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December 2006

This month there have been small wonders and a large need. Please consider what you can do to help keep this unquestionably successful organisation on its feet. It is only seriously disadvantaged young people who will benefit.

  1. Text Books Arrive
    Text books sent by St. Paul's Overseas Aid, Melbourne, have been received by us. This will go in improving our the English language at our centre. The secondary English Text Books Book One, Two, Three, and Four were fine. I don't know whether we can get some Maths, Science T/Books to enhance the children skills.
    Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune, Executive Director

    This was a small miracle because (a) these devoted ladies were able to find texts, (b) were able to fund the shipping of these heavy items and (c) ensured that they arrived in the centre of Africa undamaged. Thank you St.Paul's.

  2. Christmas Gift Certificates
    A small number of people have begun to respond generously to the RYDA Christmas Gift Certificates. This is wonderful idea. A certificate free for the taking. The value is added by the person who passes it on as a Christmas Gift - perhaps with a token packet of nuts or something similar. Value adders donate to RYDA through St. Margaret's - any amount, anywhere in the world, no rules and 100% of every donation goes to RYDA's work.

    There is still time to activate certificates before Christmas. Please read the link.

  3. The Great Need
    We need to find a large international partner donor to share RYDA's work.
    Save The Children, Uganda, has been that partner in recent years and hundreds of young people have helped as a result. But their resources, as with everyone's, are limited and the demands of the refugees on the northern border of Uganda with Sudan have become so great that this organisation has had to shift its influence to that area. On RYDA's behalf, St. Margaret's has written to five more international donor organisations this month. Please pray that God will open doors for these letters.
November 2006

  1. When To Kill A Bull
    The staff and students at the RYDA centre at Buloba (outside Kampala) held an open day on October 28th. The day was fine and 1000 people (yes, one thousand) turned up for the exhibition and parents' day. A bull was killed for them. This came from the RYDA farm and it was so interesting for the children to see this outcome of their sweat and persistent work at this farm.

    Cattle on the RYDA Farm

    The day was appreciated by all those who turned up as they witnessed what children can do at RYDA centre. To spice the day the Music, Dance and Drama groups acted a play and performed musical pieces.

    Two days after the show the Save the Children Partners from KUMI eastern Uganda visited the RYDA centre and field activities, especially our programs for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs). From their feed back after the three days visit they were impressed about RYDAs work especially the documentation, and child participation in all that RYDA does. Their report is expected in two week's time.

  2. Letter Writing
    In the September news we mentioned that St. Margaret's Church, Mooroolbark, Australia has written to five major international support organisations inviting their officers to consider on-going donations to the work of Rubaga Youth Development Association. We also mentioned that only World Vision Australia had replied at that stage. There has now also been a response from HIVOS in the Netherlands. Unfortunately though they are unable to assist.

    With God's help we must find long term, large scale organisations to form partnerships with RYDA in order to secure their amazingly successful work.

    To this end, one more letter has been written, this time to the Micah Challenge organisation, which is aiming to halve world poverty. If you have other suggestions, please let us know.

September 2006

  1. Proud of RYDA Children
    We received this very exciting news by email and are very proud of RYDA Children and their teachers and carers.
    Last week our centre children participated in the four day Uganda Social Forum at the National Stadium. Our children won the football trophy and we have now a cup at our office. It was an excitement upon our winning this event. The Drama children presented skits on the child sacrifice, child abuse and child exploitation. The Drama skits were so interesting they prompted the forum participants to call the group to make a Documentary on the same.
  2. Letter Writing
    In the past month or so St. Margaret's Church, Mooroolbark, Australia has written to five major international support organisations inviting their officers to consider on-going donations to the work of Rubaga Youth Development Association. The organisations contacted were:
    • Caritas Australia
    • DOEN Foundation Netherlands
    • Hivos Netherlands
    • Weingart Foundation USA
    • World Vision Australia
    To date only World Vision Australia has responded. Unfortunately they were unable to assist directly because of their internal structure but they did advise writing to their African branch with the same request. This has now been done, and, as with the others, our prayers are that the letters will result in positive support for RYDA's magnificent work.
August 2006

  1. Breakfast for Africa at Croydon Secondary College, Victoria, Australia is continuing to support its own students, by providing a nutritious breakfast opportunity, and the young people at RYDA through donations collected each breakfast morning. The program raised $AUD146 during Term 2.
  2. This Project Needs Funding
    Rubaga Youth Development Association is continually striving to improve life opportunities for young people in Uganda. It has an incredibly successful record in this work. The energy, passion, perseverance and local knowledge of its staff, funded by the philanthropy of the first world, has changed the lives of hundreds of young people. The following project needs the immediate support of donors. Please give it your consideration at both a personal level and in terms of organisations you could approach to offer larger scale commitment.
    Project Title
    Orphans and Vulnerable Children Care and Support
    Location: Uganda
    Theme: Education Enhancement
    Estimated Cost: $US94,360

    Providing care and support to orphans and vulnerable children by facilitating education, nutrition, counselling, health care, income generating activities and HIV/AIDS counselling.

    • $US20: provide basic domestic needs to one orphaned household for one month, inform of nutritious porridge flour, cereals, treated malaria mosquito nets, detergents, cooking fuel etc.
    • $US25: Antrire trovial drugs (ARVs) for 1 infected child for 1 month.
    • $US35: improve nutritional status for one orphan through schools based provision of nutritious porridge for one year.
    Project Needs and Beneficiaries
    Wakiso district is one of the most affected districts in Uganda with high number of needy orphans. Adequate health care is not easily accessible and has high costs in this poor rural area, and the care-giver relatives and department children are destitute. Because of this and stigma attached to this area the numbers of orphans needing support has grown. This project support orphans by working through schools and the community.
    School feeding programme, scholarship and provision of school supplies, counselling, medical care, gifts of micro-grants to orphans' guardians to start small businesses and provision of the basic domestic needs.
    Potential Long Term Impact
    • Orphans who are well-nourished, learning and completing primary education, receiving appropriate health care and developing self-reliance.
    • Ability of orphans' guardians to meet basic needs.
    • Community acceptance of HIV/AIDS orphans.
    • Reduction in HIV incidence.
    • E-mail project contact
    • Project documentation
    • UN AIDS facts and figures on HIV/AIDS in Uganda
    • RYDA transport and offices
    • Committed Staff and community networks/structures
    Uganda... Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune
    +256 772 415 631
    First World... Douglas Williams
    +61 3 9726 8316
July 2006

This month we have a problem to share - a problem to prayer!

RYDA has received information that the Save the Children Fund Uganda is going to phase out its work in Central Uganda to consolidate its activities with the displaced people in the Northern Uganda. This will leave RYDA without funding to cater for the orphaned and vulnerable street children currently in its care. RYDA's self-help programs for children and youth are extensive and have been immensely successful. But they depend on being able to feed the multitude of young people who live at the Buloba complex.


  1. Pray, expecting God to fill this gap even more generously than God has done in the past.
  2. Co-create the future with God by writing as below to any support organisation you know of to request assistance for RYDA.
Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is ... and I write to support the work of Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune and the Rubaga Youth Development Association (RYDA) of Kampala, Uganda, Africa.

The work of this organisation in advocating and building self-help programs for orphaned and vulnerable street children is among the most successful of the African NGOs. Their success is due to clear vision, dedicated staff and firm management, but they would struggle today, as they did in their early days, if it were not for the generosity of donors around the world.

In little more than a decade, RYDA has grown from a small suburban group of street workers to an organisation worthy of national and international respect. Its Executive Director, Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune, has forged many links around the world ranging from small congregations of committed Christians to government and United Nations departments. A web site on behalf of RYDA is maintained by St. Margaret's Uniting Church in Australia so RYDA's story can be part of first world dialogue.

From this background, I write to encourage you to enter conversation with Geoffrey Steven with a view to finding a way for your organisation to support and extend the extensive work of RYDA. I can do no better than quote the treasurer of St. Margaret's who enjoys giving all that is possible to RYDA ...because we know every dollar of it is carefully spent on the children.


June 2006

All sorts of exciting things happening at RYDA this month. Everyone is delighted and we know that this level of support will bring huge benefits to the weak and vulnerable children, young people and families with whom RYDA deals.

  • A new nurse on staff - see below.
  • A donation of $US16,500 from Miva Switzerland to enable RYDA get a purchase a Double Cab vehicle to support the HIV/AIDS counselling and prevention programme it runs in rural communities. Maria Diaz is the Miva Project Officer who has secured this wonderful donation.
    Dear Maria,
    Today 16th June 2006 RYDA received a Nissan Datsun 4 wheel Double Cabin Car registration UAH 199K. It was all excitement to both the board members, staff and children at our office here in Buloba.
    I wish you were here to witness this activity. Once again I want to extend our since appreciation for the support you have rendered to this programme. We want to assure you that the support will be put to a proper usage.
    Yours Truly
    Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune
  • Two cartons arrived from St Paul's Overseas Aid, Kew, Australia containing shirts, shorts, T-shirts, sweaters and several other items. This delivery resulted from the Executive Director's visit to this organisation in October last. We hope this is the beginning of a 'beautiful friendship' - even if it does take 6 months for a delivery to travel from Melbourne, Australia to Kampala, Uganda.
  • We have received a copy of the 2005 Annual Report. What a wonderfully presented document. This organisation is so dedicated to being clear and transparent in its programs, policies and finances. Perhaps this is why other African government and non-government organisation have begun to seek advice from RYDA on dealing with similar problems. Read about this report here.

May 28th: Message from Geoffrey

Today we got a new nurse by the name Nabukenya Prossy. We are very excited by this as Nabukenya is aged 26 years old enrolled Nurse fit for the young people.
RYDA Clinic
The RYDA clinic where Nabukenya will work.

Last month we reported that RYDA had been granted status as an examination centre for the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB). This is another wonderful step in the execution of its self-help vocational training courses. But with it comes more demands on resources. Text and reference books must be added to the centre library to support teachers and learners. This can be quote a costly process.

During May, St. Margaret's was able to send another regular donation and this has been able to purchase two textbooks for catering, computer, and metal fabrications. Many more books are urgently needed to support studies in Motor Vehicle Training, Catering, Carpentry, Art and Design.

It is very expensive to ship books purchased in the West, but books are available in Kampala. You are invited to contribute funds ear-marked for this purpose. Former street children will be the beneficiaries. Details of how to contribute can be found in the link How to Support RYDA.

May 2006
This month we are fortunate to have a message directly from the Director, Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune.

I want to begin by sending my greetings to all the people of St. Margaret's and all the other supporters of RYDA who receive this email. In the last month or so much has happened. Here below are some of them:

  • We have managed to secure for the first time the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) centre number UT 170 to enable students at our centre to be examined by a national examination body in Uganda. This will go along way in making our organisation recognised by Government and to getting a recognised certificate.
  • We were visited by staff from Barclays Bank in Uganda who also donated some sugar, toilet rolls, soap and books to our centre.
  • We received some books, pencils, pens and other stationery from Australia.
  • A donation from Feed The Children in Uganda was received. This included books, pens, measuring rulers, shirts and trousers.
  • One of the RYDA trainees by the name of Sembatya Robert an Artist is currently decorating our Music, Dance and Drama department with nice pictures. They are so attractive and this has added value to the building.
  • RYDA has held several talk shows on different radio on the plight of vulnerable children. This has greatly improved its public image.
In addition, upcoming events will be held at the RYDA centre:
  1. May 13th: a workshop will be held for in-school young people we expect to host about 100 at our Kasubi Hall.
  2. June 7th: The Day of the African Child will be held and this will attract 2500 young people.
It is interesting to note is that Lydia (the first student sponsored by members of St. Margaret's) will be completing her University education three months from now. We need to thank the Millar family and other church members for making this possible.

Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune
Executive Director, RYDA

Wedding in Kasubi Hall
Local wedding at Kasubi Hall.

Note: If you donate directly to RYDA, please note that its account number at Barclay's Bank has recently changed to 1001986. This change has been made on this site. Remember, we can lessen transfer fees by transferring one amount and to this end the Treasurer of St. Margaret's is happy to combine donations and manage one transfer.
Please see the details in How to Support RYDA.

February/March 2006
Several very important things have happened in this time which demonstrate yet again that anything offered to support RYDA is 100% used to support vulnerable street youths to develop self-sustaining vocational skills.

  1. St. Margaret's congregation collected 301 exercise books and pens and funded delivery of the 20+ kilogram carton to RYDA by DHL.
  2. A young lady, Shen, who visited Geoffrey Kyeyune, RYDA's Executive Director when he was in Australia last October is now working voluntarily in the RYDA Centre at Buloba in Uganda. She was present when the carton arrived from St. Margaret's and some of the materials were immediately put to use in her English classes.
  3. Also during the October visit Geoffrey met with the team at Anchor Community Care in Lilydale. Although from opposite sides of the world, and quite different cultures, these two groups of professional social workers found many things in common. It happened that Fiona, a member of the Anchor team was going to Uganda in December for a family wedding. She promised to visit RYDA. This month we have received photos of that visit. Evidence yet again that the world we share is not as large and distant as we sometimes imagine.
Fiona at RYDA
Fiona & Geoffrey in the Matoke Plantation.

We have also discovered that the whole country is suffering from lack of rain. Water is in shorter supply and hydro-electricity generation is being affected. Access to electricity is currently far more problematic than usual.

February 2006
This month there has been wonderful support for RYDA's activities. This includes:

  • $500 donation from Luther College, Croydon, Australia which certainly help with fitting out the new Music Program department mentioned last month.
  • $400 donation from St. Margaret's Bowls Club.
  • $58.90 already collected from the Croydon High School Breakfast Program in the first couple of weeks of operation in this year.
  • $41.10 from a RYDA collection box which is part of every Sunday service.
All up, $AUD1000 transfered to the RYDA account.

January 2006

  1. Geoffrey and Irene's new baby (see December 2005 below) has been named Doreen Nanziri and she is growing well.
  2. There is an urgent need to find additional support to open the Music Program department. See December 2005 below for a picture of the building which RYDA staff and children built with their own hands.
    • RYDA has music program teachers and co-ordinators.
    • RYDA wants to immediately add 30 more youths to its family who will be provided with vocational training based on the recognised musical talents God has given them.
    • But RYDA needs additional funding for windows, doors, electricity, instruments, recording equipment and so on.
    If you can help please see our link How to Support RYDA and act NOW.