Ordinary Saturday or a Day to Remember? Happy Birthday, Musana! (September newsletter)

“Do you know what today is?” It was a question repeated multiple times on Saturday, September 16th . It wasn’t until they were asked, “Where were you nine years ago?” that the original Musana children’s faces lit up and they knew, “Today is Musana’s birthday!” What seemed like an average Saturday turned into appreciating a day nine years ago that was anything but average for them. Tuesday, September 16 th , 2008 was a day that completely transformed their lives. For many of them, it was the first time that they slept on a bed, or the first time that they fell asleep with full bellies knowing that they would be fed again in the morning. It was a day that would pave the way for a bright future. It was a day they would ALWAYS remember. Although we were not able to celebrate officially this year (just wait until 2018 when we make 10 YEARS!), we were able to reflect on how much has been accomplished. In nine years, it is incredible to think where Musana has come and where the children that day nine years ago would end up. At nine years, more than ever, we can see the fruits of our labor as the children are becoming adults and catalysts in their communities. Juliet is one of them!

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Copy, Edit, and Paste: Leadership Learning Trip (August newsletter)

This month, our leadership team went on a week-long adventure across Uganda to learn from organizations that are doing similar work through community development. It was an incredible experience, meeting passionate leaders, all with the same ultimate goal of seeing a greater Uganda. We visited nine organizations and send a HUGE thank you to the people who made the experience possible! Thank you to all of our host organizations for being so welcoming, humble, and open to teaching!

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Igniting Creativity Through Skills (June newsletter)

On June 24th, Musana graduated its fourth class of women from our Skill Development Training Program. There were forty-one women who finished the fourteen week course, coming from various ages, educational backgrounds, and economic status. These women graduated in tailoring, knitting, or baking with a component of business, learning to market their own products. They will go on to be self-employed, dignified women, with the capacity to produce clothing or baked goods for individual customers or on a contract basis with larger institutions. With the ability to earn an income, they are empowered with the ability to support themselves and their families!

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Fighting for Lives (May newsletter)

This past Sunday there was a horrific attack at a church in Iganga just a few miles away from Musana due to a land dispute between the church and community members. During service, a group of men attacked members in the congregation with machetes, killing two people and injuring many others. After the attack, the victims were rushed to the main hospital in Iganga for treatment. One of the injured was Musa Kabale. Musa was slashed multiple times on the head and on his body with the machetes and was losing blood rapidly. The main hospital did not have blood to do a transfusion so Musa was rushed to Musana Community Health Center (MCHC). Our amazing medical team worked tirelessly to stitch up all the wounds and give him the blood that saved his life. There is no question that Musa would have died without the efforts of our doctors, clinicians, and nurses. As the only income earner in the family, Musa would have left two wives and ten children with no means to provide for themselves.

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Collaboration Through Teaching (April newsletter)

This month we had an incredible team of educators from Flatirons Community Church come and work alongside our teachers at Musana Nursery and Primary School! Unlike most mission trips that have an aim of hands-on service, we believe a successful missions trip is one full of relationship building and collaboration where there can be mutual learning and growth for everyone involved. Our Ugandan teaching team is made up of qualified, intelligent, and energetic individuals that are committed to changing their community by raising the next generation of leaders. The U.S. teachers have broad experience in teaching techniques and emphasizing critical thinking in the classroom. Together, these two groups encouraged each other and pushed each other to be all around better teachers!

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Reaching the Community (March newsletter)

In 2012, Musana began doing community health outreaches in the homes and villages of our scholarship children with the goal of raising the standards of living for their families during school holidays. During these outreaches, we began seeing case after case of children and community members with severe health needs that were not being treated. Because of this, we saw the overwhelming need to start a health center in Iganga that would provide affordable, quality, and compassionate health care. Musana Community Health Center was launched in February 2016 and within the first year, we provided health services to over 10,000 people!

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The Power of Education (February newsletter)

As the 2017 school year has kicked off this February, we have officially opened Musana Vocational High School! Over 230 students have reported for classes, an AMAZING turnout! High school in Uganda consists of two levels, O-level (4 years) and A-level (2 years), making 6 years of school. Our school has started with the first two classes (S.1 and S.2) and each year a class will be added until all 6 years are offered on our campus. By 2021, we expect to have a population of 900 students. We could not be more excited for the opportunity to mold the youth in Iganga into leaders that will create change in their communities and in the world!

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Rising to the Top (January newsletter)

We could not be more excited to announce that in 2016, Musana Nursery and Primary School ranked 2nd in Iganga District out of over 400 schools that sat for the PLE, (Uganda’s national primary leaving exams). It is a requirement for all Primary 7 students in Uganda to take the exam and it is the main indicator of a school’s performance. Out of 32 Musana students that took the test, 22 passed in Division 1 and the other 10 passed in Division 2. This was a HUGE accomplishment for our students and all our teachers that worked tirelessly to prepare them. We are especially proud of our scholarship students that were some of the youngest originally brought to Musana in 2008. They ALL performed beyond our expectations!

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A Beacon of Hope for Health Care (November newsletter)

With every heartbreak we experience at Musana, there are multiple stories of triumph. This month we have shared the heartbreaking stories of Kauthara and Promise, two babies that died because of the complexity of the broken health care system that exists in Uganda, in which they did not have access to the services that would have saved their lives. Although we have been able to serve the health needs of over 10,000 community members through Musana Community Health Center’s outreaches and out-patient services, there is still so much NEED for in-patient and emergency care. Today, we look towards the future, when we will be able to do more for community members by expanding into a 70-bed in-patient facility with an operating room and specialty services.

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Empowering Women (October -newsletter)

At the beginning of this month, we celebrated Musana’s second graduating class from our Skill Development Training Program. The three-month long course teaches women a skill in tailoring, baking, and knitting. With emphasis on business, the women are equipped to utilize their new skills as entrepreneurs, leading their families out of poverty! On October 1st, 47 women graduated from the second session of the program and it was incredible to see the transformation as they truly became empowered and proud women! At the end of their training, the ladies were asked the question, “Who are you now?”

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