INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities and industries.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Far Away Friends exists to end generational poverty in rural communities through education and opportunity.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
What if we told you that we believe all global issues could be solved by investing in a child? Children in the world’s most isolated communities often don’t have the opportunities needed to escape the cycle of generational poverty. Without investing today in tomorrow’s leaders, the number of engineers, scientists, environmentalists, activists and great minds the world has overlooked due to unfair systems of generational poverty will continue to rise. Far Away Friends is committed to helping create a world in which every child (no mater how “far away” the villages) has the opportunity to be successful agents of change in their own communities. By investing in comprehensive solutions to a child’s academic achievement, we are combating generational poverty one dreamer at a time.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Currently, we are educating more than 150 students (grades Pre-K through P.7) and employing 19 local teaching staff at the school we built in Namasale, Uganda, called Global Leaders Primary School or “GLP.” This July, we are expanding our reach to impact public schools in Namasale through our School Outreach Program as well as opening a Village Savings Association alongside the parents of our students at GLP.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Our Co-Founder and Uganda Country Director, Collines Angwech, is the entire inspiration behind what we do. It was her dream to build a primary school in the rural village where she grew up and allow children to access high quality primary education locally. After her father’s passing, Collines helped her mom raise her five siblings in a war zone during the height of the LRA War and overcame insurmountable obstacles to achieve a bachelor’s degree in international development. She is an incredible role model for young women and girls in Uganda and is the inspiration behind the work we do.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Since the beginning, our dream has always been to give a voice to the most marginalized children around the world. The villages where we work are unfairly stigmatized and stripped of their voice because of poor access to the resources that more urban communities possess. Our dream is to uplift these communities through education, community development and partnership so that they may have a stronger voice as global citizens.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
We are still a small organization, but have accomplished major feats in the past four years primarily though grassroots fundraising efforts. To continue our growth, we need to connect with others who are passionate about this work and would like to share our vision with their communities. Connection – friendship, really – is at the core of who we are. If you are reading this and would like to support our work and help us grow, please reach out!
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Because we are a young team of dreamers (all of our staff, including myself, are volunteers and under the age of 30), we have struggled with learning lessons by trial and error. We would love to connect with experienced professionals in the areas of fundraising, marketing and finance to help guide us to the next level.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
One of my favorite quotes from Jason Russell is, “Your life is bigger than your best dream for it,” and in this work, I have discovered that to be profoundly true. No matter how unrealistic your dream is, the relentless pursuit of it will bring more beauty and richness to your life than even the dream itself.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
There are so many ways to get involved with our work, so I’ll list a few of them below! Start by visiting our website!
The BEST way to make an immediate impact is by joining our monthly teacher sponsorship program, called OperationTEACH. We all have a favorite teacher, right? By sponsoring and empowering an educator who is passionate about uplifting their students, you have the potential to impact entire CLASSROOMS of children year after year.
If you like to travel, join us in Uganda on one of our annual Cultural Immersion and Service Trips.
We LOVE storytelling & sharing our work–if you would like to invite us to speak or start a club at your school, place of worship or community gathering, please email us!
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations is an award-winning communications agency that generates awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, support for mission-driven organizations. We amplify their voice and reach so they can increase their impact. If you would like to be featured on INSPIRED IMPACT, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.