Pellegrino Mpagi Foundation (PMF), is a nonprofit organization working to preserve children’s education rights, and help with their basic needs in Uganda. Our resolve, is to use education as a tool to empower children and the youth to defeat poverty in marginalized communities. PMF works with less fortunate families to address the effects of illiteracy, create opportunities, and sensitize the public about the importance of prioritizing education as a pathway to quality fulfilling lives
We want it to be very clear to the communities we serve in that we are committed and open about what we do. When a people have been left with no hope but a sense of worthlessness, they tend to feel more and more useless to their own families, peers and community, creating trust issues with all their encounters. We strive to Build Relationships of Trust in the communities we work, our partner organizations and donors to maintain open book activities and practices. We invite all to come and see!
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:16-19)
In 2013, Geofrey Kimera who was living in Northern America at the time, thought about an idea to help poor people- mostly children, in his homeland (Uganda). He had witnessed firsthand the devastation of poverty in these communities growing up as a child. Many children didn’t go to school because their parents couldn’t afford the basic requirements like tuition fees, school uniforms and lunches. Some parents (who in many cases had never gone to school themselves) did not take education that seriously. Children were often told to stay at home and help with chores or go to the fields and work to earn money. With that grim memory constantly at the back of his mind, he came up with an idea that would start the process of helping the parents, and the children in those communities. With the help of a good friend in Uganda, the program of advocating for children’s rights to education and helping to meet their basic needs was born. He has said, “My father didn’t get a chance at a good education. His parents simply couldn’t afford it. He was a grade 6 graduate and the most educated of all his five siblings. After a while it didn’t sound right. I knew that was not good enough of an education, or not having one, and I knew no child would ever be successful with any such little schooling today. I wanted better for them all.” Three years later and after a lot of groundbreaking work, this foundation was registered and certified as a nonprofit organization in Uganda.
We once asked a local school administrator what the biggest problem was in his school; his answer shocked all of us. “Children, children who come to school without paying tuition fees, don’t have uniforms, shoes or lunches.” In as much the administrator had a valid concern at hand; we knew that the children were not the problem. The issue was with their providers (parents, guardians, the government), and the economic deficiency leading to poverty in this community. Children do not have power to influence decisions made by their parents or the government. Our work entails campaigning for children’s rights to education, providing sustainable developmental solutions to problems that arise from poverty and unemployment, providing access to scholastic materials, organization of career workshops in the communities and sensitization on work and personal responsibilities. We do our work through the principles and practice of inclusive development, supporting people to help themselves out of poverty, lack and injustice. We work to bring relief and aid to children whose lives have been devastated or under so much strain due to economic insufficiencies. Integral to undertaking these key activities of aid and development, we labor within Uganda to engage all people in education and advocacy programs.
All around us, the world continues to change. To continue to thrive in singular harmony as humanity we must look ahead, understand the trends and forces that will shape the lives of our offspring so as to prepare and move swiftly. The most basic of these forms of preparation is the provision of education. In a bid to get an education, children from economically disadvantaged families are the most disenfranchised yet vulnerable to extreme poverty and various forms of injustices and indignity. The brunt they bear is beyond description: In Uganda, these children routinely brave the scortching sun or stormy weather barefooted and on an empty stomach trekking long distances to the nearest school yet the lack of shoes or school uniforms is not a reason strong enough for their Head Teachers to prevent them from attending school. Under these conditions, they will be expected to compete and beat their counterparts in fortunate economic branches at national level.
Through effective partnerships in philanthropic relief and development, and by transforming hearts and minds in the local communities, we engage citizens and government officials to device measures that help eradicate poverty, promote economic justice and uphold dignity by seeking to create a generation that’s fully armed to appropriately take charge of its future.