In spite of the hot weather we’ve been experiencing in Fargo, it’s mid-summer and in a month vacations will be over, kids will be back in school, docks and boats will be pulled from the Minnesota lakes. I try to embrace the moment no matter the season because each holds something special – leaves turning color in autumn, curling up with a good book and a fire during a winter storm, and the tree buds and bright flowers that come with spring.
Are you feeling it? ASAH’s in a summer slump.As with many nonprofits, the bulk of our donations arrives at year-end, though we’re fortunate to have a steady base of income from donors who give monthly and quarterly. These regular funds enable us to house, feed, clothe, provide medical care, and educate our students in Uganda. To even things out, we hold an event each spring and occasionally one in the fall to thank our supporters and to bring our message of Protecting, Educating, and Empowering these vulnerable girls to potential new supporters.These events add some cost, but bring additional income and add new supporters, but that Summer Slump always gets us, and it’s a long time until Christmas!
This year we’ve already accomplished a lot with those year-end gifts! In January we installed nine functioning toilets and showers (compared to two showers and two latrines for more than 40 girls living onsite). We put in two new tanks storing 14,000 liters of water and installed a rain harvesting system on the roof of the main house. Our office now includes desks, chairs, and a file cabinet for our staff. We have sufficient plastic tables and chairs for our students to study and eat meals. These can easily be moved around inside or out or stacked against the wall if we want to use the open floor space.
Our students have regular tutors in addition to their time in the classroom. They now have uniforms for playing soccer, basketball, and volleyball. AND TENNIS SHOES! Quite an improvement from flip-flops and bare feet. Shoes are not a given in Africa, as multitudes walk barefoot. For our older girls, bring shoes from the US because the Dinka tribe are the tallest people in the world. An average Dinka man is 6’1.” South Sudanese girls may wear size 10, 11, or 12 shoes which aren’t available in Uganda.
You can boost our slump today! If you are already a regular ASAH donor, please consider an additional donation this month. Your contribution will make a big difference in our ability to provide well for our girls over the next few months. Click here!
Perhaps you are new to ASAH.To learn more about us, visit our website: African Soul American Heart. On this main page, you will find a beautiful nine-minute video that follows Mary Akuot, pictured above, who was 12 when she joined us about 18 months ago. She lost most of her family during the war and was pretty troubled during her first year with us. We offered her counseling along with the sisterhood of the ASAH girls who took her under their wing. Mary is now a happy young girl, doing well in school, and participating enthusiastically in all activities. Your donations will help girls just like her.
In fact, if you choose to sponsor a student, you will receive a personal letter a couple of times a year along with pictures of your student. We have three students with no sponsors at all including one of our four secondary school boys (this boy is the NUMBER ONE student in a class of 186 – competing against primarily Ugandan students), and we also have many students with basic sponsorships. It costs ASAH about $5000 per year to support one student. A full sponsorship is $4500 or $375 monthly. A basic sponsorship is $1500 or $125/month. It is also possible to share basic or full sponsorships with friends or family members.
Boost our summer slump by visiting our Donate page.You can donate online, by mail, or by calling me (Deb Dawson) at 701-478-7800 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contribution will Protect, Educate, and Empower orphaned students who would have been at risk during this ongoing conflict, and who would be suffering in refugee camps if it weren’t for ASAH in their lives.
Donate and continue the ASAH students’ hope for a better future, to give them knowledge and skills to support themselves and their future families, and to enable them to help their country return to peace. The ASAH students will change their world.