Thomas Lwebuga, a founding member of the Harambee Centre, was born and raised in Matale, a rural village in Rakai district in southwestern Uganda. Thomas remembers his village, his people, and Uganda through the many projects he leads on behalf of his ancestral community and the school he attended there – St. Andrews Secondary School. St. Andrews was established in 1984 as a co-ed institution for students who were either not admitted to government schools, not able to afford tuition at other schools, or not able to travel long distances to these schools. Many young girls walk 3-6 miles each way to and from school every day, very early in the morning and late in the evening, which poses a safety risk. The school community identified the need for a girls dorm to help create a safer environment and enhance the girls’ chances of academic success.

Additional resources: Zoom Uganda

What’s Happening Now

ZoomUganda and the Harambee Centre with the girls of Matale wish you a Happy Spring. As we celebrate the start of spring 2014, we are filled with gratitude for your generosity to the community of Matale in their quest to give opportunity to young women. The 2014 year is off to a good start. Matale inaugurated a new Board of Directors at a colorful ceremony where the old board that was led by the Mrs. Rosemary Mayiga for about nine years was thanked for their contribution. Here, we want to tell you a little about Mrs. Rosemary Mayiga. Rosemary did incredible work for the school not only as a leader of the board, but as an advocate for the students. She hosted meetings and welcomed many of the Harambee Centre visitors to Uganda in her home. She mentored students and advised the administration as well as donors on many things. During her leadership tenure, Matale’s infrastructure was transformed with updated classrooms, and a brand new Science Laboratory that was completed in 2010. In the simplest way, she was the right leader to be the chair of the board, and a great example to young women not only at St. Andrews, but in the whole community. Her work and efforts will continue to serve St. Andrews and the community at large for years to come.

Matale Former Student Achievements
We learned that Robert Kasumba a former Matale student was among the top students in the country on the recently released results of the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (A-Levels) examinations. Robert spent the last two years at a prestigious college prep boarding school near the capital city, Kampala, where we were able to find him placement after his superb performance at the Senior Four national exams while at St. Andrews.
We also got news that Ivan Bwowe another Matale alumni now studying for his law degree at Makerere University in Kampala was elected Guild President of the university with 65% of the votes.
Both of these young people give us hope for the future. But as we celebrate their achievement, it points us to the achievement gap with the girls of Matale. The work we have embarked on to build a girl’s dormitory is to create a safe place for the girls of Matale to focus on their education and work towards their dreams. Help to make this a reality. Our dream is that in a few years, we can be able to report back to you that we have young women who are excelling and achieving their dreams, just like Robert and Ivan are. It takes infrastructure, work, and mentorship to create leaders and achievers. We need your help to make this investing in the young women of Matale. Below is the work we have started at the foundation level.

Matale Girls Dormitory - A Project of Harambee Centre

We kindly request that you include the Girls’ Dorm Project in your 2014 giving plans, so that together we can change lives and make an impact that lasts for generations!
DONATE TODAY by clicking on the button below!
Thank you for your support. Wishing you and your loved ones continued prosperity in 2014!

With gratitude,
The ZoomUganda Team,
Thomas Lwebuga
Julie Resnick
Noela Nalujjuna

We plan to hold an event in 2014 in connection with a visit from students at St. Andrews Matale Secondary School in Uganda. If you are interested in learning more about this activity please contact us at info@harambeecentre.org, or check back here soon for more information..