In 2018, Homes of Living Hope partnered with Niwot-CO-based nonprofit, Mwebaza Foundation. Together, two shipping containers were transformed into a two-story classroom building for Mwebaza’s school in children in Uganda.
Over a few months time, hundreds of Niwot High School (NHS) students, many representing clubs, teams, and extracurricular programs, participated in transforming the shipping containers into classroom space. NHS students loaded and unloaded materials, framed walls, installed drywall, painted the interior and exteriors of the containers, built a subfloor, installed flooring, wired the building for electricity, designed and assembled a working solar array, held fundraisers, made presentations, gathered needed supplies, and organized events.
The two containers turned classrooms for students at the Mwebaza Primary School in Kyengera, Uganda.
Comprised of a group of local educators and professionals, The Mwebaza Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization engaged in the promotion of cross-cultural exchange between partner schools in Colorado and Africa.
The family of Miss Catherine Namatovu built the Mwebaza Infant Primary School on their land in Uganda. Over time, the school came to serve roughly 150 students. All are poor and most parents do not have access to stable employment. Therefore, many students cannot afford the meager tuition payments and are allowed to attend for free.
“Mwebaza” means “gratitude” or “thanksgiving” in the local Luganda language. The family of headmistress, Catherine Namatovu, was pressed to name the school “Mwebaza” by members of the local community who felt gratitude to the family for opening an elementary school in a neighborhood where no school had existed before. The Mwebaza Foundation, in turn, took its name from Mwebaza School as a way to reflect the gratitude felt towards those who have joined in with the work of the Foundation to assist disadvantaged African schools such as Mwebaza School.
During the 2008 school year, the students at Mwebaza School became pen pals with the students at Niwot Elementary in Niwot, Colorado. In the spring of 2008, the Mwebaza Foundation was formed. Since then the Foundation has worked to improve conditions at Mwebaza School, and has welcomed four more partner schools into the Foundation.