Welcome to our first blog! I (Becky) thought it would be a good idea to get one of these going to keep our supporters updated of our upcoming and future adventures. This blog will be comprised of all things Somero! Let me begin by introducing “The Somero Project.”
We were founded by myself and my father (Craig Conover) in 2008, formally known as 26 for Africa. A small village in Uganda, Africa captured our hearts and our organization was born. We wanted to empower a community of people and help educate the children..simple right? Well..sort of. We thought it would be cool to train and run marathons (hence the “26” for Africa), while fundraising for our school, which was mainly funded by my Dad’s personal retirement as well as several donors. This eventually became too much for him to handle financially..I mean, he DID want to retire at some point, and he was so graciously putting his children through school as well as supporting a family of four.
Eventually, after almost 4 years, we decided that somethings gotta give, and it was time to start actively seeking outside help. We decided, along with our In-Country Director that a sponsorship program was the route that we wanted to take. It was a VERY slow moving process…like almost 2 years slow-moving. We decided that a name-change was necessary, since our ultimate means of fundraising had changed. And in early 2012, The Somero Project was born. “Somero” means “school” in Lugandan, which is the native language in Uganda.
We received our first sponsor in May 2012 and have since grown to 33 sponsors! Our program is a little different than most. We do partner a child in our school (which currently consists of roughly 210 students) with a donor, to establish a relationship and a bond, ultimately putting a face to where you write your check every month. However, the $25/month received per child goes towards the ENTIRE school as a whole. We don’t believe in children missing out on education due to a lack of a sponsor, but we DO believe in building relationships between the two. Almost 100% of our income goes DIRECTLY into our school, paying the salaries of our 9 teachers, along with providing adequate school supplies, and various projects to improve the school. The most recent of these projects was adding a small administrative room to our building for our teachers to keep and organize school records. Before that, we had cement floors put into all of our classrooms, and new benches built for our students.
Exciting things are happening for us, and we are thrilled to have all of our friends and family along for the ride. After all, without any of you, none of this would be possible. Please share this with your friends, family, co-workers, anyone, and everyone who may (or may not) be interested in what we are doing.
Myself, along with my Dad, and two friends Kristen and Kevin will be jet-setting to Uganda in just two short weeks to visit the school. This will be the best way to stay in touch with what we are doing, as we will update it as we are able to. Thanks for all of your support throughout the years, and here’s to many more!