During the summer of 2019, I spent two months at Yellow Haven Lodge in Kampala, Uganda with my family. We were there to help our friends manage their Lodge in their absence. It was here that we first met the children of Tweyanze Happy Souls.
I found myself immediately captivated by the children's story, of those who received dance lessons in the compound of Justine Nambalirwa and her family. This is also the home base for Women of Faith and Hope Uganda (WOFAHU) which Justine is the COO and co-founder.
I learned that they used the earnings they received from their dance performances to finance their school fees.
Being endeared and impressed by their efforts, I invited them to perform for the guests at Yellow Haven Lodge. This was a great success and it marked the beginning of our friendship.
Unfortunately, in 2020 I was unable to travel to Uganda due to the COVID-19 crisis.
When I eventually returned in 2021, I saw the poverty that had increased as a consequence of the pandemic. Initially, my intention was to donate an amount to help pay for school supplies, but given the current state of events at that time, putting together food packages for the kids and their families proved to be of better use.
When the money ran out, I set up a fundraising campaign together with my family, and within a short time, we collected a considerable amount of money. This money was saved so that the children could pay their school fees when school started again. However, as it became clear that it would take a long time before the schools would reopen, the idea arose to Home School them on the compound itself. This endeavor went exceptionally well and two more teachers were hired. I am pleased to write that we are now officially recognized as an accredited school.
Tweyanze School of Excellence started in January 2022 with 36 pupils. Since then, the number of pupils has grown, and today 160 students are enrolled.
Being both a teacher trainer and teacher, I am highly aware of the importance of education. Having worked in education for over 30 years with great passion, I am happy and proud to be part of this school.