Child Crisis Center Uganda’s birth is deeply rooted in hope and love for others. CCCU started as, and continues to be, a solution to a problem. In 2009, founding member and Vice President, Zalambi Joseph, was hired to teach in Bukewa public primary school in the Namayingo District. It was at this time that he realized many of the school children were absent from several classes each week. Joseph and his wife then went to visit several surrounding communities to learn that this was a larger issue than he originally thought. Children all over the country are missing school due to lack of supplies, fees, uniforms, sanitation, food, etc. A large number of these children are orphaned and returning home to grandparents, aunts, uncles or other various family members, who many of them time have children of their own that they work long hours to provide for. Joseph realized the need for these children that were falling off because of lack of support. Upon this heartbreak, Joseph and his wife used the little saving they had to buy material for these children. Little did they know, this small effort would blossom into something much bigger.
In August of 2015, board member and Head of Fundraising, Dan O’Neil, and Joseph met on the United Methodist Church Facebook page. After Dan learned a little bit about life in Uganda, him and Joseph became pen pals via Facebook messenger and video chat. Dan was very curious about everyday life and culture, and Joseph being an educator, was more than willing to explain the conditions and needs of his community. Dan soon learned of the difficult living conditions of the women and children in the Magooli community of Uganda and specifically the struggles of the orphaned children. Growing up, Dan’s Mother, Mary Lee, lived in an orphanage and then later a foster home with her brother, so Dan has always had soft spot in his heart for causes aimed at aiding orphaned children. Dan began to help the community any way that he could. Before his mother passed in December of 2015, Dan and Mary Lee sent the first donation of 30 Bibles to the Magooli Community. Little did they know, that would be the start of something amazing.
In the Spring of 2016 Joseph reached out to board member and President Hannah Muller who had mutual connections through Dan. Hannah, after learning about the conditions in Uganda, was also very saddened and wanted to help out. Hannah began donating when she could and sharing posts on Facebook in hopes of making others aware of the need in the community. After involving herself with various emergencies that the children and community were going through, Hannah’s boss Arnold Plonski took notice and decided to help out in a different way. Mr. Plonski contacted and paid for his lawyer to establish a non profit for the children. In October of 2017 Child Crisis Center Uganda established 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and emerged with Hannah as president and Dan and Joseph as board members.
Since the nonprofit status has been obtained, CCCU has been able to complete a vast amount of small projects with the support of donors, organizations, and corporations. With some outside help, CCCU was able to get a grant to buy land and start construction of a school building for the children in the spring of 2018. It was around this time when board member and Head of Marketing, Lauren Sheehan, approached Hannah asking if she could help. Lauren had seen Hannah’s consistent efforts and having learned about the issues of the community through Hannah’s posting Lauren wanted to help. Having a background in marketing Lauren initially took to the website to edit and add what she could there and has since created marketing materials as well as CCCU’s monthly newsletter that can be found on the website.
Child Crisis Center Uganda has been able to aid the women, children and community of Magooli Uganda in a wide variety of ways for the past four years. CCCU has supplied the community with many materials and capabilities that would not have been present otherwise (see below for a detailed list). Child Crisis Center Uganda prides itself on being able to bring long lasting hope, aid and love to the Magooli community through education, supplies, and infrastructure. Without the undying love and hard work put forth by the Board of Directors, staff, fundraisers and donors alike, CCCU would not be anywhere near the success story that it is today.
*When appropriate/available CCCU does all it can to use the Ugandan local craftsmen, workers, contactors, artisans, etc. We believe that although outside income is important, we have no right to take over/hinder already established industries within the country. We hope to use our resources in Uganda and bring work to the community to build and foster long term working relationships.