March 20, 2009 Newsletter
• Katongole & Moses in USA
--Meet Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Nicholson of Law & Order
--Meet Uganda's UN Ambassador Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda,
Minister of Gender Rukia Nakadama, &
Winnie Byanyima of UNDP
--Preach Sermons in Talmadge Hill & Forefront Churches
--Attend Joe Baio, Anne Griffin Fund Raiser
--Meet Criag Medwick of Clifford Chance
• Rahim is Class Prefect
• Stephen Elected President of School Club
• Frank receives 1st Grade on PLE Exam
A special thanks to Nia Carol Cornwell for her help with
fund raising and helping us reach out to churches and others.
Katongole & Moses in USA
Katongole and Moses are now home safely in Uganda after a whirlwind tour during
which they spoke at a dozen schools
and churches in four states: New York, Connecticut, Vermont and Pennsylvania.
The day after they arrived in mid January it snowed in New York and the
recent high school graduates got to experience all the joys of snow
(sledding, skiing and snowballs) for the first time. They also visited
universities, attended the Global Kids retreat and were able to have some fun
(after all it is NYC). photos above and below: Moses at
The Putney School.
Not only were Katongole and Moses able to raise awareness
for LEAD Uganda and Africa, they also were able to see the ins and outs of
American schools. They made a lot of new friends while visiting: the High
School for Global Citizenship, Long Island City High School, The Rudolph
Steiner School, The Putney School, School for International Studies, Welsh
Valley Middle School, High School of Telecommunication, Art & Technology,
Talmadge Hill Community Church, Riverside Church, Saint Peter's Church,
Emmanuel Baptist Church, and Forefront. All the schools promised to raise
money for LEAD Uganda's schoars.
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Welsh Valley Middle School in Narberth, Pennsylvania has an extraordinary
student body who are enthusiastic and were excited to see the boys.
"When they came to our school it was fly!," Weronika Szarlej of
Welsh Valley wrote on LEAD
Uganda's Facebook group. To which Adesh Dasani followed up, "It
was MAD FLY!" photo above by Allison
Moll: Moses at Welsh Valley Middle School.
Please go LEAD Uganda's facebook group and JOIN. Cut and
Katongole and Moses spoke to more than five hundred assembled 6th and 8th
graders. They spoke of their experiences and the program and then the kids
asked questions. After the assembly, two girls said they are so excited to
start fundraising for the program and they hope they can
raise more money than last year. Wasswa and Ronald (a former child soldier
who received a prosthetic arm) visited Welsh Valley last year. The students
remembered them and asked how they were doing.
The young men twice rode the subway up to The Bronx where they talked to the
students at the A. Shomburg Satellite Academy and visited Marsha Vernon's
class. Marsha wrote a free
curriculum for schools to use to teach how AIDS, war, and poverty affect
children in Africa. She sponsors the education of Nokrach, a former child
soldier. Schomberg Academy students have raised money for our students the past
two years. Moses and Katongole also attended three schools where Global Kids
is active and took part in a Global Kids youth leadership workshop. photo: The Global Kids program at the High School for
International Studies in Brooklyn.
Katongole and Moses spent two days at The Putney School in Vermont. They
stayed at Director Emily Jones' house. Friday morning they spoke to two
hundred-plus students and faculty.
They toured the campuses, visited dorms, and the school's farm, cross country
skied for the first time, and jammed with students. A high point was visiting
classes. They attended Christopher Petrella's "Democracy: People,
Power, and Change" class, science labs, and the art studio. photos above: Katongole at The Putney School.
Saturday afternoon, we left Putney and drove to Darien, Connecticut to meet
members of Talmadge Hill Community Church. The congregation sponsors Aringo
Proscovia, who was abducted as a young girl by the Lords Resistance Army.
Moses spent the night with Thomas & Suzanne Dean and their three boys,
Wesley, Spencer and Charlie. Katongole was hosted by
Todd and Nancy Morgan and their children David, Emma, Avery, Eric. The Deans
and the Morgan's contributed one XO computer each to LEAD Uganda.
The next day, Sunday, we attended Talmadge Hill Community Church , where
Pastor Mich Zeman graciously gave us his time during the service. Steve
described the LEAD Uganda program. Then Katongole and Moses delivered the
sermon -- a message of hope, a vision of
how they will use their education to help others in Africa.
After the service we ate lunch and talked with old friends Maureen Byrne,
Regina Walsh, Mary Tilghman and met new ones such as Lauren Calahan, Janet
Bailey, William Schroeder, Debbie Perron, and Jeff Norman. After lunch
Katongole and Moses rode go-carts at the Dean's house. (photos
Members of Talmadge Hill Community Church with Moses and
after the Sunday service.
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The boys went to services and discussed LEAD Uganda with Ministers Brad
Braxton, Robert Coleman, Arnold Thomas of Riverside Church. They also talked
with Jeremiah Kyle Drake and others in the congregation. On a rainy morning,
Moses and Katongole met with Reverend Tyron Monro of Emmanuel Baptist Church
Katongole and Moses shared the pulpit with Pastor Brian Moll at Forefront
Church in Manhattan. "I am
very happy to be a part of Forefront Church," Katongole stated before he
shared his story. Both boys were amazing and so composed on stage in front of
350 people. Forefront has made a commitment to support LEAD Uganda and will
be leading a missions trip to Uganda this coming August. Pastor
Brian Moll and Katongole during the Sunday service at Forefront Church.
Perhaps the greatest honor was an invitation to the Ugandan Mission to the United
Nations to celebrate the arrival of Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the newly appointed
Ugandan U. N. Ambassador and Security Council member. The more than 250
people there were so welcoming and hospitable to the boys. As soon as they
arrived and people started speaking Luganda, their tribal language, Katongole
said "I can almost taste the Equator, I feel like I am home." Photo by Andrea Smith: Katongole and Moses with UN
representative Dr. Rugunda.
The excitement and joy on their faces was evident when they got to shake
hands and talk with Dr. Rugunda, the Honorable Rukia
Nakadama, Minister of Gender, Labour & Social Development, and Ms. Winnie
Byanyima, Gender Director for the United Nations Development Program.
Katongole and Moses were guests of honor at a fund-raising cocktail party at
the home of Joseph Baio and Anne Griffin in March. They spoke eloquently and
captivated the guests. Photo, above and below by Andrea
Smith. Above: Minister of Gender Nakadama talks with Clare Karabarinde
of Clifford Chance and Stephen Shames. Below: Joe Baio introduces Steve
Shames as co-host Anne Grifin looks on.
The college-bound students toured the international law firm Clifford Chance,
which recently sent 12 boxes of clothes, books, school suplies, and toys to
our students in Uganda. Moses and Katongole had a private meeting with Craig
Medwick, Managing Partner, whose son John is a pen pal of Moses and
Katongole's brother Ivan. Moses, who plays baseball in Uganda discovered he
and Mr. Medwick share a love of the game. The boys also met with Clare
Karabarinde, Diana Koshel, Teresa Schieller, and other Clifford Chance
photos above: Julianne Nicholson and Jeff Goldblum with
Moses and Katongole on the set of Law & Order: Criminal Intent
It was not all work and no play for the boys. Shawn Willis, who works for Law
& Order: Criminal Intent, gave Moses and Katongole a behind the scenes look
at the hit show. They sat next to director Bill D'Elia and producer Mary Rae
Thewlis, who explained what was happening, as the show was filmed. They
talked with Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Nicholson, the stars of the show
afterwards. Shawn, who visited Uganda last summer and shot some documentary
footage of our program, just completed his first feature length film, the
indie production Walking to Maryland . Congratulations Shawn! We
can't wait to see our film.
The students had a blast going to a Knicks game as the guests of Kendyl Wright and Pia
Mara Finkell of CRT/tanaka, a public relations firm, who arranged for them to
go early and sit on courtside for the team practice before the game. photo, left: Katongole sleds..
Katongole and Moses got to sled and enjoy winter beauty in the Berkshires
with Cole, and Theo, sons of David Fenton, when David and his girl
friend Sylvie Erb hosted the boys for the weekend at their country house. The
Fenton's sponsor LEAD Uganda students Serugo Ivan and Nalubwana Shakira. In
addition, David's firm, Fenton Communications, does pro-bono work for LEAD
Uganda. photo right: Katongole and Theo sled.
They visited Niagra Falls and the University of Buffalo with Forefront Church
Community Outreach Minister Jacob Lange and his wife, Omotomi. Katongole and
Moses ascended to the top of the Empire State Building, bowled (they did
better than President Obama!), and visited the Chelsea Piers batting cages.--
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Rahim is Class Prefect
"Hi Uncle Steve, Good news. I was elected as the Sanitation Prefect and
I am also class monitor. I think joining Facebook is
cool. I am going to join right now. bye, Rahim" (photo,
Stephen Elected President of School Club
Stephen was elected the president of the Omweso Club in
Uganda Martyrs Namugongo. Omweso is the African traditional board game, which
shares much in common with the present day Chess.
Stephen, who formerly worked in a quarry with his brother Ntege, to pay for
their schools fees before being enrolled into LEAD Uganda remarked, "I
believe that success in everything, begins with knowing and accepting
oneself. Playing Omweso is a talent that I have. Each one of us is born with
a treasure within. My background is really rough to comprehend but
that doesn't mean that I
have to wallow in self-pity. I take the responsibility for where I want to
Frank Gets 1st Grade on PLE Exam
Frank (photo, right), who grew up in a child-headed family after his parents died
from HIV/AIDS in 2000, received a 1st Grade on his Primary Leaving
Examination, scoring 8 aggregates. In February, he joined St. Henry's College
Kitovu, a top high school.
When asked how he did it, Frank answered, "I always
desired to be among the best, so I set my target to excel. I worked
hard." Frank adds, "I wanted to put up a challenge for the kids in
LEAD Uganda by scoring highly, so that they will work hard to achieve my
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Help our students achieve their dreams
· $150 a month -- $5 a day --
pays all costs for one student.
Everything: school fees, books, clothes, medical care,
workshops in math, science, computers, and leadership, emotional support,
counseling, and a family. $5 a day, the cost of a sandwich or a capuccino,
will transform a student's life.
· $100 a month - $3 a day -
pays school fees (tuition), plus room, and
board, books, and uniform at one of the best high schools in Uganda.
· $50 a month - $1.50 a day - covers school fees for one scholar at a top
LEAD Uganda has two premium contribution levels: Sponsor
Sponsors and Patrons receive a photo, letters from
their student, and progress reports from us.
Sponsors pay all costs for one child — $150 a month.
Sponsors become "aunts" and "uncles"
to one student. Spnsors become part of their life.
Sponsors receive monthly letters from their student, and
progress reports from us. They may also receive photographs drawings, and
Patrons donate $100 or $50 a month,
Patrons are assigned a student. They will receive letters
from their student and progress reports from us.
Since they are not paying the entire cost, students may
have more than one Patron.
Please give what you can. Every donation helps.
$25 a month covers workshops in leadership, video, science, and writing,
plus transportation home during school breaks, school visits, and staff
support for one student.
$10 a month buys school supplies. clothes and shoes for one child.
$5 a month provides medical care and books for one student.
Please help a
child achieve his or her dreams.
All contributions make a difference.
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--Donate on PayPal
The Stephen Shames Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Donations are tax deductible.
All Photography (except as noted): ©2009, Stephen Shames
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Assisting Ugandan Children
LEAD Uganda is an educational leadership
program that locates forgotten children with innate talents and molds them
LEAD Uganda is a partnership of the Stephen
Shames Foundation in the United States and Concern
for the Future, an indigenous Ugandan leadership
The Stephen Shames Foundation raises money and awareness.
Concern for the Future runs all aspects of the LEAD Uganda program. The CFTF
board and staff, all native Ugandans, select and nurture our young scholars.
LEAD Uganda finds bright, motivated AIDS orphans, child
soldiers, children in refugee camps, and other vulnerable youth in Uganda who
want to go to college but can't because of poverty, AIDS, and war. LEAD
Uganda allows them to gain the world-class 21st-century skills necessary to
lead their country into the future.
The Stephen Shames Foundation is
a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Donations are tax deductible.
--Photography except as noted
© 2009, Stephen Shames / Polaris
Please feel free to distribute or forward this newsletter
to friends, co-workers, and anyone else you think would like to know about
the situation in Uganda and our program.