amazonsmilemarch16

Amazing Amazon Smile TGC Opportunity!

Great news. We have an upcoming 1-day opportunity to drive additional AmazonSmile donations for The Giving Circle Inc.

Amazon is celebrating its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the ACSI! Today, March 16, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to The Giving Circle Inc. Get started at smile.amazon.com/ch/41-2196304!

amazonsmilemarch16

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TGCA Team Coming Home!

Today is always a hard day, its the day we leave. Its been an amazing trip, with amazing team, Ann Lamoreaux Fantauzzi, Bill Reilly , Lourds Lane and Dr Manny Cirenza to spend almost 3 weeks with our amazing African based Giving Circle team/family Moses Wambi Emma Walubi Cecilia Kagya, Mwesigwa Paul Kisitu Yassin Elizabeth, Sangrao, Peter, all our teachers and staff and all of the Ugandan family we thanks to so many of you, we serve.

The advances we are making, the lives we are improving, bringing all the things that bring such great hope to beautiful people.

EVERY single thing we do, everything we accomplish is 100% because of all of you who help us make this happen.

We are at the Koi Koi House with our sons and daughters right now, but Its time to head to the airport for 2 very long flights. While we can dust off some of the red dust from our clothing and shoes you can never shake from your heart our Ugandan family.

As always a HUGE thank you to Moses and Cecilia for always having my bedroom ready at my home away from home at their home. My time with them and their children is pure love.

Next stop Entebbe, then Amsterdam then on to Boston then home to my love Kelly Mommakoikoi Bertrand!

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Updates and enjoyment in Uganda!

Some enjoyment….

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https://www.facebook.com/mark.bertrand.56/videos/10212178635680280/

The trip is winding down, just a few days left until the team leaves Uganda, our projects and our beloved Ugandan family.
Today was back to Kagoma Gate, though we VERY missed Ann who was a bit under the weather so stayed back for some rest and Dr Manny Cirenza was spending the day at the AOET clinic.

Part 1- Continuing construction on the last of the class blocks, this the 2 class room great hall that with GREAT thanks to Fingerpaint Marketing we can now complete.

Wall cement coatings being applied. The window frames and doors have been completed at the welders and will be delivered to Kagoma to start being installed Friday.

Thank you Bo Signoracci Goliber!!

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Deaf student hearing tests and more…

Today will be spent at our Busoga school with Lourds teaching the students then staff. Dr Manny and Ann screening our deaf classes/ students.  Bill will also for the last day this trip be doing what he does so very well, teaching, inspiring!

Later today MosesKisitu Yassin and I will head out to the Entebbe airport with Bill for his flight home and back to school at Bethlehem Middle School.

I and the whole team here greatly so including the teaching staffs at both our schools are so very grateful for this amazing most kind and loving man. His dedication to the work we do, to the children we serve and children everywhere and their education is astounding.

Bill Reilly my brother thank you for all you do and all you did on this trip, you are loved by so many. Your heart is of solid gold, dancing a bit off but heart pure GOLD. Click here!

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We have the most amazing news!  We have started the hearing clinic with our deaf children at Busoga School. We set a goal a hope, a prayer we could get just ONE that has some hearing, with this we could seek out hearing aids.
We set this goal knowing chances would not be great, but we may just have one.

The very first child is brought to us Sserungo Hussien, and he heard!!!  Stay tuned!

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More, more, more…

What a great day yesterday. We were always moving in a direction south towards Entebbe airport to pick up Lourds for her arrival at 10:30pm and she is here and safe and sound AND VERY excited.

1-Mark’s day started, as always, at Moses and Cecilia home, with Moses and Mark in their long talks over tea and breakfast . We were visited by Kawanga Paul, a young man who has been in our sponsorship program since he was very small. He came to report he has scored so well in his high school national exams and can and will move to university with a goal of being a lawyer, our first lawyer!
2- Next to Mukono with AnnBill and the team where 5 of our oldest Koi Koi kids attend high school (beaming with love and pride).  We visited our children to find them looking so good, happy and working so hard with very good grades.
3- Next stop;  Kampala to meet with our great friend and star(s) of the Disney Movie, The Queen of Katwe,  Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi!
4- Last stop: Entebbe Airport to pick up our new family member  and the amazing  Lourds Lane!

Tonight back to Entebbe airport to pick up Manny Cirenza!

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More updates & pics from uganda….

It’s tough keeping up with the team updates!  Things are going strong there!

New books for the p6 and p7 classes at Kagoma Gate. the magic maps to freedom!

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Bo Signoracci Goliber please share the building is progressing so well, thank you and Ed and everyone at Finger Paint. Click here!

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More Uganda Updates!

The programs at our Busoga school for the deaf and disabled are beyond words, what these are doing for children before forgotten is pure joy. EVERY child, every being, should receive a chance to blossom and thrive.

With your help we can keep this growing and able to welcome more children. Click here!

GREAT NEWS!! today it rained!!! Not long enough but it did and the water harvesting system worked, tank started to fill and give water. Does not get better than this! Click here!

Dateline: Kagoma Gate Village. Yes Bill Reilly this really did happen! Click here!

We want to thank so many of the teachers and students of the Global Coaltion who contributed their art to last years art auction. This paid for the great science equipment that we were able to purchase for Uganda. These are some of the faces of the students who are benefiting from this group effort.

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This year we saw 3 more Koi Koi daughters make it to high school, it called for a special meal. Sadly, Kasifa became more and more sick with malaria. After the meal we returned Doreen and Afuwa to school and gave Kasifa malaria treatment bringing her home to the Koi Koi house for the night. she is much better now though.

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With all of our older Koi Koi Kids away at high-school was a good time for scrabble!!

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Moses & Cecelia’s kids looking SMART!

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Aaron Gryder and Natalie Grunnan your concert this summer is bring joy for generations.

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Please meet Kagoma Gate Village’s FIRST candidate class.
I know I often say something is amazing, pure beauty I have another one you must admit is most amazing, something people said would never happen for a village that was referred to as the forgotten village the forgotten people.

At the end of the school year these children will sit for their national exam for the first time and I KNOW we will have the very first high school students. Click here!

Construction on the 2nd latrine building is complete greatly improving sanitation. Once again Emma great designs and work and thank you to all who helped us make this happen.

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Bill Reilly and Ann Lamoreaux Fantauzzi are spending a great deal of time on this trip training our teachers at Busoga and Kagoma Gate with new skills and tools with the goal of making our 2 schools the very best they can be for these children. These teachers are amazing, dedicated and always seeking more skills to help their students.
While Bill was demonstrating the many lessons and educational items he brought Ann was teaching scrabble to the staff.

Educational games like scrabble and Chess/ MiniChess Marisa Vd Merwe can be a great key to better education for these beautiful children.
This summer we will hold an inner school scrabble and Chess tourney. Next year and years after the goal is a district wide scrabble tournament with all local schools to be healed at our Busoga school.

Our great staff at both schools and Moses vision, dedication and your love and support will bring our schools to the very top of schools in Uganda giving each child the greatest chance and hope in life.

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This is pure beauty, this is the greatest example of why we all do what we do, what so many of you who may never be here in person to see.
This is a video of our deaf class. Please watch after one year, less for some of the children watch them speak/ sign to each other. These are “throwaway” children never before educated because no programs existed for them.
Watch with pure joy their joy. As I write this I am surrounded by them laughing filled with bliss seeing themselves for the first time.
We now have 3 most amazing deaf teachers including the wonderful Gumisiriza Chris.
This year we added more deaf and disabled students, we need to open our hearts and doors to all. Let NO child not know the joy of education, friendship and play they know at our Busoga school because of so many of YOU! CLICK HERE!

Hunger- drought -farming-crop & livestock raising. Uganda and much of Africa is in the middle of a very bad drought. Just last night we heard a report to the north and South Sudan is fearing the death of 100,000 due to hunger/ starvation.
Our goal with all our projects is sustainability and self sustainability below is pictures of our 17 acre farm also our pigs and rabbits.
It has been so dry so little rain, almost zero over the last 8 months that our last crop cycle of corn failed. For this reason Moses has decided to plant cassava https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassava which is much more drought resistant. Mixed with the cassava will be planted beans.
Much of the cassava harvest which will be sold to buy much needed corn.

This summer we will install hydroponics and fish farming in the greenhouse at our Busoga school.

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On the 20th we celebrated a most special day at our Busoga school, the celebration to honor the 27 students who passed their national exams allowing them to move to high school. Part 1. We are so excited and even more so proud that every child who took the national exam PASSED.
2 we are most proud were the top scorers in the district, with Kaboya Mark scoring an amazing 7 aggregate and Musoko Iyan an 8.
I sat at event with the 2 son’s ( princes) of the King of Busoga and also the chief of Busoga. They were so amazed, so proud and so grateful to TGC/TGCA and all of you who make what we do a reality.

Part of this celebration was the awarding to 2 special now annual scholarships. Meet Kaboya Mark who’s sponsor is Danielle Thorpe, Kaboya Mark was the winner of the first annual Scott Hudson Science Scholarship Award. This award of 1.75 million shillings, $500usd will pay all Mark’s costs for his first year of high school.
I can not express to you the joy and amazement this brought. CLICK HERE!

at our Busoga school, the celebration to honor the 27 students who passed their national exams allowing them to move to high school. Part 1. We are so excited and even more so proud that every child who took the national exam PASSED.
2 we are most proud were the top scorers in the district, with Kaboya Mark scoring an amazing 7 aggregate and Musoko Iyan an 8.
I sat at event with the 2 son’s ( princes) of the King of Busoga and also the chief of Busoga. They were so amazed, so proud and so grateful to TGC/TGCA and all of you who make what we do a reality.

The 2nd Scholarship Kelly Mommakoikoi, Azurah and I are very proud of Musoko Iyan is the winner of Mubiru Andrew Memorial Scholarship award given to the most improved student who also demonstrates acts of compassion. This Scholarship Kelly MommakoikoiAzurah and I gift this in the name of our son Mubiru Andrew who we lost to sickle cell anemia Musoko Iyan scored an amazing EIGHT. This award of 1.75 million shillings, $500usd will pay all Musoko Iyan’s costs for his first year of high school.
I can not express to you the joy and amazement this brought.  CLICK HERE!

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Updates on the mini-team trip to Uganda

With great thanks to Fingerpaint and Bo Signoracci Goliber construction is well underway on the walls of the 6th & 7th grade class room block. Walls will soon be complete windows and doors soon to be installed!

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Here are 3 of our youngest Koi Koi Kids including, of course, the queen of the world: Veronica, jumping for joy! We can’t wait until the 26th when her new arm is put on!!!

https://www.facebook.com/mark.bertrand.56/videos/10212098643640529/

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A great surprise and honor today as we officially were to dedicate the opening of the official branch of our Koikoi U’Rafiki Saving and micro loan bank!  Mark was so happy and red-faced to find a surprise when the plaque was uncovered.

Then it was on to a wonderful cake, party and meal at Moses and Cecilia‘s home (also celebrating Mark’s birthday) AND Keturah was home from boarding school!

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Keturah

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AND, this is what happens with Giving Circle Volunteers come to Uganda:

https://www.facebook.com/mark.bertrand.56/videos/10212057382449025/

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Washington State University Tri-Cities Engineering Students Partnership!

We would like to thank a long time friend, great supporter and member of TGCA family: Professor Scott Hudson.

Scott and his electrical engineering students of Washington State University Tri-Cities are helping us with not one, but TWO amazing projects (gifts) for our Ugandan school.  One is the gift of solar and the second is the gift of sustainable food.

AT KAGOMA GATE: will be an incredible solar system on the 2-classroom block (seen in picture below) which our Friends at Fingerpaint Marketing have just donated the funds for us to complete.

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This 2-classroom block serves as class rooms, village church, village meeting hall, place of celebrations and more. Now, thanks to this solar system, they will have good light well into the night.

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AT BUSOGA: This is an amazing project for our Busoga school.  The WSU Tri-Cities electrical engineering students are designing and building a solar power-powered aquaponic system to enable us to grow vegetables and raise fish in a self-contained, very-off-grid system which will be located in our greenhouse.

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Uganda, like much of Africa, is struggling with drought yet again, as seen in this video.   This system can and will change this. In time we will expand this system and duplicate it at our Kagoma Gate school and projects.

Read about this incredible system that Professor Scott Hudson and his students have designed, constructed and will ship to Uganda this summer.  Scott will be part of our summer travel team and will install these projects during this trip.

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Thank you so much Scott and all your students!!

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