Tag Archives: Songs of Kiguli

My Journey with Job ~ Who then, is my Friend?

Courtesy Commons.  Some rights reserved by pingnews.com

Courtesy Commons. Some rights reserved by pingnews.com

My growing network is quite aware that I am working on a second book.  One that is far closer to the writings my husband encouraged for so many years.  The years, that is, before dementia took him away from me.  He has a Ph.D. in philosophy and a Masters or two in math and science.  He devoted much of his life learning how we think so that he could teach machines how to think.  He is also a half-breed of sorts having been raised by a devout Catholic mother and a committed Jewish father.  Honed by both the Jesuits and the rabbis, his quite brilliant mind led him to a life of wonder at the workings of the universe, both great and small, and in an ongoing debate with a God he loved but constantly challenged.  He was, in many ways, my own private Job.

I don’t say this because he experienced anything like what happens in this passage of scripture.  I say this because he sought answers from the source.  He would look at available information.  He would compare the current wisdom.  When it was all said and done he refused to solidify his own opinion until he had pushed his knowledge as close to the source of the query as he could.  He never stopped looking until the disease robbed him of the ability to think logically.

My own journey with Job started many years ago.  Many of the things that I had become convinced of were discussed way into the night as I came to know my husband and as we shared our mutual wonder.  Debating with such a mind was refreshing, intriguing and challenging.  It meant that simple answers, stock answers, were not going to stand up.  It meant that I had to really explore the whys of my thoughts and construct reasonable arguments to support them.  As time went on he insisted I should write.  Now that he no longer knows I am, I do.

I have begun to introduce some of the thoughts contained in my new book on this blog. There is a glimpse into my thoughts in a blog discussing Dr. Erhman’s book, God’s Problem.  In order to write the book, Why Me? Come Let us Reason with Job, I have returned to research mode.  Do my ideas still stand?  Has life changed my mind, given me different perspectives?  Are the quotes and sources I knew from so many years ago accurate in my memory?  So, I am driven back to basic research.  I am finding that my core beliefs have not changed.  I am spending the time necessary to collect historical, religious and philosophical interpretations.  To learn what I can of the writing of the piece, of what supporting evidence there is for the when or who of the passage.  However, those things that speak to me have not changed.  As I develop the manuscript I will invite my readers to see what those treasured thoughts are and why I think they are so very important.  For the full debate, however, you’ll have to buy the book.  For this week’s contribution I thought I would explore who, then, is my friend?

I believe that this is one of the pillars of the lessons from Job.  We, as the audience, are informed at the very beginning that Job is a blameless man.  He is an upright man that avoids evil and watches over his family faithfully.  It is made clear to us, the observers, that the events that are about to take place are not due to any failure on his part to meet the requirements of a demanding or loving God.  Why then, have we spent millennium trying to sort out the arguments of his friends seeking some answer to his questions?  They want to blame him.  The more he questions his situation, the more adamant they become.  They are certain he is filled with unclean thoughts and intentions because there is no other way for them to find a “cause” for the “effect” they see before them.  This debate takes up a great deal of the poem.  God’s response to this tirade?  “Who is this who darkens counsel, Speaking without knowledge?”  (Job 38:2 from Tanakh, a translation by the Jewish Publication Society).  Job’s friends actually get in a lot of hot water and are commanded to go to him in order to have a sacrifice performed for their forgiveness.

Even after millennium of debate over “the purposes of suffering” the answer still rings in my ears:  “Who darkens my council?”  Obviously, my new book would be rather shallow if it didn’t offer some of the substance of this debate, and it does.  I use writings from Jewish and Christian writers who formed the foundation of our modern thought on the matter as well as more modern interpretations.  I also explore the response to human suffering from other cultures and religious practices.  In what I hope is a conversational tone I lead my reader through the history of what we have thought about the book so that I can better show how I arrived at my conclusions.  Occasionally, I find a glimmer of those thoughts.  Or, something I strongly believe hiding in the midst of things that make me shake my head.  Here is a bit of what I take away from “Job’s friends.”

It doesn’t really matter what Job has done or not done to “deserve” his current circumstances.  That is made abundantly clear in the very first scenes.  But Job’s friends, much like our own, out of fear or even arrogance are certain sure they know the cause.  We live in a world where the vagaries of nature, violence, and general human sorrow keep us asking “Why?”  And, just like Job’s friends, there is always someone (or many) who is absolutely certain that the problem at hand is due to some infraction of some universal law.  While such an individual is so terribly busy coming up with reasons why, they are missing a fundamental point.

Deep in my heart I believe that the lesson of Job’s friends is that the question is not just “Why?”  The questions should also be “what” and “where.”  What is happening and where can I help? In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus is asked “Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”  His answer?  Love God and love one another, on these two commandments hang the whole law and the prophets. This is not a new covenant law.  It is a quote of the law found in Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18.   Job’s friends never got beyond the debate.  They never looked at Job as a friend in need.  That was their gravest error and, to me, one of the most important lessons of the whole book.

It is not a thought to take lightly.  In Matthew 25:31-46 a scene is described in a somewhat familiar passage that discusses the separation of the sheep from the goats.  Take note that the test of who is which is not who prayed more, sinned less, or preached more.  It says nothing about how many souls you tried to save from abortion, misguided life styles or the evils of sin, sex and money (or lack thereof).  The defining qualification is this: “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me. …in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” (New Jerusalem translation)  It’s not about blame.  It’s about doing what is needed when it is needed.

Some years ago in a previous marriage, my husband, our business partner and I were preparing for a number of guests at our home for the 4th of July weekend.  The three of us were developing a place situated on acreage where people could come away for awhile and rest; a place of reflection.  Our partner was an integral part of our little family, living in his own trailer but spending much of his time with us.  Due to a lifetime of alcohol abuse, his too-young body finally gave out and in the middle of the pre-celebration night he died of a massive coronary arrest.  There was no way to change our plans, in fact they grew more complex because now we had a memorial to plan as well.

The following morning, as I was preparing for the guests that were about to arrive, a very dear friend of mine called.  She communicated her condolences and added the usual, “If there’s anything I can do to help.”   With a sigh I said I felt like we had most things under control, I just had to figure out how to get our house cleaned and his trailer prepared for his daughter’s arrival.  Her response?  “When do you want me there?”

What kind of story would we have if Job’s friends had arrived, stayed with him during the seven days of grieving, and then stood up and said, “Where do we start?”  “Job, can we help your wife bury your children?” “Would you like us to find who is left of your household and secure your property?” “Is there something left in the fields we can have harvested in support of your wife?”  Scripture being what it is we often find a record of what we do, rather than what we should do.  But in the telling of those things we are prone to do, there is a point when we can see what we should do.  Who then is your friend, your neighbor, your brother or sister?  Sometimes it is important how an individual gets into a predicament.  More often than not it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is what we do about it.

I would like to add a few links to organizations that have impressed me.  Reaching out and touching a life can be as simple as a donation online, or a smile on the street.  It doesn’t have to involve money, sometimes it is just a bit of time that’s needed.  Learn to become sensitive to those who are around you and you just might catch that incredible moment when what you have to offer is exactly what a fellow being needs.

WHD2013What is Habitat for Humanity International?

  • A nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live.
  • We build and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations.
  • Our partner families purchase these houses through no-profit, no-interest mortgage loans or innovative financing methods.

2010_heifer_logo
Heifer International

Heifer currently provides over 30 types of animals to families in need in more than 40 countries, including the U.S.

footer_logoThe Rose International Fund for Children

The primary mission of The Rose International Fund for Children (TRIFC.org) is to improve the lives of children in Nepal, particularly those who have a disability.

streetchildren_homeThe Bart D. Ehrman Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose overarching purpose is to raise money for charities devoted to poverty, hunger, and homelessness. All money collected from membership fees is given over to charities devoted to helping those in need.

And one of my personal favorites:  The Songs of Kiguli project.  This is an effort to publish the works of primary school children in Uganda so that they can fund improvements to the school and build the character necessary to lead their nation into the future.

Vigorous debate is always appreciated; however I will not post flame or outright attacks.

11 Comments

Filed under Humanties for the Unbound Mind, My Journey with Job, Natural Sciences from the Observation Deck

Perk News for 2013 Songs of Kiguli: Museum for African Art Donates Book

One of the advantages of working with a project that reaches across the borders of countries and cultures is the opportunity to meet other people passionate about their interests.  This is what we found in the Museum for African Art located in New York City.  In response to our plea for support they offered up their catalog and said, “Pick something.”  We believe we found a treasure that expressed what we were trying to accomplish and did so within the spirit of our project.  We selected a wonderful book entitled Personal Affects: Power & Poetics in Contemporary South African Art.

personal_affectsStraight from the catalog description the “artworks represent artists’ responses to a week-long stay in New York and visits with the international team of curators. The common thread throughout the exhibition is the highly personal point of departure of their working methods, informed by their varied experiences as South Africans.”

Participating artists include Jane Alexander, Wim Botha, Steven Cohen, Churchill Madikida, Thando Mama, Mustafa Maluka, Jay Pather, Johannes Phokela, Robin Rhode, Claudette Schreuders, Berni Searle, Doreen Southwood, Samson Mudzunga, Clive van den Berg, Minnette Vari, Diane Victor, and Sandile Zulu. Exhibition catalogue with Introduction by curators David Brodie, Laurie Ann Farrell, Churchill Madikida, Sophie Perryer, and Liese van der Watt, and essays: The Enigma of the Rainbow Nation: Contemporary South African Art at the Crossroads of History by Okwui Enwezor, Towards an ‘Adversarial Aesthetics’: A Personal Response to Personal Affects by Liese van der Watt, and artist interviews by Tracy Murinik.

Published by the Museum for African Art, New York and Spier, Cape Town. September 2004. 176 pp.

It is through art (and writing) that our species expresses those things which touch us most deeply, that give rise to all that is good, and bad, within us.  It is how we convey emotion and thought across language and cultural barriers.  Understanding the power of the word and art will prepare the students of Kiguli for a lifetime of successful leadership in their homes, communities, and perhaps their nation and the world.

The museum book is part of a package making up the perk for a $100 donation to 2013 Songs of Kiguli.  We labeled this perk “Hill of Antelopes” which is taken from the name of the capital city, Kampala (Kasozi Kempala). Won’t you join us in supporting a cause that gives us an opportunity to reach out, person to person, and help build a better world?  Just one more thing, helping to pull this project together will make the smiles on nearly 700 children that much more bigger and brighter!

253979_411855442204010_1761101515_n

Stop by our fundraiser and check out all of our perk packages.  We only have 6 days to go.  We have received dozens and dozens of complements on the project and the work to date.  That, of course, is appreciated.  It is time, however, to back up all that praise with a bit of cash.  Help us deliver on a promise to light up a corner of Africa with poetry and music.

1 Comment

Filed under Giving Back

When Poetry Makes a Difference

Why is a book of poetry, The Songs of Kiguli so terribly important to bright and inquiring minds living in the rural areas of Uganda?

1236165_10200400083191948_1324088671_nThe Kiguli Army School was originally founded to provide an inexpensive education to the children of soldiers in the Ugandan Army.  At inception it was registered as a Universal Primary Education school or UPE.  UPEs were set up by the government of Uganda to provide free primary-level education to children across the country.  Registration does not mean that the operating costs of the school are covered.  Books, stationary, school meals, and much of the salaries paid to teachers and administrators are not covered.

The cost of teacher salaries was not supported by the government until 2001 since the ministry of education had difficulty locating the registration number.  From the organization of the school until 2001, the teachers were paid out of the army’s “Rational Cash Allowance (RCA).  This is a fund providing small stipends for soldiers.

In 2002 things began to change for the better.  Luwero Industries, Ltd. Provided a location for the school and constructed 4 classroom blocks.  With this contribution came more students from the families of workers at Luwero.  The school is now providing education to the Nakasongola military fraternity and the children of Luwero workers.  The school is able to keep the contribution required from the families to a reasonable amount due to the proximity of the campus to corporate housing, local villages, and the homes of the fraternity.

“Reasonable cost,” of course, is a relevant term.  Education is being provided with the materials at hand.  But the school desperately needs a number of items not covered by the government, fraternity or corporate support.  Many of the students travel some 4 km to and from school. Reliable transportation is required to and from athletic events.  A maintenance vehicle is needed as well as repairs to the original buildings.  A library has been started and it is in need of more inventory.  The expanding school could also use more space.  The teachers and the administrators would like to see the school lunch program expanded.

It is true that the sale of this little book of poetry, along with its companion DVD and the 2012 edition, will help raise funds to support the projects required by the school.  PDMI Publishing, LLC, is doing its best to build the kind of marketing program that will generate the required interest in this project.  But there is far, far more.  One short review of the thank yous that flow from this rather large school give you some idea of the impact the simple act of publishing can have on the spirits of the students themselves.  Although the poems show that they are already far along the road of understanding the circumstances of their country and the world, this book gives them the sense that they have the power to change things for the better.  Something THEY do can have an impact.  Won’t you join us in training and inspiring the next generation of thoughtful, compassionate leaders of this African nation?

Check out the web page and the Facebook link on my side bar.

2 Comments

Filed under Giving Back

Qwela ~ The Rhythm of Uganda

Here we go with another article in my series about the 2013 Songs of Kiguli project.

The 2013 edition of Songs of Kiguli will be released by PDMI Publishing early this fall. There will also be a DVD with footage of the school and of the students reading their own poetry.  In addition, Qwela has graciously agreed to support the project with their music.  Qwela is a band from Kampala, Uganda with a “unique afro-fusion flavor of music.”  Qwela means pure in rukiga, which is one of Uganda’s ethnic languages.

Although influenced by western culture, members of the band were raised in traditional African families.  Their work is original and it fuses the traditions of their culture with western styles such a jazz and reggae. The mix is their own special interpretation of Uganda and its people.

Qwela small

Qwela formed in 2007 and started their career by producing their own versions of popular contemporary music.  As they grew in their art, so did their repertoire.  Now they produce their own music and are a featured act with a following.  In addition to the influence of jazz and reggae, the band draws on inspiration from rumba, blues, gospel and afro-soul rhythms and sounds.  The band’s music blends African rhythms and melodies with socially conscious lyrics that support and illuminate stories with a message.

Qwela’s mission is to help bring about positive change in the hearts of those living in Uganda and those around the world.  When you visit their page on Reverbnation you should note that 50% of the proceeds from their music go to World Vision.  For these reasons, and many others, they made a perfect match for the Songs of Kiguli project.  Their music speaks directly to the lives, dreams, hopes, and needs of the children in the Kiguli Army School.  They express the heart of the project in song.  Selected music, lyrics and videos can be found on Reverbnation, Qwela.

The trailer for the 2013 Songs of Kijuli uses a clip from Mwana Wangye, “My Child,” the DVD will contain the cut in its entirety:

They say that we can’t make it
but they don’t know who we are
they say that we can’t do it
but they don’t know where we’re from

Iwe mwana wanje we
iwe mwana wanje
Iwe mwana wanje

When I was young my daddy taught me
he said son, here’s the secret to success in life
he said find that thing which you can do best
and just give it your very best shot

Qwela and The Songs of Kiguli are doing just that.

Another piece that will be on the DVD is the story of Okello, a child kidnapped from a burning village to become a warrior in war that is not his.  The tale and the music are haunting.

His little feet are burning
On the hot desert soil
barely hours since the village burnt down
and now he’s taken prisoner
this little dreamer village boy
dreamt of being a football star
now marched by army rebels
to fight a war that is not his

Okello Okello
Imitu bedingo
Okello Okello

Forced into brutality
He was a child no more
He learnt to kill
learnt how to fight
learnt how to survive
but deep in his heart remains
the dream that would not die
and every day he went to sleep at night
he could hear the voices in his mind
they’re saying

First chance to be free
should I run or should I stay
but his little feet start running
cuz he can hear his mama say

“Ati na ba
wi pe wiliba
Akaniyo diluni
dwong pachuba

Okello Okello
Running through the night
Okello Okello
Oh he ran with all his might
Okello Okello
running for his life
Okello Okello
and now he’s free
Okello Okello
free to run
Okello Okello
free to live
Okello Okello
to live his dream

The last piece is a beautiful song written in the native tongue. The video shows a family day of being together, enjoying the outdoors, a picnic, just being family.  The chorus soothes with the sounds of a lullaby,

Don’t you cry, Mama tokaaba saying, everything is gonna be alright, it’s gonna be alright, it’s gonna be okay.

For the DVD , PDMI Publishing will wrap these beautiful pieces around the vision of primary school students who are doing their best to change their lives, their community, and someday their country.  Won’t you help us?  Donations can be as low as $1.00 and all of the perks carry the theme of Africa and education. Learn more about the power of poetry at the links below:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/2013-edition-of-songs-of-kiguli

https://www.facebook.com/SongsofKiguli

https://www.facebook.com/events/338374329634484/

https://www.facebook.com/PDMIPublishing

1 Comment

Filed under Giving Back

Inspiration ~ What a poem can do

The school:

Kiguli Army primary school is populated by 687 students. These students come from diverse backgrounds, experience and lifestyle.  Mostly, they are dependents or orphans of the Ugandan military fraternity. The school can be found on the hinterland closest to the shores of Lake Kyoga, Uganda. Lake Kyoga is a freshwater lake that supports several landing sites and fishing communities from which many a Kiguli student hails. Some of the children’s parents work in the Ministry of Defense ordnance factory called Luwero Industries Limited. The school has thus been made the centerpiece of the company’s corporate social responsibility plan due to filial as well as patriotic links. The school is also located in an area that is part of a re-forestation project being conducted by Luwero Industries.

422866_423627354360152_876206834_nThe school is a primary school, not a military or boarding school.  It is not grooming new soldiers. There is a premium placed on discipline, hard work and service to the wider community. These, we believe, are the three legs of the school’s ethical stool. From Primary One through Primary Seven, the students learn Social Studies, Mathematics, English and Science. No one is promoted until they accomplish the work required for the next level with a passing grade.  These subjects are buttressed by extra-curricular activities such as football (soccer), volleyball and athletics. The school has won several district athletics accolades. It is currently poised to enter a district-wide football showpiece that will highlight the children’s unrivaled skills in this sport.

Academically the school has churned out the best students in Nakasongola district in Maths and English for several years on the hop. And this is good for the nation. Admittedly last year the school experienced a dip in such stellar academic achievement. This was due in part to the increased costs of living and falling standards of living in Uganda. Despite of this decline in academic scores, the best student last year was given a bursary in a school near the national airport in Entebbe. He is currently topping his class. Sadly, the rump of Kiguli class of 2012 fell dangerously behind. These children teeter on the precipice overlooking the abyss daily and without this education, there isn’t much promise for their future. It is common for some to fall by the wayside and find themselves as fishermen whose moral dereliction leads to a large seraglio of women and zero prospects beyond living hand to mouth. That’s the boys. The girls end up pregnant as teenagers and faced with a life of poverty with little or no chance of improving their lot.

The school needs a break, too. It provides porridge as the sole meal to the kids but obviously such sustenance for a child (indeed anyone) is way off the mark. We could use help developing a more nutritional cafeteria program.  The buildings of the school are in a state of disrepair.  The parents, Luwero Industries, and other well wishers have put together some funds to repair and renovate the school. But this is a drop is a large ocean of need, especially in light the constricted operating budget; the teachers earn a pittance or volunteer. Yet, we have a strong sense of mission. And we have faith that initiatives such as this project will flip the floundering fortunes of this school and its glorious, inspiring students.

The students.

378201_411855885537299_1338786910_nSo, what can a poetry book do to combat such a mountain of obstacles?  A lot.  This project, The Songs of Kiguli, has given the children a belief in themselves. That’s why even though the majority of the 2012 class didn’t make the grade academically, they continued on to secondary schools of relative repute. This little poetry project is a major boost and helps fill our kids with the inspiration and the belief that if they can pen a published anthology, then they can repair their lives. Here are just a few of the little miracles our little book of poetry has sparked.

Ryan Masaba was a contributor to The Songs of Kiguli 2012. Although he was 3rd in a class of 56 pupils, his grades didn’t measure up on a national level. However, he was able to parlay his contribution to Songs of Kiguli 2012 into an acceptance at a top-drawer Kampala secondary school called Mengo Senior Secondary School. When the headmaster of that school took a look at the anthology he was impressed with this budding poet of Kiguli renown.

Kiguli Army School also attracted pen pals from Florida under the caring tutelage of Mrs. Katherine Rascoe. She was duly impressed by the words woven into a tapestry of poetry in the anthology.  She and Philip Matogo developed a “poetry without borders” program as American and Ugandan kids shared poetry and experiences reflected through their own words. The anthology was the key that created an international relationship between the future leaders of both countries.  Both student bodies could share their artistry in poetry at a level beyond the customs and waters that divided them, learning about the things they shared as well as those that made them different.

61396_423627424360145_1042741173_nSongs of Kiguli also caught the eye of the then Uganda Chief of Defense Forces, four-star General Aronda Nyakairima. He is currently the Minister of Internal Affairs. He was flummoxed by the beauty, honesty and maturity of the Songs of Kiguli. He, at the time, thought that the writing was so good that it could not have come from rural kids deprived of the perquisites that benefit Kampala children. Another General that was impressed by the words conjured by our children was Brigadier-General James Mugira who is also the Managing Director of Luwero Industries Limited. He is a patron of the primary school and was totally taken aback by the children’s brilliance. Thus the army of Kiguli poets had enlisted two powerful generals to its cause.

The school indeed stands upon the cusp of monumental achievement. All these students need is a way to effectively express themselves and they will find the path to a stronger future. This is what this project will give them. Their poetry goes a long way to highlight their own circumstances and talent however it will also throw a spotlight on what ails the people of Uganda, and Africa as a whole.  A people whose time has surely come. That moment in time will shine far beyond any 15 minutes of fame.

Check out the 2013 Songs of Kiguli fundraiser now! Donations start at a dollar and there some awesome perks.

2 Comments

Filed under Giving Back

Projects that Inspire

This week I’d like to focus on a project that you will find on my side bar for the next 30 days or so.  Ever since becoming involved with PDMI Publishing I have met some of the most interesting, energetic and creative people I have ever known.  Last year PDMI Publishing produced a book of poetry written by students in Kampala, Uganda.  I reviewed the work here.   That was only the beginning.

This year a number of us decided we would do something a bit more, well, a lot more extravagant.  This year we are printing a whole new volume and reprinting the first volume.  We are also putting together a DVD of the students reading their poetry along with some footage from the school.  The whole thing will be backed with the truly talented Qwela band, also of Kampala.

Qwela has an amazing sound of a “unique Afro-fusion flavor of music.”  Qwela means ‘pure’ in Rukiga.  Their lyrics speak of family, current events, a love of their tradition.  The pieces selected for the DVD include Mwana Wanji, Okello, and Mama tokaaba.  Okello is the story of a child kidnapped by the rebel armies after his village is burned to the ground.  After being trained as a child warrior, the memory of his mother still calls him to his childhood dreams.  He runs away from his abductors to find the life he really wanted.  Mama tokaaba is a beautiful song sung almost entirely in African dialect.  It is about family, reassurance, and the promise that “everything’s gonna be alright.”  Mwana Wanji, which is also on the trailer, means My Child.   The words of the song are quite powerful in the context of the country today.

They say that we cant make it
but they don’t know who we are
they say that we cant do it
but they don’t know where we’re from

When I was young my daddy taught me
he said son, heres the secret to success in life
he said find that thing which you can do best
and just give it your very best shot

I’d like to note that the link I provided for Qwela states that 50% of all sales go to World Vision.  These people are serious about building a different future.

That brings me to these enterprising young people.  Their volunteer teacher, Philip Matogo teaches them social sciences, English and journalism.  The poetry produced in this classroom indicates that these children are well aware of the Geo-political and local socioeconomic and political circumstances they live in.

It is our hope that this little project can give these students a very real way to impact their world, their education and their future.  Come check it all out and help us meet a rather modest fundraising goal.

2013 – Songs of Kiguli

 

1 Comment

Filed under Giving Back

The Songs of Kiguli Return

The countdown begins. In one week, August 3, 2013, we will launch a fundraiser to help us publish and market The Songs of Kiguli – 2013. We will also be reissuing the first volume and adding a DVD. This DVD will be something special as it includes footage from the school and of the students reading their poetry. As a special treat, the DVD will include three pieces for Qwela, a jazz and traditional band from Kampala, Uganda. The campaign will be hosted on Indiegogo – stay tuned for the link. And just to tease you? Here is the trailer.

This will be the second year PDMI Publishing has produced a book of poetry written by the students of the Ugandan Kiguli Army School under the direction of their volunteer teacher, Philip Matogo. Last year we sent each student a copy and spread the word through newspapers and Amazon. This year we are organizing a much larger effort. We are adding a DVD with footage of the students reading their poetry backed by the Kampala band, Qwela. We are also developing a marketing campaign to turn their hard work into dollars for their school. Help fund the future by supporting these talented young people.

By going to the public (including our friends and acquaintances) for funding, we will be able to expand the marketing reach of both last year’s and this year’s publication. We will also be sending extra copies to the school so they can add them to their new library and to sell them locally to raise funds for other needed books. We have developed personal relationships with the teacher and his charges and we want to accomplish something financially effective for them. We also want to support the students that work so hard to pour out their hearts and give voice to their lives. We’d love to have you on board!

The school has a number of items on their wish list and proceeds from the sale of these publications could help in a very real way. They need reliable transportation, renovation of current buildings and additional class rooms. Sales of the books and DVDs will help them reach these goals and does so in a way that involves the students themselves.

You can help by spreading the word of this fund raiser, the books, and the DVDs. You can also help by contacting Africa heritage museums, cultural centers and art centers to see if they would be willing to stock the books in their gift shops.

1 Comment

Filed under Giving Back