April 2022

Exciting Update on the Literacy Class

When we started the Literacy program in January, we were starting from scratch. We weren’t teaching little kids, we were teaching teen girls. We also wanted to make it FUN, something that Ugandan schools aren’t exactly known for. We weren’t even sure exactly how long each term would last!

As with all our entry-level vocational classes, after a couple of weeks of assessment, we divided the class into two classes, morning and afternoon. The girls who had already had some amount of early schooling were in one class, those who were illiterate due to lack of school were in another.

We had an enthusiastic teacher and teacher’s assistant, some ESL and early primary “western”-style curricula, and enthusiasm. And a VERY motivated student body!

Three months later (yes, just three months!), we have girls getting ready to move on to a vocational skill in Skills for Life. This means they can read, write, do basic math, and speak basic English!


We have incorporated games, puzzles, songs, poetry, reading aloud and all sorts of other things to make it fun. And they are THRIVING!

We do have some girls who haven’t progressed as quickly, of course, and they will continue on until they have achieved functional literacy. When I’m there in May, I will do several training sessions with the teachers on learning styles and learning disabilities (odds are good we have at least one girl with some learning difficulties). I’ll also be bringing a few board games and decks of cards. And we’ll use this first term’s successes and struggles to map out a more formal curriculum.

Suffice it to say, our girls are taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to them, and we couldn’t be more proud!

If you’d like to support this important work by becoming a MONTHLY DONOR, it would be a huge blessing to us. (Just like everywhere in the world, Uganda is suffering from rising prices on food and other necessities.) Just click the button and sign up – 100% goes to our programs!

YES, I want to be a monthly donor!

Webele nyo!


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Graduation Was Simply Amazing!

Graduation was AMAZING on Saturday!

We had 20 girls who never thought they’d ever wear a cap and gown or walk the stage to get a diploma or certificate who laughed and cried and danced and feasted to celebrate their own success. It was wonderful!

Every girl has a story. Stories like 17-year-old Sharon, who is the firstborn of five children. She did attend school for a few years but soon had to leave because her family couldn’t afford the fees.

Sharon gave up hope and turned to drugs and alcohol.

But our team identified her on our community outreach, enrolled her in Skills for Life, and now she has completed her hairdressing course and is ready to work in a salon or start her own business.


Education in ways that make our girls able to sustain a livelihood.

It’s why 100% of donations go to Uganda and our programs. YOU are changing lives every day!

Webele nyo!


PS We currently have a project on DonorSee to fund the graduation, which allows us to put on the *next* graduation in August or September. We’d love your help to continue celebrating our teen girls’ amazing accomplishments! Just click the button below!


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What’s My Uganda Trip Itinerary?

The last time I went to Uganda was January 2020, before the world fell apart. At the time of that visit, I’d been re-starting Ten Eighteen after a several-year hiatus, and our entire project consisted of

  • Providing food for Hopeland Primary School and the Arise Africa Babies Home
  • Funding a soap-making vocational project for teen girls in Namuwongo
  • Consulting on the teenage pregnancy problem

That’s it.

In the two years since, we’ve created the Skills for Life vocational and Ross/Suubi House residential programs; provided well over 300,000 meals; started a free daycare and free clinic; built an eco-brick water tank at Wells of Hope Primary School in Lake Mburo National Park; and grown from zero to 18 paid Ugandan staff.

So… There’s a lot of talk about!

Currently on the agenda for my trip:

  • A full day staff retreat, geared towards problem solving, team building, communication, and growth strategies
  • Several days of training with the Literacy Class teachers to discuss learning styles, learning disability assessment, and teaching modalities that are different than the Ugandan system
  • Formalizing the Digital Literacy curriculum to ensure competency in day-to-day use of needed computer skills
  • Speaking at the various group meetings during the week, such as Strong Minds, Teen Talk, and Turning Point
  • Visiting the families of participants in Skills for Life and our residential program to assess the home-life conditions of the girls in the program
  • Visiting Western Uganda to spend a day each at Hopeland Primary and Wells of Hope Primary Schools where we provide food


I’m also taking some of the mountain of stuff that’s been donated to us over the last two years. I can’t take it all in one trip, but I’ll be going through and taking the most needed items: clothes, shoes, electronics, medical equipment, books, games, and toys. THANK YOU ALL for your donations — I’ll have photos galore once the items are distributed!

Sometimes I get asked WHY I go to Uganda, with the accompanying expense. The fact is, it matters that I am there, on the ground, getting to know the staff, the girls, representing YOU and YOUR donations, using my skill set of problem solving and “project” mentality to streamline and help make things run more smoothly.

In short, accountability, for all of us at Ten Eighteen Uganda and Touch the Slum.

Thank you for your continued support! If you’d like to help me pay for the extra luggage I’ll be taking, just click the button. Every $100 extra baggage fee will save us $500 or more — that’s huge!

Click Here!

Webele nyo!


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Securing the Compound

When we opened the Ross House in November 2020, one of the first people we hired was Mr. Aziz, our security guard. He has done an AMAZING job keeping our girls and compound safe, but even he has limitations.

Every day, we have over 60 students, 18 staff and volunteers, 30 kids, and various deliveries and repairs going on. We also now have a room full of electric sewing machines and another room containing our computer lab (5 desktops and 5 laptops, a projector, and a printer). AND a fully stocked clinic.

It’s a LOT!

Now, we’re really proud of how we’ve been able to grow (thanks to YOU!). But we also want to steward the donations we’re given to the best of our abilities.

Last week, we installed a security monitoring system. At a cost of $325, we installed a complete system that Mr. Aziz can monitor — and there are no monthly fees.

That money came out of our general budget because we felt it was vital. We have a project up on DonorSee to reimburse our budget for it, and your donation of ANY amount makes a big difference. (While you’re over there on DonorSee, give us a Follow and/or a Review – that helps a lot, too!) Just click the button – it’s almost like magic!

More to come soon on my upcoming trip to Uganda!



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It’s Rainy Season & We Need Mosquito Nets!

Last week we had 7 girls to come to the Haven Clinic with malaria. Nurse Sherry didn’t get her Sunday off, because she was tending to all the cases!

The treatment for malaria is a week-long course of IV infusions. It requires a temporary canula that is left in for the whole course of treatment, as well as the nurse to administer the medication. With 7 girls currently receiving treatment, that’s a lot of medicine and supplies!

Malaria makes you feel terrible, but left untreated it can cause brain damage, or lie dormant in the liver only to cause relapse and illness later. We had a boy in the basketball camp we held in 2013 who had been quite severely impacted by cognitive impairment due to untreated malaria.

Why now?

It’s rainy season, and that means lots of puddles, filled drainage ditches, and other areas of stagnant water. While we have mosquito nets in our residential houses, those do get torn, or mosquitoes can be trapped inside during the day.

Currently, the tailoring class is repairing all of our mosquito nets, but that still leaves all the girls in our program who go home to houses without. We have a project up on DonorSee right now for 25 nets, the first effort to get nets to 100% of our students and staff.

You can help – a donation of any size gets us closer to a net for everyone!

It’s Rainy Season & We Need Mosquito Nets! Read More »

An Amazing Donation of Medical Equipment from MDF Instruments

Back in January, another partner on DonorSee who works in South Africa contacted me. We have very similar (and not the usual) definitions and understanding of nonprofit work, and she wanted to connect me to a medical instrument manufacturer who had donated a lot of equipment to their clinics in SA.

This week we got the box from MDF Instruments in Puerto Rico, and it was Christmas in March! This is professional quality equipment: stethoscope, blood pressure cuffs in sizes from baby to large adult, and much more. (Stuff I don’t know the name of, for sure!) And a sweet note to our nurse, Sherry, about being a nurse.

I will be taking all this equipment over with me in May, along with SO MUCH more that has been donated over the past two years. (To be honest, there’s no way I can take it all in one trip!) We’ve got clothes, shoes, reusable sanitary pads, books, toys, laptops, iPads, tote bags, and first aid supplies… Lots of it.

This kind of generosity and commitment to people you don’t know and won’t ever meet is what makes Ten Eighteen Uganda successful. Whether it’s your money, your product, your kids’ toys and clothes, or handmade reusable sanitary pads, YOUR generosity makes us successful.

And we appreciate you more than you can ever know!

If you have things to donate besides money, do me a favor and hold onto it until June! After that, I’ll have some room to store it until the next visit. 🙂



PS. Becoming a monthly donor of ANY amount helps us so much. We’d love to have you join us. 100% goes to the programs. Just click the button below!

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Free Health Care Is Crucial To Our Girls

Since we opened the Ross House in November 2020, providing health care and medical treatment for our girls has been a priority. It is a lot easier to get sick while living in Uganda’s largest slum than it is to stay well!

Up until February, we sent all our sick girls to Dr. Francis, who gave us a discounted rate and didn’t require up-front payment. Still, the cost of an exam, treatment, hospital visits for daily IV injections, and transportation added up. And the bigger we got, the more we spent. (Thank goodness for our partnership with DonorSee that started in September 2021!)

But one day in January along came the idea fairy, who dropped the idea of an on-site clinic in my head. After adding up what we’d averaged per month on medical treatment and comparing it to what we’d have to pay a full-time nurse plus medications and supplies, it was quite obvious that the better solution was to open an on-site clinic.

Lately, we’ve had a run of typhoid in our community, thanks to the rains and dirty, contaminated water that the girls drink at home. Malaria also surges when there are lots of puddles and congested drainage ditches for mosquitoes to breed in.

Because of the Haven Clinic and nurse Sherry, however, our costs are still below what we spent in an average month treating fewer girls. The girls and children are healthier and do better in class. And few are getting very sick now, since we can treat things when they start, not when they’re “bad enough to justify a doctor visit.” It’s been a big win-win!

As always, thank you so much for your support! Please forward this and all our emails to anyone you know who might be interested in our work. I’m available to speak to groups, too! Just use the Contact form!

Webele nyo!


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