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Believe in Uganda Field of Interest Fund

Believe in Uganda Field of Interest Fund

From her first exposure to the people of Kohondo, Uganda, located southwest of Kampala, Debbie Damron, an Ottawa resident, knew she was called to help combat the sometimes horrendous conditions that existed with respect to the lack of clean water, adequate hygiene, education, medical care, disease prevention, and even minimal resources for sufficient food. Making matters worse, Debbie and her fellow traveler, Dianne Jamison, also of Ottawa, learned that the only school in the region was no longer inhabitable. They returned to Ottawa with hearts and minds swimming with ideas to find solutions that would change the lives of the individuals and families living in unimaginable conditions. One of those ideas - to bake and sell thousands of cookies over months and months to students and faculty of Ottawa Township High School - raised enough money, when coupled with other generous donations from Ottawa neighbors, churches and businesses, to rebuild the school. Debbie named it the Glory Primary School.

Then came a remarkable partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Ottawa Noon, Ottawa Sunrise and Rochelle who took the lead to provide the required matching financial support for a Rotary Foundation Global Grant Project. The Grant provided the completion and outfitting of the school; a new and well-stocked library; the school playground; a maize milling machine to make the community sustainable with training and supplies to distribute maize to feed school children, the community and to market to surrounding areas. The project was completed in 2012-2013 and is still overseen every year by Debbie Damron and her ever-growing team of caring and giving local residents.  The Rotary Club of Kabarole, Uganda also provides oversight.

Now, after hundreds of hours of labor and thousands of dollars of generous financial support, the people of Kampala and several surrounding areas are thriving. Debbie and her husband, John, along with Dianne and her beloved late husband, Scott, have contributed an incredible amount of time, talent and funding. Becky Cattanii joined the leadership team and the joint efforts of additional generous and caring supporters have been organized to become Believe in Uganda, BiUG.  In 2024, Debbie will spend one month working throughout the Ugandan region, and Becky will lead another group of committed supporters abroad in August.  Additional initiatives have been added to include a Village Savings and Loan (VSA) Program.

In order to accomplish such dramatic change, Believe in Uganda partners with Innovations for Transformation Initiative (ITI) a non-governmental organization (NGO), which is a registered Ugandan charitable organization and similar to non-profit organizations in the United States. ITI's focus is to empower disadvantaged young people and poor households by boosting their economic capacity and living conditions through access to basic education, health care and alternative sources of income for sustainable livelihoods.

Another remarkable initiative to spring from Believe in Uganda is the result of the dedication and commitment of Nathalie and Joe Schmidt, also of Ottawa. After visiting Uganda with Debbie Damron and others, Joe and Nathalie, well-respected and highly successful members of the Ottawa farming community, knew they needed to help teach the residents of Uganda to successfully farm well enough to feed themselves and others.  Joe and Nathalie created the organization Transforming Ugandan Farmers (TUF) and have made several trips to work diligently alongside the local residents who are eager to gain the knowledge and skill to succeed. For more information about TUF, visit Transforming Ugandan Farmers (TUF) (

The SRCCF is honored to establish the Believe in Uganda Field of Interest Fund to provide for desperately needed goods and services for the precious people of Uganda. Your generous donation is most welcome!

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Committed to you and your future.

Community foundations exist to meet the philanthropic needs of the community and the philanthropic desires of local donors. When we connect those two, wonderful things happen to enhance the quality of life for all of us.​

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