Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why Uganda?
Uganda is the birth country of E3 Africa’s co-founder, Father Robert Aliunzi. When Father Robert came to the U.S. in 2005, he began brainstorming with Rosalie Weller, our second E3 Africa co-founder, about building a school in rural Uganda. Before long, the foundation of the sponsorship program was developed. With Father Robert’s connections and understanding of Ugandan life, society, and its educational system, E3 Africa was established in Phoenix, Arizona and its counterpart, EENU-Uganda, to implement the program on the ground in Kampala, Uganda.
Q: Where is Uganda?
Uganda, officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by Tanzania. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, shared with Kenya and Tanzania.
Q: Is the Ugandan government doing anything to help with education?
Yes. Although there are exceptions to this rule, the Ugandan government generally provides children the US equivalent of primary education. School education consists of 3 levels: seven years of elementary, four years of lower secondary, and two years of upper secondary.
Seven years of elementary schooling is referred to as Primary 1-7 or P1-P7. The six years of secondary education is referred to as Secondary 1-6 or S1-S6, which S3-S6 are equivalent to U.S. high school. Many children do not have the luxury of finishing this secondary education for a majority of reasons. For example, a boy could be sent off to earn a living, while a girl may be kept home to do chores or worse yet, be married off at a young age.
The secondary education is fee-based and funding must be obtained by other means as the government does not provide assistance. This is where E3 Africa steps in to cover the tuition expenses for some of the most vulnerable children in Uganda.
Q: How are contributions made to E3 Africa spent?
It depends on what area you designate your donation to. We have three funding areas: Sponsorship, School Projects, and Mission Support.
- Sponsorship funding provides a child with an education, room, board, nutritious meals, wellness check-ups and supervision.
- School project funding covers the costs for the construction and supplies of our secondary school St. Thomas Aquinas College located in Erepi, Uganda.
- Mission Support funding covers miscellaneous operational expenses including additional funds for sponsorship or school expenses.
- Phase 1 was completed in early 2017 and included the Dr. Susan Menking Multi-Purpose Hall.
- Phase 2 was completed by 2020 which consists of a chapel, furnishings for two classroom blocks, a 3rd classroom block and furniture, IT Building and science laboratory supplies, and two more dormitories for students.
- Our next phase is to focus on a medical clinic, teacher housing, additional classrooms, Adminstrative building, and solar panel technology
- It is beneficial for our organization to receive donations to our Mission Support so it will allow us the flexibility to utilize the donations wherever it is most urgently needed. We are always grateful for additional help in this area.
Q: How much of the funds donated for child sponsorships go directly to tuition, room & board?
All the sponsorship funds go to tuition, room, board and Ugandan administration. We are one of the few organizations that have native, on-the-ground coordinators and oversight which is run by EENU-Uganda, a registered non-governmental organization in Uganda.
Q: Do all the students attend the same school?
No. As a result of tribal loyalties and potential conflicts, students are sent to over 50 different schools throughout rural Uganda. Traveling to pay school fees and check on the progress of E3 Africa students is an extremely time-consuming endeavor for our Ugandan Executive Director, Joseph Ambayo, and his team. With the construction of an E3 Africa rurally based secondary school, the peace and conflict resolution curriculum planned for the school will target the resolution of tribal conflict, beginning with our students.
Q: Where is E3 Africa’s school campus located?
We currently have 29 acres located in the Moyo district of Northern Uganda just south of the Sudanese border. The land was donated by local villagers with the understanding that a secondary school would be built there. In January 2020, our school opened it’s doors to two levels of education, S1 and S2. Due to the pandemic that started the following month, our doors remained open for only 1 quarter. Starting in January 2022, St. Thomas Aquinas will open for levels S1-S3 with the hopes to add an additional level of education each year.
Q: How can children be sponsored by E3 Africa?
The vital work of educating impoverished and orphaned children in Uganda has spread across the country by word of mouth. For a child to apply, there is an interview process. Our Ugandan coordinators find out the child’s motivation, future goals, family financial need, if the child is currently in school or has been in the past, as well as many other factors. The applications are then brought before the Sponsorship Committee on the EENU Board of Directors, who reside in Uganda. Children who have been chosen by the board are then put on a priority care list which is communicated to E3 Africa in the United States. Once a sponsor comes forward, a child from the list is assigned to the new sponsor. E3 Africa relays this information back to the Ugandan team who then speaks to the school board at the school that would be attended to arrange the care of their education.
Q: How can I correspond with my sponsored student?
The relationship you establish with your student is potentially just as valuable as the generous education your sponsored student receives from you! Learning about you and family life in another country may be the spark that ignites their fire or the platform that catapults them into action and greatness. Please remember not to share any personal information such as your last name, phone number, address, email, etc.
There are currently two ways in which you can correspond with your sponsored child:
1) Type out or print a letter (you can include pictures up to 4×6) and mail to our address below. Please make sure to print as cursive is not taught in Uganda and it makes translation exceedingly difficult.
18521 East Queen Creek Road
Queen Creek, Arizona 85142
2) Email your letter to Programs@E3Africa.org. Word or PDF format is acceptable, and you can also attach photos to the email. It will then be forwarded to our Uganda team to give to your sponsored child.
We know waiting is very hard but it can take up to four months for your letter to reach your sponsored child due to many different variables. Please be patient in waiting for a reply and if you do not receive at least two letters each year from your please contact us. Please keep writing to your child even if there has not been a response as your letters are a cherished item and they love to hear from you!
Need a few ideas of how what to write about?
Ask their favorite subject in school, what are they learning about this semester, what they want to be and why, do they volunteer or how do they help their family out, tell your sponsored child why you are thankful for them, describe where you live, your interests, favorite things, etc. Keep your letter uplifting and positive by encouraging them to succeed and pursue their dreams!