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Fair friendly and firm

Dear friends

Small things can change the world. Especially if you repeat them often. A good word every day. Maybe even a good deed. We believe in it.

I am pleased to send you a short report from Kids of Africa today. There, our protégés are currently enjoying holidays with lots of sports, games and fun. Take a look for yourself. A lot of good things have happened. And about three principles of our successful teacher and director Esbern Budolfsen: “Fair, friendly and firm”.

Last but not least, I report how your help multiplies.

Sport, fun and games

The fact that sport and games are fun explains their great potential for education. Esbern Budolfsen, our director, knows this from many years of experience as a teacher. He writes: “it is impressive what development our children have made this year thanks to sports and their favourite games. Every day we run a few kilometres together in the morning. That connects, opens the mind and senses.

Afterwards, we combine work (in our farm) and eating together with fun and games. The combination works wonders. The kids are positive, proud, disciplined and even earn pocket money while working.

At the end of such a day, there is often a big game. Football for some, but also games of skill for others. Or simply some peace and quiet and a good book. Sometimes even a film evening together. There is something for everyone. That’s the simple secret of our motivation and development.” 

Quite simple really, isn’t it? Instead of many words, a few pictures speak:

Medal winner Paul

Paul, one of our protégés travelled to neighbouring Rwanda last week. The East African school sports competitions took place there this year. Even ahead of Kenya, the Ugandan teams won the most medals this year – 37 medals in total, including 17x gold, 11x silver and 9x bronze. We were particularly pleased that our Paul brought home two silver medals – from the 100 metre and 200 metre sprint. In the picture you can see Paul in the yellow national shirt and a well-known Ugandan sports editor, David, who reported on Paul’s amazing talent.

“Fair, friendly and firm”

Esbern Budolfsen, an experienced teacher, describes his principles: fair, friendly and binding. These apply to every child, promote progress and confidence, even in the face of challenges.

In the last two years, we supported over 1,000 scholarship holders at 71 different schools in Uganda. An immense task. Uganda has been in a severe poverty trap since the lockdowns. But the cost of illiteracy exceeds the price of education.

Illiteracy harms not only individuals, but also families and society as a whole. Fortunately, our scholarships make a tremendous positive impact. By saving from this fate, we are already achieving a lot.

With over 1,000 scholarship holders, how do we live up to the principle of “fair, friendly and binding”? Through a combination of culture, control and clear rules.

For example, we maintain open feedback and close contact with schools, scholarship holders and teachers. Our scholarships are limited in time and tied to obligations to cooperate. Does that work? Surprisingly well, actually.

Good, cheap, sustainable – how we calculate

We regularly look for new ways to make more out of scarce resources. That sounds calculating. True. Every family has to manage with scarce resources. We know that. Kids of Africa is also short of money at the moment. Very much so. But we are not the only ones. In Uganda, most families find it difficult to pay all their bills at the end of the month.

That is why elementary education and good vocational skills are so important to us. Because functional illiteracy leads directly to poverty. Poverty makes hungry. Hunger makes thieves. Crime creates vicious circles. That’s how it is. But vicious circles can be broken. Through education, for example.

That is why we ask ourselves every day: how can we help even more sustainably with a shilling? How do we multiply your donation? How do we make the most impact? It’s about good, cheap and sustainable.

For example: if we want to prevent functional illiteracy, we need to bring families, schools, community and policy together. To empower young people to help themselves, good skills are better than cheap diplomas. Bright role models can do more than a thousand shillings. We need to celebrate success. Because success is contagious. Promote the tried and tested. Compare costs and benefits carefully. Helping people to help themselves is more sustainable than a drop in the ocean. But nothing works without money. That is why, for twenty years, we have been constantly looking for improvements so that good help for self-help can be achieved as cheaply and sustainably as possible. 

So that your donation brings the greatest benefit. So that our protégés become role models. So that others follow them. On site, in Africa. Then their profit is also our profit. That is the greatest benefit. For them, for you and for the world we live in.

With warm greetings from over 1000 protégés in Uganda.

Yours sincerely

Burkhard Varnholt

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Kids of Africa guarantees that one hundred per cent of every franc donated reaches our many protégés.

Because we believe in each of them! Thank you for your help!

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Kids of Africa - Association
Schiffbaustrasse 12
8005 Zurich

Address in Switzerland

Kids of Africa - Association
Schiffbaustrasse 12
8005 Zurich

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