News

Second Term Update

14th August 2014

Dear all,

The Foundation extends its greetings to all our beloved partners, both local and international, who are working constantly and tirelessly with Cosma. We thank you so much for having chosen to work with the Foundation, and we appreciate all the support you have rendered towards changing the lives of young children in our Community.

This term, our children displayed improved academic performance, the Cosma team attended skills development training and AHN Fellow training, our high school graduates received their university admission offers, two pigs gave birth, and training about website maintenance was conducted.

1. Improved Academic Performance

Our kids were overjoyed after the end of the second term when they realized they had improved their academic performance! 70% of our students achieved passes with first or second grades. “We have been able to concentrate more on our books, since we now all have books and pens, and our school fees are paid on time,” said one of the sponsored students.

2. Our University Students

Nabbale Prossy
Prossy Nabaale
Prossy after picking up her admission form from Makerere University.

God is still making miracles in his people! Prossy, a graduate from senior six, never expected to be admitted to Makerere University! Prossy was extremely happy after picking up her admission form, and feels confident about achieving her dream of becoming an accountant. Prossy wants to become an accountant so that she can work at the bank and give out community loans to boost families’ income.

The education system in Uganda is bit different from that of the United States. Here, most university students study for three years, depending on the course he or she takes, and each year has only two semesters. Prossy was admitted into the three-year Bachelor of Arts in Economics course, and is looking forward to beginning her first semester on 16 August. Thanks goes to AHN and Cosma Foundation for the wonderful work they have done in supporting Prossy.

Salaama Nanyondo
Salaama Nanyondo
Salaama after picking up her admission form from Makerere University.

It’s unbelievable but true! Salama has qualified to join Makerere University and has received her admission form. She will be studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies. Salama is very grateful for all the support she has received from Cosma Foundation and African Hope Network.

At first Salama’s dream was to become a journalist, but she now aims to become a social worker. She is very proud of this next step she is taking, and hopes to work with village communities when completes university. Her semester will begin on 16 August.

Denis Mukasa
Denis Mukasa
Denis on his way back to university.

Denis, the very first beneficiary of Cosma Foundation, has completed his first year at university! Over the break, he attended a one month internship course in Masaka Hospital, and has acquired a lot of practical knowledge. He is very excited to start his second year and looks forward to doing his best.

3. Vocational Training

Hamza Mayanja at the garage doing motorcycle mechanics.

Cosma Foundation’s main mission is to empower vulnerable children to lead valuable lives. To help students struggling with academics or otherwise unable to continue their studies, Cosma has recently started a vocational training program.

Hamza Mayanja is one of the students who started with the program last year, in 2013. He is an orphan and had already dropped out of school before joining Cosma Foundation. He was helping with his uncle’s construction work by carrying construction materials like bricks, sand, poles and cement at building sites.

At the age of 16, Hamza completed Primary Seven, but despite his love for studying he had little hope of being able to continue his schooling. Instead, he began motorcycle mechanics training, which has changed his life. Hamza has now completed his first year in vocational college, and will begin his second year on 5th September. He is extremely grateful for all the love and care that Cosma has provided him. “As someone with no mother and father, who would have bothered to pay for my school fees and other basic needs?” he says.

Happy as he is now, Hamza’s dream is to start his own garage after completing his course next year so he can train more youths in Cosma Foundation and within the community in motorcycle mechanics, especially those without the chance to attend school.

Many thanks goes to Mr Angel from USA who is working tirelessly to sponsor Hamza so that he can achieve his dream.

Babirye Joan Nalwoga
Babirye Joan Nalwoga
Babirye Joan at the college.

Adding vocational skills to the education system is one of the models being adopted by the Education Ministry in order to curb growing unemployment in Uganda. This same idea is being adopted by the Cosma Foundation for less academically-inclined students under its vocational education program.

Babirye Joan is one of the beneficiaries of the program this year. She is 17 years old and has been troubled by chronic headaches for the last two years. Different medical treatments failed to have a substantial impact, and Babirye Joan could no longer go to school.

The Cosma team decided to devise a method for making Babirye Joan’s life productive. Hence, Joan has been admitted into the confectionery training center in order to learn a practical life skill. In June, she started classes at Elisham Confectionery in a suburb of Kampala, and she is very excited to be part of the program. She looks forward to starting her own confectionery shop for bread-lovers in Kampala. We hope that with this program, Babirye Joan will be able to lead a life filled with passion and achievement.

We are grateful to AHN for their support in creating a purposeful life for Joan.

4. Leadership Training

Charles Training
Charles attending a 4-day skills development workshop in Masaka.

Our director Charles was happy to be given the chance to attend a four-day skills development workshop in Masaka. Through the course,he was able to identify organisational challenges and how to overcome them with improved management skills. Right now, Charles is working hard to review challenges as well as indicators of success for Cosma Foundation. Thanks goes to the African Hope Network for the wonderful support it has given towards the Cosma team’s skills development! We believe that it is significantly improving the Cosma Community.

5. Piggery Project

The goal of our piggery project is to ensure the community’s financial independence through pig farming, while at the same time supporting kids and empowering the community through imparting the necessary skills for improving income. We have discovered that 90% of the families supported by the Cosma Foundation depend on Agriculture as their source of income. Cosma’s goal is to encourage them to commercialize, so as to reduce the rate of dependency among Foundation families.

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Charles visiting the family of Grace Namatovu, one of the participants in the Piggery project.

The project currently has one male and five female pigs. Recently, two pigs gave birth to 16 piglets, and the project can now support 3 additional primary school children as well as generate income for the Foundation. The project has become a center of learning in the Community. Three other families from Cosma Foundation have been so inspired that they are planning to start their own pig farm together.

The two proud mother pigs!

After realizing the significance of the project to the Cosma community, the Foundation is planning to expand the farm into a model breeding center to help both our beneficiaries and the community to acquire new skills for taking care of the pigs.

The Foundation is now calling upon more interested partners and friends to help support the building of more piggery houses to accommodate over 100 pigs, as well as the training of new families in pig rearing techniques. Your donation will help the Foundation to become self-supporting, and directly boost the income flows of supported families. This is part of Cosma Foundation’s long term vision to directly impact over 1000 families in 5 years through sponsorship, agriculture and animal husbandry, and greater health standards in all of the greater Masaka region.
Update_081614_5

Young piglets being nursed by their mother.

Appreciation goes to the African Hope Network for their wonderful support towards the project.

6. Holiday Projects

Here are some of the projects we will be busy with this holiday:

  • Leslie Stroud-Romero, the African Hope Network’s fundraising development director, will visit the Foundation and participate in various activities.
  • Cosma will do counseling for kids and families.
  • There will be agriculture training and distribution of improved seeds among farmers.
  • There will be family visits and farmer visits with Leslie.
  • Leslie will also inspect the pigs’ project.
  • Scholastic materials will be distributed to our kids to prepare them for a 3rd term of school.

7. Final Words

We remain extremely grateful to our current partners such as the African Hope Network, Bag Full of Stuff, Wilshire Baptist Church, and the Uganda Hope Network of Yale University for supporting our efforts.

Your donations are always welcome. Please click here to find out how to donate. For more information about your donation, please refer to the African Hope Network website, or contact Joan Gass, Executive Director for African Hope Network USA.

For more photos, visit our Facebook page here.

Always yours in service,

Nsambya Charles
Director
Cosma Foundation

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