In 2003 African Great Lakes Initiative, an international outreach project of Friends Peace Teams in the United States, sent a team of eight Quakers from Philadelphia to construct in Bududa, Uganda, a two-room schoolhouse for children orphaned by families who had HIV/AIDS.
One of the team members, Canadian-born Barbara Wybar, was moved by the simplicity and kindness of the rural agricultural peasants of Bududa to want to do more to improve their impoverished lives. Many years of hard work followed to create a qualified non-profit legal structure in Canada and Uganda led by a skilled and dedicated volunteer board of directors; obtain a long-term lease on adequate land for a campus in this remote part of Africa; raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in Canada, the US, and the UK to fund construction; build two major classroom structures, a kitchen, a dormitory, and numerous out buildings; raise more than $100,000 each year from individuals and small foundations in the Canada, the US, and the UK to cover annual operating expenses in Bududa; hire and manage a staff of almost 40 local Ugandans; operate a guest house for volunteers from North America and the UK; and recruit, feed, board, and educate the hundreds of children, young adults, and impoverished women who are the beneficiaries of our organization’s efforts. The result is the Bududa Learning Center of today.
With generous financial support by Grannies Aid for Africa, Webster Canada Foundation, Jephcott Fund, Friends Peace Teams, and many individual donors, Bududa Learning Center’s current campus was dedicated by the Canadian Consul to Uganda in 2015. Since then our center has grown and expanded to enable us now to look for ways to evolve into an institution less dependent on its founders.