Joyce at the White House
By: Joyce Wanda, REACH Co-Founder
I had the honor of being invited to The White House on Friday to attending the event celebrating “Champions of Change” for Extracurricular Enrichment for Marginalized Girls and Girls of Color. It was great to meet ordinary American women in addition to Beverly Bond who work or volunteer with these girls after school or during summer camp here in the US. Many of the programs help shape the future of the girls who attend them from breaking barriers in sports, to stem and the arts to empowering girls through mentoring, building leadership and more. Thank you President Obama and the incredible first lady Michelle Obama for putting girl education on the fore front both nationally and internationally during your time in office. Thank you for making events like this which enable ordinary Americans like us visit the White House! The experience of being there was very special!
In her opening remarks, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett said, “Learning shouldn’t end when the school bell rings, so neither should our work to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive. I would add until all the 65 million girls who don’t go to school worldwide today can get that opportunity to attend school!
Her words made me to reflect on the work of REACH for Uganda and how much volunteers have made a difference in this program. REACH for Uganda in the US has only one paid staff and everyone else is a volunteer. This ensures that most of the money raised goes to support the students. These efforts have given hope to many young people in Uganda especially the students and patients who benefit directly. It is an honor that the White house included me and I share the honor with all of you. REACH stands at 340 students at our primary school in Bududa, 296 students on Secondary Schools in Uganda and 98 students are now at University or vocational school and another 44 have already completed the program. None of these would have been possible without the sponsors, volunteers who have worked with REACH since 2004 to present. Other people have come and gone but they are never forgotten. REACH supporters are the best and we thank you.
On Nov 12th, join REACH for the 5K Global Strides sponsored by ATS and Tuckahoe elementary schools in support of their sister schools: AJS and Matuwa, Please register here: www.aah5k.com