Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sponsorship request for upcoming event

Dear friends,

On Oct. 24, 2014, the Nzirambi Education Fund will be hosting a photo exhibition/silent auction fundraiser at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival gallery in Toronto. More than 100 people are expected to attend this special event to show their support for the boys and girls of the Nzirambi orphanage in Uganda.

The exhibition includes the work of renowned Toronto photographer Johan Hallberg-Campbell who recently travelled to the orphanage. Through his images, we hope to inspire our supporters by sharing the stories of the children whose lives they are making a difference in.

I hope you will consider showing your support for Nzirambi Education Fund, by offering a gift for a silent auction.

We are particularly looking for gifts that will be suitable for our targeted demographic: Toronto based food lovers, arts and photography enthusiasts, social media communities, and general interest items such as travel, spa, restaurant, shopping. Our target audience will be age 35+, with 60% of the attendees being women.

All sponsors will be included on an invitation that will be emailed to thousands through the CONTACT Photography Festival, Nzirambi and Johan Hallberg-Campbell membership lists. CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and a premier cultural event in Toronto, sponsored by Scotiabank. Sponsors will be recognized through name or logo recognition on our day-of-event signage, as well as through our vast social media networks.

Your gift, which will be used in the silent auction at the fundraiser, will go a long way toward helping us reach our goal to raise $15,000 in 2014 so that we can ensure the children at the orphanage will be able to attend senior levels of education. To date, the Nzirambi Education Fund has raised more than $60,000 to fund 8 children from the orphanage in university, college, vocational programs, and senior levels of high school.

In 2014, our Fund will support five young women in university and one boy finishing his final year of high school. Higher levels of education are especially critical for these children, giving them additional resources to become leaders in their communities and break free of the cycle of poverty that has defined their families for far too long.

Check out this video about the orphanage.

Karen Snider,
Nzirambi Education Fund 416 518 2844 / @karensnider

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Getting a jumpstart on school

At the Nzirambi orphanage, small children get a jumpstart on their education and are tutored before they reach the age of starting regular school. Check out these cute photos:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Good Karma Meditation- Feb 15

Valentine’s Day Meditation Workshop Fundraiser

Join us Saturday, Feb. 15, for a special hour-long meditation workshop with meditation/yoga instructor Vandana Juneja.

Meditation: A Walk Through the Chakras Check in with your heart post-Valentine’s Day! Lay back, relax, and sink into your mat as you are guided through a healing meditation to balance each of the seven chakras, with a focus on Anahata, the heart chakra. This warm, healing journey will leave you calm and centered, ready to face the days ahead with an open heart.

This special class is a fundraiser to help children from an orphanage in Uganda go to school. The Nzirambi Education Fund currently sponsors five young women in university and one young man in his final year of high school, all of whom have grown up at the Nzirambi Orphanage.

Who can come: This class is suitable for anyone interested in meditation; new or experienced.

When: Feb. 15 from 12:30PM – 1:30PM

Where: Toronto Yoga Mamas, 1402 Queen Street East, Suite D, Phone: 416 406 0116

What you need: Yoga mat, comfortable clothing, water. Also, bring a writing journal if you wish. TIP: Dress in layers to stay warm as body temperatures tend to lower during meditation.

Admission: Pay-what-you-can donation. All donations will go directly to helping orphaned children go to school. You can make a donation with credit card on paypal on this blog, or by emailing (Suggested donation: $10-$20). Please RSVP to reserve your space

About the instructor: Vandana aspires to a healthy body, focused mind, and open heart, and is inspired by the power of yoga and meditation to transform these three pillars of life. “Yoga and meditation teach me so much, not only on the mat, but in everyday life. My practice helps me to cultivate joy, relieves stress, and encourages me to live mindfully in the present moment.” She seeks to empower students, encouraging a light-hearted, nurturing, non-competitive environment for personal growth. Drawn to find a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection, Vandana is combining her studies with the Coaches Training Institute based in California with her meditation practice to offer a guided meditation experience to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. She teaches yoga, pilates, meditation and various workshops across the city. In her day job, Vandana enjoys working for a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ellen from Kampala

Ellen Kabugho is a very sweet and smart young women. She had one large hurdle to overcome in her life: she was born a girl. According to some members of her family, this makes her unworthy of receiving a full education. Some of her brothers had left home and moved to the city for good paying jobs but refuse to contribute to her school fees, just because she is a girl. While Ellen’s family was never well off, after her father died, her family’s situation got worse and there was less food in the house. Some days she went to bed very hungry, having only had dried tea leaves to eat.

Ellen struggled to get through her senior levels of high school; she suffered hallucinations from untreated pneumonia. But she kept trying. And she worked so hard that she was accepted to university in 2013. The Nzirambi Education Fund pays for the university fees. To support Ellen and the rest of the students click this link. Thank you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Your own garden in Uganda!

Imagine having your own garden in Uganda! For a donation of $150, the Nzirambi Education Fund will make it happen for you – we’re going to commemorate your donation by naming a patch of the orphanage garden after you. This garden is pretty special because it ensures that more than 100 children at the orphanage have fresh vegetables in their diet. It helps them be self sufficient so that they don’t have to purchase fresh produce elsewhere. When it comes to naming your garden patch, there are lots of crops to choose from – everything from cassava and cabbage to onions, eggplant and bananas.
There are lots of gardens to choose from – here are some examples!
Brunner’s Bean Way
Kerry’s Cabbage Patch
Cecile’s Cassava Corner
Nancy’s Nightshades: Eggplant Row
What’s up doc! It’s Colleen’s Carrot Bed
Barb’s Beetroot Bulbs
As the holidays approach, please help us to make dreams come true for children of this Ugandan orphanage and show your support. Visit our Rockethub fundraising page to find out more information on how to name your garden.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Help children go to school this holiday

Five years ago, the Nzirambi Education Fund was established, inspired by Veronica. At the time, she was 16-years old-and the third highest scoring student in the district with dreams of going to law school. These were especially big dreams considering her unfortunate start in life -- she had been left at the orphanage when she was just a baby after her mother died of AIDS.

I met Veronica on my first visit to Uganda; we were working in a new garden behind the orphanage preparing to plant crops and she shared with me her dreams of becoming a lawyer. I could tell she was a bright young woman, but when I asked how her university would be paid for, I realized there was no funding in place. 

I knew right away that I would help her. When I returned to Canada, I shared Vero’s story with so many of you, and you were also inspired. And if we could help one girl, why not try to help others? And so, the Nzirambi Education Fund began.

 Help this holiday. Click here to make a donation.

Five Years On

Vero was accepted to law school – in the best university in the country, I might add! She is the first child from the orphanage to go to university. Our Fund supported her through her final years of high school, and three years of university. In 2014, she will finish the program.

We didn’t stop there. We raised more than $50,000, allowing us to pay for education for 6 other students, fund four other girls through high school; all of whom were accepted to university this year. We are supporting a young man named Oscar through a digital arts/advertising program. I am especially proud of 
Oscar because he has suffered great health challenges that made it nearly impossible for him to finish school. This program will change his life. We are supporting another boy through his final years of high school, and a young woman who is taking a care-givers course.

These students are ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ of more than 100 children who live at the orphanage today. They are children whose families could not – or would not -- take care of them: most of them are there because their mothers died in childbirth, some lost their parents to AIDS and sadly, some are there because they were abandoned – in bushes, once in a garbage dump on Christmas Day, and others tossed into latrines. These newborns are the most vulnerable of all -- brought to the orphanage, cared back to life by House Mothers. 

 Help this holiday. Click here to make a donation.

We can’t stop now.
Your donation will help us to ensure these children can go to school. It costs $2,500/ year for one student in university; $1,500 for a year of college; and $1000 for a year of senior high school. We need to raise $15,000 in 2014 to cover school fees for Veronica, Oscar, Pelucy, Patricia, Ellen, Priscilla, Dan and Yoneki.

Travels to Uganda
This year, I’m returning to Uganda, looking forward to spending time in Kampala where the children study in university. I’ll also be spending time at the orphanage to see the younger children and the House Mothers. I’m bringing photographer Johan Hallberg-Campbell and we have exciting plans to document the children’s’ stories.

I am hoping you will consider a donation this holiday to help the children in their education. I don’t even know how it would be possible for these children to go to school if it wasn’t for all of you. Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

To make a donation, please visit our special RocketHub fundraising page

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Help Veronica attend university

Hi everyone! We just received an update from Veronica. She's completing her Year 2 exams in Law School and she's doing great in school. Bad news is that her hostel was broken into and all of her belongings, including a laptop, were stolen. And, her laptop had all her school notes on it. Thankfully, she is safe. We have received the funding request for Veronica's third year (and we're moving into a private room for safety). 


Veronica's education fees
We are trying to raise $2,000 to cover Veronica’s fees for her third year of Law School in Kampala, Uganda. Please visit our page on RocketHub to support Veronica in school:

The $2,000 covers everything Vero needs for the year, including:
  • $15,Transportation, including bus tickets so she can return to the orphanage and work on her breaks
  • $30, Incidentals, including internet use and phone cards (so she can keep in touch with us)
  • $35, Cooking supplies, including a small cooking stove, oil, salt, sugar and matches $35, School supplies, including books and pens
  • $35, Personal hygiene items, including soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc
  • $50, School documents and identification: all of Vero’s identification cards and school documents were stolen during the break-in and she must purchase new ones in order to return for third semester
  • $100, Emergency medical: if Veronica gets sick on campus, we want to make sure she has funds available to see a doctor and purchase medicine if needed (in the past, we had 2 students suffer typhoid and malaria and neither could access a doctor) 
  • $800, Tuition
  • $900, Living costs including, groceries and accommodations for the year (we are trying to raise funds for Vero to have a small room to herself on campus because her previous room was robbed and we fear for her safety)
Any support you can give is always appreciated. Thank you! Monica and Karen