Bududa Learning Center is an umbrella organization that includes a vocational high school, an orphans program for children, and a microfinance program for women. It is located in the isolated mountain district of eastern Uganda. It was founded by Canadian-born Barbara Wybar, who has been living on site a portion of each year for the past 14 years.
This isolated region, one of the poorest in Uganda, is over-populated with most families having an average of 8 children. They live by growing their own food. Most of the region has no running water or electricity. Both the education and health care system are severely under-funded and inadequate. Jobs are scarce. Most people are hungry most of the time.
How & Who We Help.
We work to address the problems in three ways:
1. Training young people in basic trades: carpentry; brick-laying; dress-making and tailoring; nursery teacher training; computer skills training; and hairdressing training.
2. Providing broad support to 170 children and young people, many of them orphans from AIDS, by providing education enrichment, food, and health care.
3. Training and providing micro finance loans to single mothers and grandmothers in the region who are bringing up children on their own and have no means of support, so they can start small businesses.
How It Is Run
The Center is staffed by Ugandans working in a professional capacity. Barbara Wybar acts as Executive Director and works in a volunteer capacity. There is a growing volunteer contingent of people from the west who visit and do volunteer work there and others who take on management and administrative work in Canada and the US in a volunteer capacity. A guest house and annex provide housing for up to 12 visiting volunteers at a time.
A local Advisory Board of the Center, led by Father Paul Buyela, provides oversight to the headmaster of the school and the directors of the two other programs. It is made up of representatives of the teachers, the parents, the regional education board, and the community as well as the executive director. The chairman is a highly respected educator as well as clerical leader in the region at large.
Governance and Financial Support
Bududa Canada Foundation provides governance to the Center and raises funds from individuals, foundations, and organizations to support the Center. It is incorporated in Canada holds charitable status from the Canadian Revenue Authority (#82535 8286 RR0001). There is a board directors of five people, three of whom are Canadian and two American. Financial support comes from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Officers & Board of Directors
Sally Bongard (Toronto), Chairman and Secretary
Scott Douglas (Connecticut)
Cecily Lawson (Montreal)
Lizette Gilday (Montreal), President
Barbara Wybar (Philadelphia, Quebec, and Uganda), Treasurer