UVU employee takes charge in support of education in Uganda

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In his spare time, David Ssejinja, an academic advisor at UVU’s office of Multicultural Student Services, works to raise money in order to provide for children in his native Uganda.


In 1997, free primary school education for up to four children was provided to each family in Uganda. Despite governmental relief, such as the Universal Primary Education Program, the costs of education in Uganda are not entirely lifted. It is especially true for those living in rural areas or suffering from a lower socioeconomic status.


Many expenses are not covered by the governmental relief effort, such as the cost of school supplies, uniforms, facilities and food.


“I started the Ssejinja Children’s Foundation to bring hope to the children of Uganda,” said Ssejinja. “Through education we can bring hope to those children, despite concerns like rampant HIV and regional instability.”


The foundation began with a mission to build primary schools for orphaned children in Uganda. In the last three years, the mission has broadened as both need and resources have grown.


“We now provide basic education tools, such as pencils, pens and uniforms,” said Ssejinja. “Also, we have started doing larger projects to support the mission of education.”


Ssejinja and his team of volunteers travel to Uganda for a month every June. In 2015, his team focused on digging a clean water well. In 2016, volunteers built additional classrooms, adding to an existing school building. Ssejinja hopes to do even more.


“This year our plan is to provide counseling services and refugee support,” said Ssejinja. “We will teach abstinence as a way to prevent HIV/AIDS. We will be providing food, blankets, shoes and hygiene kits. And we will be supporting English language classes as well.”


The foundation has been able to raise between $5,000 – $9,000 USD each year. While approximately half of the money comes from donors, the other half is raised on UVU campus.


A table was set up across from the UVU Bookstore in The Zone, Jan. 12 where passersby could purchase hand-made necklaces, bracelets and backpacks in traditional African colors. All proceeds go to the Ssejinja Children’s Foundation.


“This year we have a goal to raise $10,000 USD,” said Ssejinja. “So far, we have raised $1,000 USD.”


Former UVU student Fred Isanga is an integral member of the foundation’s team. He travels with the team each year and encourages other students to do the same.


“Anyone who wants to come to Uganda with our foundation should come,” said Isanga. “It costs about $3,000 USD per person, and everyone who joins us pays their own way. When you see the looks on the faces of the children, when they smile at you, it makes it all worth it.”



Those looking to donate to the Ssejinja Children’s Foundation can do so by visiting http://www.ssejinja.org/. Those who would like to learn more about the foundation, volunteer or travel to Uganda can contact David Ssejinja directly at 801-687-2003.