Connect Africa Foundation
Connect Africa News Update
November 2011

This is the time of year I stand in the middle of time-I reflect on the prior months of Connect Africa and I see into the future. The future is beyond belief exciting, but it only stands in that position as one reflects back.


We are into our 7th year. We have helped a total of 55 students attend school. In 2011, 37 students were in 26 different schools. This year alone, we awarded 15 loans, bringing the total to 55 overall. We continue to buy crafts from 16 women and 12 women and teens are deriving income from knitting dolls for the Dolly-Mama's of Boston.   CAF is currently helping a total of 139 families.


Now let me go back to my return to Uganda in January 2011. I actually rescheduled my flight for a week Julius, age 5earlier than orginally planned because there were problems looming that needed my attention. Julijulius at 11 years oldus, the 4 year old  who was the first child sponsored by Connect Africa in 2004, and who is now 11 years old, was going to be dropped from our program due to poor academic performance and behavior not in keeping with the standards of Connect Africa.His jajja (grandmother) and I needed to have numerous conversations (mind you she does not speak English I do not speak Luganda). I knew she was going to beg, plead, and be heartrending in her need for him to continue in school. For 2 years Julius performance had been declining. For 2 years we talked, punished, tutored, pleaded, and strategized for this day NOT TO COME.

I was with Julius when he turned on the faucet in my house and looked for where the water was going, when he turned on my shower and screamed with fear and delight, when Charles bought him his first ice cream and his teeth hurt because it was so cold, and wanted to put it in his pocket and save it for later, and when he played with the light switch relentlessly to see the light go on and off. Charles and I have a deep emotional connection to the families with whom we work. And, for the good of the children and the success of the organization, CAF has policies, standards, procedures that have to be followed.

How do we measure success? When do we measure success? Is success when the student completes school? Is success when the loan is paid back? Is success when the business is profitable? Is success that the children learn to be upstanding, good human beings? Kuvumbi Richard, in 2006, was the first student to be dropped from our program. He did not perform well and we agonized over his future. Then he returned to us in 2011, now aged 18, asking for a loan to start a chapatti business. Talemwa Jackson began his A-level academics this year and now has chosen not to finish secondary school. Instead he has requested a loan for a brick-making business and share the cost with CAF for a course in project management. We need to take a longer view, trust that what we do does make a difference. We need to be open to accepting that each person we serve has his/her own journey and support that experience.


I love the adage "it takes a village to raise a child". In Africa I watch Ugandan's feeling a sense of responsibility for the children they know. Your letters, emails, words of wisdom, words of encouragement, and words of stern disciplinary advice have made us be a "Connect Africa village raising a child". We all hold in our hearts and souls the belief that our love, caring and devotion to another person's life makes an impact. We are grateful to you for being part of the CAF family and for your continued support and attention to our cause.


Please remember Connect Africa in this time of giving in order for us to continue the numbers of women, children, and men that we are helping


Lynn and Charles