Ekisande

Fr. Tom at the school
Father Tom at school

Ekisande is a non-profit organization that supports the local community in Bwera, Uganda near the Congolese border.

Through education, vocational training and health care we want to have a lasting effect on the Bwera community.

The vision of Ekisande Belgium vzw:
-Enhance involvement of everybody by close and personal contacts
-Traceable, verifiable and result-driven expenditure of donated funding
-Results by well-considered and well-founded projects
-Fun in fundraising

Sustainable development goals:

Ekisande Belgium vzw on the following SDGs:

  • zero hunger
  • good health and well-being
  • quality eduction
  • gender equality
  • clean water and sanitation
  • affordable and clean energy
  • decent work and economic growth
VAMCAST Vocational Training

Together with the local Bishop, Father Tom, we have made excellent progress, but our work is not done.


I am a down-to-earth person. I live in the reality of life. I give my best to serve another person.

Father tom

Results

A bit of history:

In 2018, 4 friends started a non-profit organization, Ekisande, to support a school in Uganda. While the non-profit organization is new, we have been involved in the project since 2014.

It all started when Dirk, one of the Ekisande founders, was in Uganda to build a university radio station at Mountains of the Moon University, partly funded by Thomas More University of Applied Sciences. He met Bishop Thomas Kiiza PhD, one of the local coordinators of the inter-university project with several Belgian universities.

School in 2014
School in 2014

Father Tom, as the bishop is often called, also helps the people of Bwera, a small village in Uganda. It started with schooling for orphans and deprived children in his church, later Father Tom added a football club, a health care centre and a vocational training centre for young people. .

We decided to gather funding and other support to help Father Tom grow his program.

School in 2016
In the class room

What we’ve done so far

Since 2014 we gathered over €40,000 in funding and used that to buy land and improve the infrastructure:

  • two-classroom building for a primary school
  • toilets for boys and girls
  • a new campus called Virgo Maria for the kindergarten and primary schools.
  • three-classroom building at Virgo Maria
  • twe three-classroom buildings are under construction, one of which is sponsored by Canadians.
  • healthcare centre, called Mama Sabina
Virgo Maria Campus
Health Care at Mama Sabina

Three buildings are being built on the Virgo Maria Campus, for a total of 10 class rooms (August 2019). We also provide food for 400 students and teachers.

Constructie van nieuwe klaslokalen
August 2019

Most of the work & material is sourced locally to improve ownership and increase the positive effect Ekisande has on the Bwera community.

You can find our sites on Google Maps:
• Virgo Maria: 0.019957, 29.729825
• Mama Sabina: 0.014917, 29.730444

Bwera – Virunga National Park
Virgo Maria – Mama Sabina

Future plans

We want to keep supporting this school for another 5 years, during this period we will continue to improve the infrastructure and overall quality of services provided by our school:

  • Improve and grow the health care centre. The existing class rooms will be converted to a wards for men and women. We also foresee a delivery room, a consultation room, a pharmacy, a lab, a utility room, an education area, a family room and cooking opportunity. The design is from Emma Verhas, Pauline Verbeke & Ying Liu from the bachelor and post graduate Space & Service Design of Thomas More. First step: water borehole worth €8000.
  • Provide electricity and water for both the school and health care centre.
  • Buy more land and build a larger campus for the vocational training centre. Add business oriented classes to stimulate entrepreneurship.
  • Provide 1000€ monthly support for staff wages and food for the children. We want to keep our students healthy and our teaching staff on board for sustained quality in schooling. We are looking for 100 monthly sponsors of €10. Our sponsors will receive a present.

We work as much as possible together with Higher Educational Institutes to provide professional support in specific projects.

  • Academic year 2019-2020 nursing students from Thomas More University of Applied Sciences will go to Bwera to work on sexual education and health. The will also initiate a student follow up system, because a good health is the best guarantee for good schooling.
  • Academic year 2018-2019 students interior design  from Thomas More University of Applied Sciences will design a functional set up for the health care centre, in the frame of their service & human-centered design. Two of them will travel to Uganda to prepare the conversion of Mama Sabina.
  • Academic year 2019-2020 students of Thomas More will go and support the conversion ofMama Sabina.
  • In the ACTEA project from AP University College, sponsored by the EU, the vocational training centre (VAMCAST) will be outreach partner. Teachers from VAMCAST will be trained in industrial electricity and automation.

We will strive to make the local organization self-supporting:

  • Various vocational departments (hair dressing, car repair, wood work,…) will offer their services against payment.
  • Eco-tourism

After the 5 year period ends, we will continue to provide for the wages and food. And we will evaluate the constructional needs. If a decent level of self-sustainability is reached we will move on to another project for investments in infrastructure.


How can you help?

Even with a contribution of €5 per month, you can pay for 2.5 days of a teacher’s wage.

Monthly donation


€30 / per month
two cooks

€30 / per month
one grounds keeper
€40 / per month
one nurse

€60 / per month
one teachers

€80 / per month
one head teacher
€150 / per month
lunch for 300 pupils
Teachers at Virgo Maria

Single donations

Donations for infrastructure: an average 3-unit school building costs €15,000

• Material
We try to limit this as much as possible and source our material locally.
2 exceptions:
    – Technical infrastructure
    – Football jerseys

• Support on site: we are open for any collaboration on site, this will be explored & discussed on a case by case basis.

So what are you waiting for?
Give in to your inner philanthropist or compensate for your other shady activities by supporting a nurse in Uganda for 40€/month.
It will set you back an acceptable 20€/month after you tax deduction. 
Besides the sense of enormous well-being, you will get a conversation starter to get you through boring receptions.

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Schools, companies, organisations and private sponsors can pay directly to our account: BE33 0689 1089 0146

Schools, companies and organisations


Team

  • Jan Calliauw
    Jan is into de-risking development projects, cooking hot sauce and gathering funding. He is a Robin Hood from Aldi.
  • Greet Dufraing
    Greet coordinates the Running for Uganda actions. She takes care of all official documents, legal matters and governmental support.
  • Ijou El Kaimoche
    Ijou is specialist public relations. Our eyes on the world.
  • Dirk Van Merode
    As Dirk, one of Ekisande’s founding members, manages a EU-funded project in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia the next 3 years, he will be on site every now and then at no cost for the Ekisande organization.
  • Father Tom
    Father Tom is the right person to manage this project on site. As a bishop he is respected by parents, local government and other organizations.
    We at Ekisande like him because he is an open thinker who believes in gender equality and a pragmatic approach to safe sex and aids.
    In the years we have been doing our combined efforts, Father Tom proved to be a hard-working, honest and intelligent leader. He has clear goals on how to improve all the different initiatives, and has the right people at the right place to get the work done.