Douglas College Uganda Project 2014 raises funds with fun
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
Fundraisers are crucial for groups who hope to raise financial contributions for their causes. On the evening of October 22, the Douglas College Uganda Project held a successful fundraiser at Lafflines Comedy Club in New Westminster. The evening of laughter brought in crucial funds via ticket sales and silent auctions that will go on to benefit Douglas College students within the Uganda Project. The Uganda Project is a program that offers assistance and support to students completing field learning in Uganda.
The goal of the project, which started in 2006, is to enable Canadian students who are doing studies in the fields of Community Social Service Work, Co-occurring Disorders, Therapeutic Recreation, Early Childhood Education, and Classroom and Community Support to participate in practicums based in Uganda.
The practicums that students embark on have not just been designed as a service to Ugandans, but also to Canadians. Douglas College hopes that students who go to Uganda and elsewhere will return with newfound skills and cultural awareness that can be applied at home.
Funds raised by the Douglas College Uganda Project go on to help participants such as Douglas College graduate Kara Dooley. A past participant in the Uganda practicum, Dooley spent 10 weeks in the African nation in 2009 working with local peoples and learning about how they deal with mental health issues. The work she did while in Uganda and the information she gained from her experiences led her to speak at a major international conference in Hong Kong, where she raised awareness of the friction in Uganda between traditional healers and modern medical practices—especially in regards to the various mental illness challenges that are encountered.
Douglas College is also home to the Uganda Endowment Fund. The endowment fund is a way for the Douglas College community to raise funds for social initiatives in the East African nation. One way that the Endowment Fund is aiding Africans is by helping young women finance their education. Education is crucial for aiding development in nations around the world, yet so many cannot afford it. In Uganda it costs about $350 a year to send a pupil to high school (elementary school is free), and Douglas College has provided scholarships to young women to attend high school. The scholarships provide pupils with the funds needed to pay for tuition, and room and board, along with needed supplies. The hope is to be able to send larger numbers of students to higher education each year.
To learn more about the efforts of the Douglas College Uganda Project and the Uganda Endowment Fund, visit douglas.bc.ca/faculties/child-family-community-studies/africa.html. To keep informed about future Uganda Project fundraisers, go to facebook.com/UgandaProject2014