Several months ago, I was contacted by the President of a company responsible for installing the foundation work for some of the largest buildings, bridges, and utility structures in North America. The name of this company is Case Foundation and their philanthropic objective is identical to their professional one—to lay the groundwork upon which something amazing is to be built.
President Bob Schock inquired of our needs. I told him about the girls in Kampala and how they've been meeting and studying in a makeshift classroom next to the brothel where they work. Our hope has been to procure a building of our own in order to offer more courses and to accommodate the ever increasing class sizes. On behalf of Case, he agreed to help. Thus the new school/drop-in center was initiated.
Much has been accomplished in the last few weeks. Swift actions have resulted from both necessity and enthusiasm. In early October, we hired a broker to locate several buildings for us. When I was there later that month, he showed Robinah, our project director, and me what he had found. One was entirely too far away and double our budget. Another was exclusively zoned for residential use and still another seemed to have vanished completely as we drove for almost an hour looking for it. We elected to find a new broker.
The next morning I was scheduled to leave for Gulu. Robinah phoned the girls to tell them the disappointing news. Before reaching the brothel to teach class, she'd already received her first animated phone call. "We found one! We found one! Come meet us!" The second call came shortly after. "Robinah, we see a space for rent, come tell us if it's ok?"
The girls took it upon themselves to divide into groups and find their school. They'd spent the entire day looking at a number of locations in the area and then later voted on the best one. That evening, I answered Robinah's call and listened as the girls bubbled with excitement and proudly took ownership of their real estate venture and the future success of the school. The broker fiasco ended up being the best thing that could have happened. This vocational school was no doubt theirs. They are the ones that found it and have been faithfully attending nearly every day since.
A large construction company—one that operates massive equipment and drills through the earth's toughest strata, volunteered to help tackle another extremely arduous project—restoring the vulnerable lives and fragile psyches of girls on the other side of the globe. Once again, Case has set the foundation and our students now have something upon which they too can build.
Thank you Case.