A Supporter’s Perspective: The Blantons
January 24, 2017
For the groundbreaking of the 50th Building Tomorrow Primary School in October, Building Tomorrow had the privilege of celebrating at the Kyambogo site with two of our generous supporters, Ben and Sandy Blanton. After a bit of reflection, Ben and Sandy (pictured above) have shared their thoughts on the trip and Building Tomorrow from the eyes of a supporter. Their full reflection is below.
Our visit to Uganda with Building Tomorrow – October 2016
Ben & Sandy Blanton
We recently traveled to Uganda with George, Alan and Eric to attend the groundbreaking for the 50th Building Tomorrow school, Kyambogo. We had been to Uganda with friends on vacation in 2013 and were longing to return. So when we received an email inviting Building Tomorrow patrons to join this celebration trip, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to see first-hand some of the good things happening in this country that captured our hearts three years earlier. We have been supporters for several years and believe strongly in the mission and model of this remarkable organization. But being there in person…meeting the children, their families, the teachers and administrators…took it to a different level. It caught us by surprise. Learning the children’s names, laughing, singing, dancing, high-fiving and fist-bumping (it’s universal), and sharing a meal with those who will benefit from the Kyambogo school has truly given us such a sense of confirmation. Building Tomorrow is making a difference in this broken world of ours.
We also visited the Lutisi and Sentigi schools. As we listened to the sweet voices recite their lessons and eagerly answer the questions Joseph (BT’s Country Director in Uganda) put to them, we thought of our own children and grandchildren. We would do anything to give our own kids the best opportunities to succeed in life, and these children in Uganda deserve that as well.
Three things stand out particularly…
Value – It was so refreshing to see how much the children and their parents value education. They have no running water, electricity, computers…many are without uniforms or shoes. But none of that mattered. They are so grateful knowing the difference an education will make in their future. You can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices.
The Fellows – We were so impressed with the Building Tomorrow Fellows. We had an inspiring and humbling conversation with these extraordinary young scholars – discussing the creative ways they are assisting and supporting the children, the teachers, the families and the communities that they serve. It was moving to hear how their own lives had been changed by the Fellowship program. “I graduated university and couldn’t wait to buy a car. Now that I’ve done this, I don’t care about those things. This is what I am called to do.”
Joseph Kaliisa – We had already seen the dedication and talent George has for making this organization so successful. But we had not seen Joseph in action before, and it was a beautiful thing to witness. Approaching every situation with grace and confidence, always a kind word (for children, as well as adults), never giving up in the face of a roadblock, and never a complaint. These two dedicated men of one heart (and their staff – both in Indy and Uganda) are doing amazing things, and we are honored to support their work.
We thank Ben and Sandy Blanton for joining us in Uganda, for sharing their perspective on their visit to our schools, and for all of their support.
If you are interested in visiting our schools in Uganda, check out the Build-a-School Challenge for your chance to visit with us, all-expenses-paid!