and have seen the work that they do personally. I am based in Kampala for more than 4 years, and have met many of the students that they have supported through school. It is exciting to see some of the youngest students on their way to graduating "high school" and moving on to attend University. The dedication of the Connect Africa team to the students and families is genuine! They are involved in their lives and not just a source of funding for school fees and loans. Thank you for the work that you do!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a pediatrician and spent 10 days visiting Uganda and Connect Africa. Connect Africa works with families affected by the AIDS epidemic by supporting the children so they can go to school, offering micro loans so women and men can start a small business, teaching English and life skills to children and adults to help them improve their situation . It is a very inspiring program. The children and women I met were engaged, inquisitive, sincere, respectful and filled with hope for their future and for their country. Children are our hope and Connect Africa is working hard to open up minds and opportunities for children and their families. Education is most often the ladder to help children and families climb out of poverty and improve their lot. Connect Africa is actively and intimately working with children, families and schools.

Donor

Rating: 5

It is incredible how much this small organization has accomplished! I am very proud to be sponsoring one of the students through her high school years. She writes a long personal letter, every year, explaining her studies and her hopes for the future, which is to become a woman doctor. She wants to give back, to help others as she herself has been helped! I am certain that my donating to this organization is worth every penny which will grow and multiply into a much higher yield for the future of Uganda. Thanks to Lynn and Charles's undying hard work and unfailing belief in their mission.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been following Connect-Africa for some years now and ultimately decided to become a donor to this remarkably effective, life-changing organization.

Connect-Africa (CAF) works in Uganda with the children of parents who have died of AIDS, as well as their caregivers, often grandmothers. CAF provides educational sponsorships so children eager to learn can go to school and obtain the education necessary for a bright future. In addition, CAF provides “micro-loans” to industrious people (often grandmothers) who just need seed money to start a business.

Lynn Auerbach is the founder of Connect-Africa, and her enthusiasm is backed up by incredible results. She lives in the Ugandan village for 6 months of the year, ensuring that donation dollars translate into education for children, and that the children get the supplies and support to succeed in school. She also oversees the micro-loans, screening candidates for the loans and overseeing their administration. The majority of loans are paid back, after the recipients have gotten their businesses off the ground. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to know you’ve helped significantly raise the standard of living for so many families. As a result receiving micro-loans from CAF, small businesses can thrive and their owners can become self-sufficient. Lynn gets to know the children, the grandmothers, and the business-owners. She deeply cares about them and provides practical ways for them to improve their lives. It’s really an amazingly well-run, successful organization.

Gabriela D.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lynn is a great inspiration and all her hard work is shown in this organization! It's a fabulous organization and I am excited to see more about it and how it will keep improving !

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The impact of CAF to the Ugandan community can best be illustrated by Burhan a young man orphaned at an early age, with neither an education nor skills, yet tasked with providing for his family made up of his siblings and his helpless mother. I met him as a struggling footballer in a youth academy where i worked as a social worker, but the daily demands of his family could not let him further his footballing dream. He therefore sought greener pastures in the neighbouring war-torn southern Sudan, where he sustained bullet wounds that not only threatened his life but the livelihood of his family-since he was the breadwinner.

However, the compassion, empathy and determination of Lynn and Charles the founders of CAF restored smiles on their faces. Not only were hospital bills catered for, but with the help of Lynn and Charles, Burhan was offered training, like many in his community start up availed with which he started a motor cycle transport business (boda boda).

On my last encounter with him, he talked of bigger dreams-a sharp contrast from the individual i met a few years ago.

Transforming other peoples lives is a higher calling,that a few individuals can live up to, but people like Lynn are an exception and therefore deserve all the financial donations so that they can continue to support orphaned children, widows and the disadvantaged people in the communities where Connect Africa operates.

Donor

Rating: 5

Quite simply, Connect Africa saves lives. Lynn, the founder of Connect Africa, saw the need to change the course of the lives of Ugandan children whose parents, affected by HIV and other problems, couldn't take care for them adequately. Connect Africa stepped in to fill the educational gap so that these kids would have a viable future. As a donor, I continue to be so impressed with the dedication and determination of Lynn, an American and her co-director Charles, a Ugandan to ensure that the children serviced by Connect Africa are cared for emotionally, physically as well as educationally. In addition, it has reached out to adults by providing micro loans with a near 100% success rate in loan payback. I see Charles and Lynn as extraordinary leaders and visionaries. My support of Connect Africa continues as it makes such a huge positive impact in the lives of Ugandans.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working directly with Lynn, the co-founder of Connect Africa, for the last 6 years. I am a 6th grade teacher and each year my students complete an interdisciplinary project on Africa in which they study the geography, history, economy, wildlife, influential people, and current issues of a specific African country. An extension of the project is the outreach we do with CAF. The students and our community donate money and goods to sponsor a student to go to school. In doing so, we have been able to support a student to continue and almost finish his educational career. The donated items go to other participants in the program in need of these educational and household supplies. My relationship and partnership with Lynn is very important and I hope to continue it for a long time to come.

Deborah57

Donor

Rating: 5

It's very difficult to know which organizations use donations most effectively; so much money typically gets gobbled up with overhead expenses, inefficiency or downright corruption. I love donating to Connect Africa for many reasons, not the least of which is that I know practically every penny goes to the families in Uganda. Lynn lives there for 6 months of each year, and personally directs every aspect of the operation. She is also terrific at keeping donors informed about what's happening. A very worthy cause, run by an exceptional woman!

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have supported CAF for the past 5+ years donating funds, organizing fund raisers at our church and participating in Ugandan dinners here in MA. Lynn is a very special person who clearly has a vision for "her" village in Uganda where CAF supports individuals in community self-sustaining projects and educational support for many orphans. I have complete faith in Lynn as Executive Director of CAF.

Rebecca63

Donor

Rating: 4

Connect Africa is an organization that provides a connection between donors and recipients. It is a joy to see the progress of the organization, to get updates from Uganda, and see what a difference one person's vision and commitment can do. While Lynn is an inspiration to everyone who connects to this organization, she also build confidence and determination among the recipients with work and education.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lynn, the founder of Connect Africa is a longtime friend and neighbor who, by forming Connect Africa made a lifelong dream come true. Since it's inception, Lynn has devoted herself to the organization Connect Africa with the same verve she lends to her personal life. She fulfills many roles with the Connect Africa and does so both with professionalism and integrity. My initial donation assisted a young man to complete his education. Along the way, I was personally informed of his progress through personal letters to me. I was touched and impressed with this in that it brought home to me the actuality of my donation. Recently, Lynn and I consulted on the various aspects of her lovely new guest house/b&b which will enable those who wish a stay where they can truly be close to the operation of Connect Africa.

I will continue to support Lynn and her efforts knowing that my support will make the world a better place.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donating to Connect Africa for 6 years, ever since our daughter met Lynn Auerbach in 5th grade. Lynn came to our daughter's class to talk about her work in Uganda. Our daughter was so moved that she asked us to donate and if she could volunteer. When we looked into CAF and met Lynn we were so impressed with her industrious and thoughtful approach to the issues in Uganda that we have been donors and volunteers ever since! Lynn is practical, creative and sensitive and an inspiration. Her efforts make a huge difference in the lives of so many children and families.

Donor

Rating: 5

Lynn is a highly effective. She has boundless energy, is not daunted when things go wrong and always finds another way forward. She understands how to work well with the people in her area, and knows when to put aside her 'american' way of thinking. She is a highly efficient administrator as well as being compassionate and able to make the right decision at the right time. it seems hard to imagine that there is someone who has all these key attributes that are necessary for the work that she is doing but she has them. She is thrifty but generous too.

I grew up in Africa myself, and have been involved with other NGO's similar to CAF, and I think that Lynn and the work that she does, stands out far and above the others. If you want to donate your money towards this kind of work, Connect Africa Foundation is the place to go to make sure that the best use is made of your donation. The work she does, truely makes a big difference in the lives of the people she touches. I wish there more people like her in this area of work.


The work that Connect Africa does addresses the very root of the issues that get in the way of greater opportunity. Connect Africa provides access to education, additional academic and community support, and for many children, a family environment that provides love and boundary setting. In addition, microloans are given to women who need money to support their children's education. I believe that the model that Lynn Aurbach uses is the most effective one that I know of. She has lived in Uganda for many years and has teamed up with local people in the community who work along side her and help her understand how best to address the challenges of her mission.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been donating to Connect-Africa since its inception. Lynn is one of our oldest and dearest friends. Her dedication to the work of the foundation and the children it serves is tireless. Lynn is personally involved in every aspect of the foundation's work and its' outcomes - children in school, parents and grandparents becoming empowered through small business development have a real impact. Donate!!

Donor

Rating: 5

My name is Jeff Lawlor and I have known Lynn for many years. CAF is such a great organization, helping so many people in so many ways. I have contributed to CAF in the past, and will in the future.

Most recently, my wife and children held a fundraiser for CAF as part of their Girl Scout Troop activities. In preparation for this, Lynn came into the troop to educate and inspire the girls. A group of 9 year old girls all from a local suburb. She was able to show these girls details about Uganda they could never have seen or understood otherwise. My girls have not stopped talking about it since! Truly inspiring!

I love what CAF is all about, and hope to see it continue to touch the lives of both the people of Uganda as well as the United States. Everyone benefits!

Arlene8

Board Member

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been donors to Connect Africa since our friend Lynn started the foundation. We knew that many Ugandans have lost loved ones due to AIDS and we were so happy to loved know that our small donations made such a difference in the lives of children and families in Kyaliwaijala Uganda.

We were lucky enough to see the importance of the work Lynn and Charles do when we visited Connect Africa 2 years ago. With Charles as our guide, we visited schools and met some of the children who are part of connect Africa. We met the jajas and people who have received micro loans. We sampled some of their products (the spirits) and yes, we met Galabuzi Edward with his boda boda. The next time we come we will take a nice ride with Edward.

Meeting the wonderful people made us understand why this is "Connect" Africa. We feel forever connected to the village and her people. Thank you Lynn, Charles and all the donors for all you do.

Arlene Pressman

Client Served

Rating: 4

I welcome you all to read my story about Connect Africa. My name is Galabuzi Edward. I have a family and one child his name is Ssesanga Marvin and he is 6 years.

I am a boda boda motor cyclist (boda boda means transporting people for money). I got to know about Connect Africa while at my job. I had packed my motorcycle waiting for passengers then there came a customer who I transported and he liked me and kept coming to me to transport him wherever he wanted. He was Charles Kalule.

One day as I was chatting with him I mentioned that this motorcycle is not mine, it belonged to someone else. Charles later as we chatted told me about Connect Africa and that since I seem to be faithful Connect Africa could give me a microloan to by my own motorcycle as long as I would abide by the microloan terms. The other option was to save with Connect Africa and when the money accumulates they would buy me a motorcycle of my own. So I saved my little savings with Connect Africa up to 1Million shillings. They gave me a new motorcycle which I still have and I have no words to express my gratitude. With this motorcycle I pay school fees and all scholarstic materials for my child and also I have bought off 2 pieces of land in the village.

I thank Connect Africa very much and I pray it can help many men like me to start businesses of their own.

God bless you all.
Galabuzi Edward

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Ssenoga John. I live at Kyaliwajjala in Uganda. I would like to tell you about Connect Africa Foundation and Lynn and Charles who have given me and my family hope in life, and are continuing .

Life is not easy on this planet earth more especially when you lose your parents. I came to realise when i lost my father Samuel Ssenoga in 2005 when I was 10 years old. Life became desperate with only my mother having to take care of five of us. She was a subsistence farmer and a local brewer. Life changed when my mother received a home-based nurse who introduced her to Connect Africa Foundation early 2006. One day Lynn and uncle Charles the founders of CAF visited us at home. They discussed many things and out of what they discussed came school fees for me, and a microloan for my mother to strengthen her small business of brewing local beer. She then improved from brewing 8 Jerricans on local brew to 20 Jerricans a month.

Connect Africa Foundation additionally started giving us clothes, the whole family. We then knew we had safe custody under Connect Africa Foundation. Lynn and Charles continued to bring nice white friends to our home to check on us. I was also introduced to other Connect Africa sponsored children and we got to share joy and happy times together.

My mother's business boomed and with the profits she was able to put windows in our house which had no windows. We started living in a nicer home, less mosquitoes would come in to eat us as we slept. In 2009, Connect Africa sponsored me to attend a very nice school in Kampala which ranks among the best schools academically in Uganda. I am so very grateful to Connect Africa. May Connect Africa live long and sponsor more children and families like mine. There are so many desperate families here in our community who would was support from Connect Africa. Thank you so much Lynn and Charles.

SSENOGA JOHN.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Name is Allen Nansubuga. I would like to give my review of Connect Africa Foundation here in Kyaliwajjala, Namugongo which was founded by Ms. Lynn Auerbach of Newton Center, Maryland USA.

I first met Lynn in 2008 here in my village in Kyaliwajjala and she looked "at home" and not a guest in my community. She had come at my Internet Cafe to use the services there. Inside my Internet Cafe I had stocked acrylic yarns for hand-making fabrics by crochet, and I also had hand-crocheted weekend bags, baby blankets and sweaters in there on display. It was obvious these things were hand-made. So Lynn asked who makes them and there is when we got connected -- she had knitting needles inside her bag and some gorgeous knitting yarn. She was from teaching hand-knitting to a group of gurdians of the orphans she takes care of. All this was happening in my community and I did not know -- a white lady was doing a lot of good in my community but because I was an office lady, and rarely went over to the Internet Cafe, and hardly knew about the happenings in my community, I did not know Lynn's presence.

Lynn is a very outgoing lady, and slows down her American English accent to catch up with the Ugandan English accent here in the village. So she is able to speak and be understood by all people young and old. She has also learnt the basic local language and one cannot backbite her. She told me about the orphan caring activities that Connect Africa Foundation is doing in Kyaliwajjala community, and the micro-loans (interest-free) she gives to the guardians of the orphans for business startups, and also the women who were knitting dolls for the Dolly-Mama's in the USA. Immediately I got interested in the knitting (as it was very close the to Crocheting I was doing myselff, and had taught a group of women how-to). It was vivid that we had somethings in common and we could work together to advance our community, empower women to better take care of their children, etc. Well, I still had my fulltime office job, so I interested one of my sisters at the Cafe to join the knitting group. We kept the relationship to that level till last year October 2012 when we reconnected --

Lynn and I caught up with each other again in October, 2012. This time we needed each other -- I wanted to expand my crocheting "hands" and get more women to hand-crochet baby sweaters for my business. And Lynn now had 2 women groups that were knitting for the Dolly-Mamas, one in Kyaliwajjala and one in Jogo village about 3 miles beyond Kyaliwajjala. She indicated that she has some months in the year when she would go to America and the women would not knit then, and that I could work with the women for those months to crochet for my business. This was an attractive idea from Lynn! Soon she was to leave for America and would not return till January the following year 2013. She invited me over to visit Jogo where we was building a Community Center for Connect Africa Foundation. I did visit and it was so impressive!!

Connect Africa Foundation (CAF) has a home in Jogo village and Lynn narrated to me the strides CAF is taken so far and gave me current statistics as follows:
• 67 student scholarships,
• 25 students in Educational Enrichment where children come for lessons in life skills, academics, group play, build peer relations, etc.
• 102 start-up business and education loans (of which I am a beneficiary)
• 32 individuals make native crafts
• 15 village women knit for the Dolly-Mama's in USA (who also crochet for my business May, June, Nov & Dec)
• 15 Adults in the Adult Education Program (30-69 years of age)
• 5 rental apartments, constructed in 2009 (income is earmarked for scholarships)
• A guest house constructed in 2012 and ready to host guests since August 2012
• Community Center Development

CAF involvement in the community was so impressive, and the level of organization too. So whyle Lynn was away for November and December 2012, I was able to work with the 15 women to crochet bay sweaters and they did a great job for me. I paid these women off with a microloan that I got from CAF for that very purpose. It worked out very fine. I was to pay it back in 3 installments Dec'12, Jan'13 and Feb'13 and this month is when I pay it off completely. Also this January, I was able to receive an Educational Loan of USD180 to get my orphan nephew into school (I needed a total USD360 but the CAF policy is 50% cost-share and then pay back what you've been loaned within 3 months so you can get back the Educational Loan again for the following school term if you still need it). The loan was a stitch-in-time. My nephew reported on the 1st day of school!

I've heard so far 3 stories about microloans from CAF from people who did not know that I knew CAF and that I too have ever got microloans from CAF. They were awesome stories. I will ask them to review as well.

CAF has given me a volunteer opportunity, to speak to the Internet community about CAF. So I will be frequenting this place. I told CAF that I will tell people about the good works in our community, and let them know about next CAF goals of a Community Meeting Space, a Library with Computer Lab, a Kitchen, a Vocational Training Center, and a counseling room. CAF already has a huge piece of land to facilitate these goals mentioned above. CAF tells me the Library with Computer lab can go into a 40-ft Container, with windows cut out and fixed properly, doors, the floor of the container done with tiles, and a roof/shelter fixed, and then pavers around the container to grass-thatched open shelters in the huge space available so library users can read from outside the library if they so wish.

Long live Connect Africa foundation. Long live Lynn and Uncle Charles the co-founders!!!