Sixth grade advisory students spearhead “Change for Nyaka”

As students line up in front of the school store counter to pay for their snacks, a peculiar poster catches their eyes. The sign reads: Wait! What are you going to do with that change? Your change is worth too much to sit in your pocket. Donate it to Nyaka.

 In an effort to support the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, a non-profit organization that provides education and extracurricular activities to Ugandan orphans, Peter Brodhead’s sixth grade advisory group has spearheaded a fundraiser called “Change for Nyaka” since late April. In hopes that the hundreds of students who frequent the store everyday would donate their change to the cause, the sixth graders designed and placed a donation box and an informational poster in the school store counter and have been keeping track of their progress every week.

“We are excited that so many students are participating in our fundraiser,” said John Lee (6), member of the advisory group. “We are proud of our project not only because we can help the orphans in Uganda, but also because we are the only advisory group leading a fundraiser for Nyaka.”

According to Michelle Heo (6), the fundraiser was inspired by Jackson Kaguri, founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, when he visited SIS on April 22 to instill a global mindset in students and raise awareness about his organization. In his speech, Kaguri emphasized that the fifth of a pencil empowered him to fight against and overcome the difficult situation he had faced as a child. This story inspired many students to reflect on the small things they take for granted everyday, such as pencils, notebooks, and pocket change.

“Students usually receive a couple hundred won of change every time they purchase a snack from the school store,” Mr. Brodhead said. “Instead of stuffing the coins into the pocket and forgetting about them, we encourage them to support our cause simply by dropping the coins into the donation box. The beauty of the fundraiser is in its simplicity.”

Change for Nyaka has already raised over 100,000 won in merely 10 days and will continue until the end of May, when all of the collected money will be donated directly to Nyaka via its website. According to Mr. Brodhead, the students behind Change for Nyaka hope that the funds they have raised will help provide students at Uganda with better education and more fulfilling lives.