World Refugee Day is June 20th

As Director of Operations at TFI, it was my privilege to make a visit to the Angels Care School which TFI has been supporting since 2013. The school is located inside a U.N. refugee settlement in Kyegegwa District in the Western region of Uganda. I learned that the school receives very little funding from the U.N. itself and most of the schools inside the camp are run by small NGOs such as Angels Care. This school currently serve 840 children and 120 of them are orphans who live on the school grounds. Angels Care provides for their education as well as their meals and daily needs.

Most of these refugees are fleeing from the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. The photo above is at the Reception Centre for new arrivals. They mostly spoke French, so we communicated with smiles and touching hands. There are families as well as orphaned children who come to this settlement.

TFI’s First Visit to Angels Care School in Uganda

The Founder of Angels Care School, Pastor Godfrey, was my guide through the Settlement. We met new refugees from the Congo, who still arrive daily with almost nothing. We visited the U.N. Health Center, and of course, we spent a lot of time at the school itself with the students. TFI will continue to work with Pastor Godfrey to help this community.

The Headmaster Joseph took me around the school grounds. One of TFI’s first donations to Angels Care was this water tank in 2013. It was their first one and it encouraged similar gifts as there are now five smaller tanks around the school. Having clean water onsite has made a difference in the children’s health and in their ability to come to school.

A Warm Welcome

I received perhaps the warmest welcome I have ever gotten from any community I have visited abroad. When Pastor Godfrey pulled up to the school, we were mobbed by hundreds of children who came to greet our van. I heard a chorus of “hello, how are you?” and then laughter when I responded. We touched hands, and clapped, and jumped around before I was carried off, by the children, to the proper office to start my visit with the school administrators. I learned a lot on this trip and would happily return.

Jennifer being led by the students to the Teacher’s Room upon arrival.

Angels Care School Needs Some Help

This school needs a little help. While they are a top-performing school in their district, they can use some support. Over the years, as the number of children grew, they added more classrooms and resources to serve them all, but many of the buildings now need upgrading and repairs.

They would also like to create a nurse’s office onsite to better serve the children’s basic healthcare needs, and of course, there are daily instructional needs such as new chalkboards, ink for the printer, sports equipment, and educational posters and toys for their nursery.
The teachers are dedicated to the students and go above and beyond to help them learn and support them however they can. I found the children happy, polite, and curious and feel they deserve whatever extra we can provide for them. If you can give today, we would greatly appreciate it!
World Refugee Day is June 20th. Please Give What You Can.

A Message to Refugees

During my visit to Angels Care School, I met all the teachers and went to every classroom from their nursery to Class 7. The littlest ones sang me a song and were learning their ABC’s. Needless to say, it was adorable.

Pastor Godfrey asked me to speak to the students in the upper classes, grades 6 and 7, and give them some encouragement.

I wasn’t sure quite what to say, so I just told them the story of my own family.

TFI donations helped to renovate this classroom last year. We hope to be able to do more in years ahead.

Thank you for welcoming me to your class. I feel like I am the oldest student at Angels Care School because I am also here to learn.

I was born in America, but my parents came there as immigrants. The country where they lived had a conflict so they had to leave. Before that, where my grandfather was born, there was also a conflict, and he was made an orphan and a refugee and grew up like you in a camp. It feels very special to me to be here with you all now because I can tell you what I have learned.
Your education is the most precious gift you can receive because anything you learn, no one can take it from you. It is yours forever. Even if you share what you learn with others, you still have it for yourself, so always keep your mind open and learn whatever you can here.
Everything else they can take from you. They have taken it. You have seen it. I am sorry for that, but what happened in the past, no one can change it. But your future you will make for yourself with what you learn. I can tell you since my own family has lived in several countries that your home is not four walls. It is where people care for you and where you care for others. Your situation in this camp is temporary. With your education, you will go from here and make your life the way you want it.
Right now you are small, and good people are helping you. You have friends, you are receiving food and education and care, and you are safe. When you are big, you may need to help others, so always keep your heart open and be helpful whenever you can.
The world needs smart people who care. I encourage you to use your heart and use your mind and become leaders of the future that do not start conflicts. Thank you, and I wish you good luck and success!
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