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U-TOUCH THE WORLD for Uganda & Ukraine!
This event will be livestreamed on our Givebutter page: https://givebutter.com/utouchtheworldannualrun
ALL THIS MONTH WE ARE RAISING MONEY FOR UKRAINE AND UGANDA! Between May 1 and Memorial Day, please join us to help traumatized women & children in Ukraine and those living in extreme poverty in Uganda. Your kind, caring and generous donations are already at work in Hungary, Poland and Ukraine, reaching refugees in dire need of the basics. Thank you to all who joined us for our kickoff event at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar May 1st. U-TOUCH THE WORLD with your gifts of Peace, Love, Hope & Freedom!
U-TOUCH is making a difference! We have been providing desperately needed financial aid and partner staff support to a transitional shelter and school in Budapest for Ukrainian refugee families. In addition to providing food, shelter, and basic needs, children ages 3 to 15 years are given some sense of normalcy by engaging in play with volunteers and attending a make-shift school. Our U-TOUCH representative, Trager, volunteered at the school and also donated our funds to the Food Bank, Migration Aid and a shelter for Ukrainian refugees. U-TOUCH helped support the development of a school environment at the shelter, 'Learning without Borders'.
Trager is now in Krakow, Poland. He is again directly supporting the Ukrainian refugees with donations including food, and additional survival needs. He is working directly with a local organization providing zupa for Ukrainians, an important cultural food taken to the border refugee centers in Krakow.
U-TOUCH is making a real difference in this humanitarian crisis. Your caring donation matters. Please help however you possibly can! Read about Trager's travels at our U-TOUCH.org Facebook page. Together we will make a difference!
"Brilliance is equally distributed, opportunity is not!" Deborah Plotkin, founder of U-TOUCH
In this digital age we live in, it's hard to Imagine a life without access to a computer, smartphone or the internet. Many people in disadvantaged regions don't have the opportunities we do and they remain stuck, living in poverty. At U-TOUCH, we believe technology and life skills are crucial stepping stones to conquer inequality and injustice in underprivileged regions where there is little opportunity, thus bridging the digital divide.
While technology and vocational training sets U-TOUCH apart, we see the big picture! Education is needed in many areas of life to become self-sustaining members of society. That's why U-TOUCH provides Education, Empowerment, Employment and Entrepreneurship to Uganda's youth and families. Our humanitarian efforts support basic human rights that help the youth and families achieve the basics in life. This includes food, medical care, education for the children, as well as protection and safety for the girls.
Working in partnership with the community, our programs begin at an early age and include:
FACT- 70% of Ugandans live in poverty. U-TOUCH works within regions of Uganda most impacted by extreme poverty. People in these targeted regions typically earn less than $1 per day.
FACT- Half the population of Uganda is under the age of 15, making it one of the top youngest populations in Africa. In addition, 77% of the population is under age 30.
FACT- Uganda has been overwhelmed by over 32,000 teen pregnancies per month and this number is skyrocketing during Covid. This past year, there were 18,000 early child pregnancies in just 9 out of 52 districts in northern Uganda. Early marriage and teenage pregnancy keep many teen girls out of school. Public schools also lack adequate toilets and washing areas, making it difficult for girls to attend school during the time of their monthly menstrual cycle.
FACT- Only 1 in 4 children who begin primary school ultimately make it to secondary school, largely due to a lack of school fees. 53% of girls aged 6-12 are reported to complete the required seven years of primary education, and only 22.5% of the girls in Uganda as a whole enroll in secondary education. Children are often out of school working to earn money to pay for their school fees, with jobs such as making bricks and selling goods.
FACT- Uganda’s refugee population has almost tripled since July 2016 and is currently around 1.4 million, making it the largest refugee host in Africa, and third largest in the world. While its open-door refugee policy is one of the most progressive in the world, with refugees enjoying access to social services, land and jobs, the continued influx — coupled with limited resources — is placing tremendous pressure on existing amenities and straining the delivery of services in host communities.
FACT- Out of 96% of Ugandans who have access to land, only 16% have control and ownership of it. Only 2% of these land owners are young women below 45 years.
FACT- 80 % of Ugandans do not own a computer and only 30 % have a smartphone. Due to high costs, only 20% of the population have reliable access to the Internet, greatly impacting e-Commerce between the rural agrarian villages and the cities and towns.
U-TOUCH was founded in 2010 by Deborah Plotkin. What began in 2005 as an idea to create a San Diego high school program to sponsor displaced orphans from the LRA war turned into a visit to Uganda in 2007 for Deborah, her husband and their daughter. It was the tail end of the war, and what they saw changed their lives forever. There was devastation from the war, extreme poverty and lack of opportunity. In the schools, there were no textbooks, electricity, libraries, computers, Internet or even running water. Deborah knew she had to do something and had the idea to bring technology to Uganda. By teaching technology, the youth could learn skills commensurate with the rest of the world and have the opportunity for further education, employment and even entrepreneurship. Deborah envisioned the sponsored students and communities of Uganda creating self-sustaining lives for themselves, not dependent on outside aid. This turned into a lifelong mission to improve quality of life and create opportunity through technology hubs with specific skill training and mentoring. In turn, U-TOUCH has transformed thousands of lives in Uganda since its inception in 2010.
U-TOUCH works in partnership with local schools here in San Diego that support the program with sponsorship, thus teaching students here about global inequality.
Cheerful Givers Children's Foundation
Friends of Children Circle Uganda GIZ
Gulu City Council
La Jolla High School
Mama's Shelter for Hope
Muirlands Middle School
Smart Girls Foundation Uganda
For questions or additional information, please email Deb at [email protected]