We’re thankful for…
November 24, 2011
…energetic students, teachers, supporters and partners in the US; community volunteers, government leaders, teachers and dedicated staff in Uganda; donors around the world; … the list goes on.
We’re thankful for people like Teopista.
Nayinza Teopista is a woman of many talents. More importantly, however, she is a woman with a very, very big heart.
Affectionately known as “Chairman”, a title she earned as chairman of Building Tomorrow’s community organizing committee in Kyeitabya, Teopista is responsible for coordinating and working with builders and community members. In all honesty, Teopista has helped with just about everything: ensuring that materials are stored safely nearby, providing builders with food and a place to stay when they come to work and even going door-to-door mobilizing women in her community to come and help work on their new school. Whatâ€™s even more surprising is that she did, and continues to do, all of this in her free timeâ€¦as a volunteer.
In her â€œeveryday life,â€ Teopista counsels women in her community who have been infected with HIV, secures academic scholarships for orphaned children, raises cattle and, at times, even serves as the local chairperson of her village. When asked why she does so much, she said only that her children suffered enough and she doesnâ€™t want others to suffer, too; that too many children in her community donâ€™t have parents and she wants all kids to have an education. Teopista says that, despite her age, she can tell the importance of education. â€œOne of the reasons I left the small town where I lived [to come to Kyeitabya] was to make money to send my children to school.â€
Teopista first heard about Building Tomorrow at a sub-county meeting where discussions were taking place about a new school in a nearby district: the Building Tomorrow Academy of Kiyamba. Early on, Teopista had hopes that Building Tomorrow might build a school in her village where students were learning under trees and, those that could afford to attend a distant school, had to literally be carried by their parents across a road that often flooded so high they couldnâ€™t walk across it. But after the government built a new road and Engineer Gasana donated three acres of land, Teopistaâ€™s hopes became a reality.
These days, she’ll be the first to tell you, “My name is Nayinza Teopista. I am Building Tomorrow.”
And for that, we are very, very thankful.