Last chance to give in 2023!


2024 is almost here, but you still have time to make a donation before the champagne corks fly!

Your support keeps Touch the Slum going, providing crisis care, vocational skills training, literacy, medical care, and more each and every day.

100% goes to the program – your money makes a huge impact!


2023 has been great — we can’t wait to see what 2024 brings.

Mwebele nnyo!


Last chance to give in 2023! Read More »

Pregnant at 14 – Faith’s Story


Faith, left, got pregnant during Uganda’s severe pandemic lockdowns, like so many teen girls who were struggling to survive. She was 14.

Her family were unemployed and unable to care for her. Ten Eighteen got her into Wamukisa’s program for pregnant girls, where she gave birth to Diana, but they can’t keep girls after childbirth.

She went to live with her mother who, while unable to care for Faith and Diana herself, was able to bring her back to Touch the Slum and the Ross House.

Diana is now learning hairdressing and looking forward to a sustainable future.

This is her story.

Faith’s Story



PS It costs $50 a month to feed, clothe, house, and educate the residential girls (and their children) in our program. By making a one-time donation or becoming a monthly donor today, you ensure girls like Faith are safe as they work towards their future!


Pregnant at 14 – Faith’s Story Read More »

It’s almost our birthday! We’ll be 15 next month


Just before Christmas in 2008, I got the news that my 501c3, called Ten Eighteen Inc., was approved by the IRS. To be honest, I didn’t have a really clear idea what I was going to do with 1018… We had missionary friends in India and others in Zambia, so I had a vague idea that I would help them raise more money.

I got sick over Christmas and was on bedrest — which is SO boring and most especially at Christmas! But I reconnected with a friend who was living in Uganda and also homeschooling her kids, so we chatted a lot on Facebook. (I mean, how many times can you watch that movie with kid with the glasses and the air rifle before you just can’t take it anymore?!)

In mid-January, she sent me a message and asked if I could help a community organization in the Namuwongo slum called Ray of Hope to rent a building and pay for a full year up front. My American mind said, “Uh NO!” because that sounded like a LOT of money.

But it was only about $1200 — as long as Suzanne didn’t negotiate and get the much higher mzungu price — so we did it, and I started learning more about Ray of Hope and Uganda and Namuwongo.

We visited for the first time in September 2009 — the photo above is of my then 13-year-old son getting his first slum experience. I say “first time” because that became obvious in hindsight. But when we were planning the trip, we assumed it would be a “once in a lifetime” trip.


On that trip, we started sponsoring kids’ school fees.

On the next trip, in late February 2010, we began working with Hospice Jinja and ended up paying for 100% of their fuel costs for four years.

On the next trip, in July 2010, we began working with Arise Africa and ended up building a primary school in Bukaleba.

And so it went until 2016, when my husband and I moved to Nicaragua. There had been some changes in management in the organizations we had been working with, and had found some financial irregularities, so I had a strong suspicion that we were done in Uganda.

But surprise again!

Fast forward to 2018 and we were back in NC, and I had a bakery. I started a Pound for Pound program with our granola, helping fund food at Hopeland Primary School run by a long-time friend of mine.

In January 2020, my son (now a lot older!) and I went back to Uganda, thinking we might be saying goodbye for good. Instead, we came away with a new purpose and a new focus… and a new partner in Ronald, who we had known for 10+ years.


Here we are, sheltering in Mama Santa’s stall in the slum during the rain.

And that’s how Touch the Slum was born. We moved to the current compound to start the Ross House in October 2020 and have grown from there. Now, we focus on our work at Touch the Slum and the two schools in the west.


We’ve grown exponentially thanks to YOU – your donations, your encouragement, your engagement, and your love. We can’t thank you enough for getting us to 15 years!

Mwebele nnyo!


PS Like all nonprofits, we depend on year end giving for about 30% of our annual budget. If you haven’t given yet, will you please give today? 100% goes to the program!


It’s almost our birthday! We’ll be 15 next month Read More »

Fauza’s Story – from drugs to the head of our media team


Fauza grew up in a dysfunctional Muslim family in the Namuwongo slum. In her middle teens, she was in a dance group and using drugs, barely getting by.

She joined Touch the Slum in January 2021 and is now on staff as the Lead on our Media team and a documentary film maker.

This is her story.



PS It costs $35/mo for us to take a girl like Fauza through Skills for Life, where they can become literate and learn a vocational skill that will allow them to earn a sustainable living. By donating today, you can impact these girls for the rest of their lives!


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From Desperation to Independence – Gloria’s Story


At 16, Gloria became pregnant.

She was living in a tiny one-room house with five other girls, and had turned to drugs and informal sex work. She came to touch the slum for counseling and was later enrolled in the Ross House, Hairdressing, and Literacy. Now, she is on our staff and lives independently.

This is her story.




PS Girls like Gloria come to us every single day. It only costs $35 to pay for one month of instruction in Skills for Life, and $50 pays for a month in our residential program + Skills for Life. By donating today, you help girls just like Gloria get out of the grinding poverty and into a sustainable future. 100% of donations go to the program!


From Desperation to Independence – Gloria’s Story Read More »

Our Vision for 2024

2023 has been a banner year for Ten Eighteen, at Touch the Slum and in the west where we provided the well for Rwakobo Village.

Over a hundred girls have learned to read, write, speak English, and do basic math.

They have learned a skill in Tailoring, Hairdressing, Photography/Videography, or Digital Literacy.

We were selected by Plan International to be one of only two nonprofits in their referral program in the entire (LARGE) district, made up of millions of Ugandans.

We introduced drawing and painting and unleashed creativity in both students and staff — NOT something that’s very common in Uganda!

Every day, girls were rescued, supported, treated, respected, and lifted up, in ways big and small.

And guess what? 2024 is going to be even better!

January marks our 15th year working in the Namuwongo slum and in Uganda!

Also in January, we are taking a team of four amazing women who will bring lifetimes of skills in art, writing, cooking, organic farming, nursing and public health, and psychiatric social work to our staff and students.

In the spring, our “community organization” status will be officially upgraded to a country-wide NGO.

With the funding of our newest large project on DonorSee, we will be able to move the residential girls to a separate nearby house. This will give them more peace and quiet and room to heal, and it will free up space in the Touch the Slum compound to expand our vocational skills program.

As our farm continues to produce, we will start taking teams of girls from TTS who are interested in learning farming skills to get hands on experience. (You can’t grow much in the slum!)

All this and more is thanks to generous donations like the one you made last year. Will you consider making a year end donation to help us again?

As always, 100% of your donations go to the program, and we SO appreciate your support and encouragement!

Mwebele nnyo,



PS If you aren’t following us on Instagram, now is a great time to start. Our home-grown media team does amazing work, and we have new content up every day. It’s a great way to keep up with all we’re doing in Namuwongo and to see all the fun we have on the team trip next month.

Our Vision for 2024 Read More »

Amazing matching grant opportunity starts NOW!


I feel about as excited as Neema is in this photo, because a regular donor has offered an amazing matching grant opportunity:

They will match all donations dollar for dollar up to $3,000 — AND, if we meet or exceed $3,000, they will donate another $1,000!

That means that your donation is at least doubled, and maybe even more! Since 100% goes to the program… well, it’s hard to make a much better investment than that!

The match runs from today, December 14th, through Christmas day. If you’ve been thinking about giving to our work in Uganda, now’s the time to really make an impact!

We do what we do with vulnerable teen girls in Uganda only because YOU give through us to do the work. We can’t thank you enough!

Mwebele nnyo!



Amazing matching grant opportunity starts NOW! Read More »

Justine escaped from an abusive home – this is her story


15-year-old Justine moved to the Namuwongo slum to live with her father. Unfortunately, her stepmother was abusive from the start, beating her and eventually throwing her out. The father did not intervene, so Touch the Slum was granted custody of her.

Now living in our dorm, Justine is doing great!

This is her story.



PS $50 pays for a month for a girl in our residential program. All of her needs are covered, from clothing and food to medical care and vocational training. Your gift today will keep girls like Justine safe and in the program!


Justine escaped from an abusive home – this is her story Read More »