This year we’ve got our hands full with Vigilante Kindness Projects. Frankly we wouldn’t want it any other way. In an effort to be completely transparent, you should know that 97% of all PayPal donations go to the project of your choice. If you’d like to mail us a check instead so that 100% of your donation goes to the project of your choice, email me at email@example.com for more details. All donations are tax-deductible.
Thanks for your generosity, love and support for the people and places I’ve come to love in Northern Uganda. I’m profoundly grateful to have you along for this wild ride and I’m madly in love with your Vigilante hearts.
Alicia, Vigilante Kindness President
& the Vigilante Kindness Board
1. Te Okot Tractor Project
Vigilantes, I have so much love for the village of Te Okot. I know you do, too, because when faced with the reality that they didn’t have clean, healthy drinking water, you jumped at the chance to donate and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
Many of you also partnered with us to bring solar lights to Te Okot to give their homes light and also keep wild elephants out of their gardens at night.
The well is in good working order and, little did we know, that by providing Te Okot with a clean water source, they would then be re-designated as a sub-county with nearby Got Apwoyo. Becoming a sub-county is so important because it means the government will build a nearby school so that the children of Te Okot can have an opportunity to be educated. There aren’t free public schools in Uganda, which is why we partner with communities to create sustainable income opportunities.
Te Okot is rich in land, but the land is incredibly hard to farm using traditional hand tools.
The people of Te Okot want to grow crops to feed their families, but they also want to grow cash crops, which they could then sell at the nearby market and then use their income to pay for school fees, medicine, and other basic needs. The tractor they have in mind costs roughly $40,000 USD.
It’s a big project that will make a big difference. Want to help make this tractor happen? Click the Donate button below. Thank you!
2. Afripads Feminine Health Project
Our friends at Educate for Change are up to great things full-time in Northern Uganda and we love partnering with them. Educate for Change puts on S.P.E.A.K. UP workshops for girls. The workshops, “serve to empower, liberate and motivate Northern Ugandan female youth through education; providing them with the knowledge and esteem to become agents of change and break the cycle of ignorance about their sexual health, leadership capabilities and rights as women.”
One problem facing female students in Northern Uganda is how to adequately care for their feminine hygiene needs while attending school. Feminine hygiene products are expensive and cut into their ability to pay school fees and for needed school supply items. Faced with the inability to pay for menstrual pads, often times girls will rely on crude, improvised materials like scraps of old clothing, pieces of foam mattress, toilet paper, leaves, and banana fibres to manage their menstruation – all of which are unhygienic, ineffective, and uncomfortable. Faced with frequent, embarrassing leaks and a susceptibility to recurrent infections, the impact is that millions of girls experience their monthly period as something that prevents them from engaging in daily life, specifically attending school.
This is where Vigilante Kindness comes in. Girls who attend the S.P.E.A.K. UP workshops receive a care package containing Afripads, washable menstrual pads. Afripads are made in Uganda, “by women, for women, with love.” So not only are you supporting the health of young girls in Uganda, but your supporting a sustainable income for the women who sew the menstrual pads.
Each menstrual kit lasts a calendar year and costs approximately $10 USD, meaning that a $100 donation helps keep 10 girls healthy and in school. To donate to our Afripads Feminine Health Project, click the Donate button below. Thank you!
3. Kulukeno Piggery Project
Many of you know my Ugandan friend, J. B. He’s Head Teacher (Principal) at the first school I taught at in Uganda. I have so much love and respect for J.B. and his family. J.B. and his wife Jenifer, who is a fellow teacher, are raising their own five children as well as raising and/or paying the school fees for thirteen of their nieces, nephews and siblings. You read that right, they’re taking on the educational costs of eighteen children. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
You already know about two of J.B.’s nephews because before we were even an official organization, we bought a mattress for J.B.’s nephew, Cuthbert, shortly after J.B.’s brother was killed in a land dispute.
You should also know Jenifer, niece of J.B.’s wife Jenifer. Niece Jenifer is desperate to go back to school and has been growing cassava and baking the cassava into cassava chips (like giant French fries) and selling buckets of cassava. At $3 USD a bucket, selling cassava simply wasn’t going to earn enough money for her to go school.
So I met with J.B. and asked him, “What do you need and how can we help?” J.B. had a great idea in mind. As it turns out, J.B. and Jenifer own land in nearby Kulukeno, land perfect for a piggery, where they would raise and sell pigs. I think I speak for the whole Vigilante Kindness board when I say that we’re thrilled to partner with J.B. and Jenifer and their family in starting a piggery so that the eighteen children in their family can all attend school. This project feels like coming home to me and you know I’m always up for carrying a sackful of piglets on the back of a motorcycle in the bush. To donate to the Kulukeno Piggery Project, please click the Donate button below. Thank you!
4. Fable Book Project
In conjunction with our friends at Educate for Change, we continue to partner in publishing books of traditional Acoli fables. These books are written and illustrated by students in Uganda and as they’re published and distributed, Acoli children are for the first time able to learn to read using texts of the oral stories that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Each book costs approximately $5 to publish, so a $100 dollar donation puts books in the hands of 20 children. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. To donate to the Fable Book Project, click the Donate button below. Thank you!
5. Vigilante Kindness General Fund
All of our past and current projects have been birthed from one question: What do you need and how can we help?
We believe communities know their needs far better than we do and that it’s our job to listen to the people within the communities we work with and for.
This approach has led us to many opportunities, both small and large, funded by our General Fund. There are too many things to post, but here are some of our favorite Acts of Vigilante Kindness:
- We purchased mattresses for students in need.
- We purchased yeast infection kits and other medicines to help a school nurse treat her students.
- We bought pigs for a pig farmer so he could earn money and return to school.
- We bought shoes and socks for Primary 1 (first grade) students who were walking long distances to school without shoes.
- We provided school supplies to teachers in need.
- We brought solar lights and safe, clean water in the form of a well to the village of Te Okot.
Our general Vigilante Kindness fund allows us to continue to show up and ask the people and communities we love, “What do you need and how can we help?”
Our general fund also allows us to cover basic operating expenses crucial to keeping our organization doing great work on your behalf. The thing I’m most excited about this year is that with enough donations our General Fund will allow us to set up an online store to seamlessly sell Paintings by our Ugandan artists, Paper Bead Jewelry made by our artisans in Bungatira, Uganda and Books written by Ugandan students.
We can’t wait to tell you more about the adventures that stem from one small question and your big generosity. You can donate to our general Vigilante Kindness fund by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you!
There aren’t public schools in Uganda. Each student and/or their family must pay school fees in order to attend school. They must also pay for books, uniforms, food and materials. If attending a boarding school, they must also purchase a mattress, a mosquito net, laundry soap, laundry buckets, etc. For some students, particularly orphans and girls, these costs are insurmountable.
Vigilante Kindness has been able to assist with some of these costs by offering work opportunities to some of our secondary (high school) students and/or their families. Our students and/or their families have worked as math tutors, artists, biology class assistants, after school tutors, and language teachers. In return for their hard work, they earn money needed to continue in school.
This project is currently fully funded, but if you’re eager to help future students continue in school, please click the PayPal button below. Thank you!