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Turn the Page Uganda
updated: Jun 18, 2011, 8:45 AM
Created: December 2010
Vicky Harbison, President
Helen Murdoch, Vice President and CFO
Sherri Bryan, Secretary
Michelle Boyd Villegas
Hal Conklin (Honorary)
Bill Cirone (Honrary)
Turn the Page Uganda is the brainchild of Vicky Harbison, a first grade teacher at Montecito Union School who has a passion for reading, travel, and children. In the summer of 2010 Vicky visited northern Uganda and toured a number of schools, meeting with students and teachers. She was amazed at the large number of students per class--up to 80--and that fact that they had no books. The learning was all done orally. Upon her return to Santa Barbara she contacted a few friends and Turn the Page Uganda was born.
Our goal is to get books into the hands of teachers and students in war-ravaged northern Uganda. We purchase the books in Kampala, Uganda, helping their local economy and ensuring that the books will work with the Ugandan curriculum. In this way we also save money by avoiding shipping and customs costs. However, the most important aspect is that the schools choose the books that they need the most. $500 purchases books for one school.
Northern Uganda is a war-ravaged region having experienced a decades-long war. The conflict, one of Africa's longest running, has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis. The LRA is accuses of widespread human rights violations including mutilation, torture, rape, the abduction of civilians, and the use of child soldiers. A 2005 poll of humanitarian professionals, media personalities, academics and activists identified the conflict in northern Uganda as the second worse "forgotten" humanitarian emergency in the world.
Our hope is to get books to the teachers and students to enhance their education, which will help them contribute to their communities in a positive way.
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