The Aninga Project is a non-profit educational initiative providing funding to enable the education of young women in Uganda. The objectives of the organization are:
- To fund the education of females in Africa by paying for school fees and other related expenses such as transportation, uniforms, books, school supplies.
- To contribute to the empowerment of African women by providing them with the means to acquire an education that otherwise would be out of reach.
The Aninga Project is a federally registered Canadian charity and is incorporated in the province of Nova Scotia. We have also been granted NGO status by the Government of Uganda. Current areas of focus are centered on strengthening our networks in Halifax and across Canada to assist us in obtaining more sustainable funding. We are committed to growing our initiative only in ways which will allow us to keep the person-to-person aspect of the project intact. Through personal contacts, girls who unquestionably would benefit from The Aninga Project continue to be identified in various parts of Uganda. Every day brings new surprises and improvements as the project’s network expands and its objectives are embraced by more individuals.
The genesis of The Aninga Project is a friendship between my family and a young Zimbabwean woman we met through her participation in the 2006 International AIDS Conference in Toronto. When our friend, Constance, settled in Uganda with her Ugandan husband, Dr. Asiki, we asked if we could work together at a grass roots level to create educational opportunities for young women. Our Ugandan friends identified a girl who would benefit – Aninga – and we sent money from Canada to be disbursed by them for her school fees and other necessities.
Aninga’s village in northern Uganda is close to both Sudan and The Democratic Republic of Congo: a dangerous area with little infrastructure. Educational opportunities generally are scarce, and for females, virtually non-existent. School fees are only one part of the expenditure required for Aninga’s education; transportation, boarding fees, uniforms, school supplies and other daily necessities also must be provided to maintain Aninga in a school in a safer location. We are very proud to say that Aninga graduated high school and began university this fall. Aninga was the first girl to benefit from our modest initiative, which has grown to support twelve more girls.
Why it works
It seems that the main reason why this project works so well is because it is a person-to-person, “on the ground” project. The money gets sent through wire transfers directly from the project’s account to our Ugandan contacts. During my time in Uganda and since my return I have been working to strengthen my networks in Uganda and in other parts of Africa to allow for this important aspect to remain intact as the project grows.
In August, 2009 I first had the opportunity to go to Uganda and stay with Constance and Dr. Asiki for the month. I was extremely excited to see Uganda and get a first-hand idea of what was going on in the country – and a vision of what else I could be doing to help. For a country plagued with so many problems, I was taken aback by the beauty of the country itself and of the people that I met. I came back with renewed determination and a strong belief that funding education for females was a right thing to do. After fundraising in Canada for almost two years and supporting an additional six girls I returned to Uganda in June 2011 to visit the seven girls being supported by then, and to see their schools.
Ugandans from north to south and east to west seem to think that the work of the Aninga Project is meaningful and that by educating females it contributes to attaining Ugandan objectives for change in their society: reduction of poverty, lower rates of HIV/AIDS and a higher quality of life in general.
Where we are now…
Where we are now…
As a result of our strong ongoing support and a very successful fundraising campaign by our Blue Nose Marathon Charity Challenge Team, we were able to double the number of girls we have in school this year. We are currently supporting eleven girls in elementary and secondary school and two girls in university.
We are working to increase interest, awareness and general involvement in the project. This will allow us to assist as many young women as possible to obtain education – and therefore opportunities – that otherwise would be impossible for them.
On November 28, 2012 The Aninga Project was recognized in the Nova Scotia Legislature, by the Honourable Graham Steele, for empowering Ugandan women through education.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit us online at www.aningaproject.org.
Find us on Facebook under The Aninga Project and follow us on Twitter @AningaProject.