Nzirambi Orphans Talent Development Centre

I left Africa, South Africa specifically, in 1989. I went back once in 1995 for a visit and haven't returned since then so I am extremely excited to be going back to the continent of my birth. I won't be visiting South Africa this year, but instead will be seeing Tanzania and Uganda.

The trip to Tanzania is to see friends and I will of course share that adventure with you here. What I'm most excited about however, is my trip to Uganda and the Nzirambi Orphans Talent Development Centre (NOTDEC). There are currently 83 children at the orphanage.  Ages range from newborns to teens. Most have been there since birth, usually because their mothers have died during childbirth.

Over the last year, I've met some amazing people here in Toronto who have been raising funds for NOTDEC. There's Monica, who's mother and aunt run the orphanage, and Karen, who's spent hours making bookmarks and jewelry, organized yoga classes and art shows for fundraising as well as traveled to the orphanage to spend time with the children and work there.

NOTDEC is also supported by a charity in the UK, which means that funds raised by people here in Toronto can go directly towards an education fund.  School is free in Uganda up until Grade 10. The goal is to ensure every child at the orphanage attends school past grade 10 including an university education or trade school. Grade 11 and 12 cost $700 a year, and university or trade school is  $2,500. To make this happen, $10,000 a year is needed. Happily, this year that goal has been met.

I met Karen and Monica when I attended a Pilates for Men class that was a fundraiser for the orphanage. We started talking at that time about an art exhibit of photos of the children and possible ways we could make that happen.  And so here we are, with me 2 days away from heading to Uganda.

I'm extremely grateful to my clients for trusting me to carry out their visions and for the work we produce. To be able to do what I love is truly a gift. I'm thrilled that I am able to travel to the orphanage, meet these wonderful kids and the incredible people who look after them. None of this would be possible without the support of my clients.

I will be holding a black and white exhibit at Pikto some time in the new year.  thanks to Johan at Pikto who has graciously offered the studio space.  This exhibit will be an important avenue for the fundraising efforts of NOTDEC. I'll be updating this blog when I can while I travel. Stay tuned for more on this exciting adventure.
In gratitude, Brian


happytough said…
Brilliant. I'm assuming you will be keeping a daily play by play blog sir :) We will be looking for it. Safe and productive trip. Look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour.
pat said…
Bon voyage, Brian. Thanks for blogging, and I look forward to the exhibit.

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