Here is what we wrote to USAID this week. Most of the letter was written by Dr. Teina Daley. Tim put in some edits, formatting, pictures and such.
Hi Matt,The overarching goal of the Everett and Austin Project is to provide sustainable means to fight poverty, and support children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other rare diseases in developing countries. The mission team of the Everett and Austin Project would love to hear about USAID funding opportunities.The team currently has 6 official members – 4 in the United States and 2 in Uganda, East Africa. Three of the US team members (Tim, Celia, and I) made a 2-week maiden journey to Uganda on 10/21/19 and returned to the US on 11/5/19.
ACCOMPLISHMENTSDuring our 2-week stay we accomplished the following:1. Met and joined efforts with our local Ugandan team members2. Visited the Kayonga family, father Paul and his 3 boys – Julius, Herbert, and Emma. All 3 boys are stricken with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and living in abject poverty. We were able to:a. Provide food and clothingb. Provide rehabilitation services including leg braces, wheelchairs, and other therapeutic devicesc. Deliver cement and hire a contractor to replace dirt floors in the home with cement floorsd. Promote self-sufficiency of the parent by initiating contract negotiations with the shop caretaker to set up a hardware shop for Paul Kayonga in Gobero, Ssegganga3. Visited the Kiguma and Butebe Schools in impoverished rural areas of Fort Portal Uganda. The local-born, Ugandan-registered charity – the Sapphire Foundation – was founded by our team member Paul Collins. This foundation is struggling to provide school fees, scholastic materials, and meals for a select few children due to limited funds.
USAIDAn USAID sign was posted as a sponsor at the Kiguma Primary School.The school is in a deplorable condition! The floors of the classrooms are unfinished with dirt and potholes, unhealthy and unsafe for any young child to navigate. The bricks used to construct the walls of the classrooms are clearly visible, incomplete with its dismal colored finish.There are no interactive tools available to deliver educational information to the students so learning is entirely theoretical. The library is the size of a small bedroom equipped with limited resources for the children.Despite these challenges, the teachers demonstrate valiant efforts to produce an environment conducive for learning with handmade posters on the walls, a simulated market corner with a variety of vegetables in the classrooms, and an outside garden. The students are well-behaved, attentive and impressionable.However, 50% of enrolled students are struggling to pay the school fees and end up dropping out of school. Additionally, many of the students can only afford to eat 1 meal per day!The United States Environmental Protection Agency states:“Healthy school environments can affect the attendance, concentration and performance of both students and educators” (Healthy School Environment (2019, October 3). https://www.epa.gov/
schools).The mission of USAID proposes:“The purpose of foreign aid should be ending the need for its existence, and we provide development assistance to help partner countries on their own development journey to self-reliance – looking at ways to help lift lives, build communities, and establish self-sufficiency” (What we do (2019, August 22). https://www.usaid.gov/ what-we-do).It is unclear how the USAID funds are being used to “promote the performance of students and educators, lift lives, build communities, and establish self-sufficiency” at this school.
SAPPHIRE FOUNDATIONThe Sapphire Foundation currently sponsors 4 children at the Kiguma School that includes paying the child’s school fees for 1 year as well as providing scholastic materials. Clearly more children will benefit from sponsorship however, the funds of this local Ugandan organization are limited.The Everett and Austin Project has partnered with the Sapphire Foundation to support their mission of educating the young generation and supporting the future of Uganda.
PARTNERSHIPA partnership of USAID with The Everett and Austin Project and Sapphire Foundation will strengthen the mission of USAID with our insight, management, and hands-on support.We look forward to hearing about current funding opportunities through USAID so we can continue to “lift lives, build communities, and establish self-sufficiency”.Sincerely,Dr. Teina Daley, Occupational TherapistThe Everett and Austin Project1245 Park St Ste 2BPeekskill NY 10566Phone: 646-770-3531