Money was set aside for four years from bead sales and youth camp donations while we waited and prayed for a community and a leader who shared our vision and values. Our prayers were answered when Simon and Aggie connected with education minister, Pastor George Mbonyebombi from Kisoro.
After our first visit to Kisoro, we decided to partner with five elementary schools: Rutare, Mucenta, Kisoro Hill, Ntamatinda and Nkurungiro. Kisoro Kids officially kicked off in 2011. During this first phase, we used the funds we had collected to improve the infrastructure of the schools in order to provide a better learning environment. The Kisoro community provided all of the labor and also gave to the projects as they were able.
The children went from sitting on logs or pews (with their notebooks in their laps) with leaky roofs and jigger-infested dirt floors, to sitting in real desks on concrete floors, surrounded by fortified walls and roofs. From 2011 to 2014, Kisoro Kids partnered with the local community to cement 20 classroom floors, roof seven classrooms, fortify the walls of eight classrooms, and provide 180 desks!