Stories 4 Your Heart
December Lazarus and the Bwindi Nursery School
by Amy Schulz
When the Feather River College Enactus students heard about December Lazarus’s plans to start a free nursery school for the children of Bwindi, they had to get involved. In Fall 2013, the students fundraised and awarded Lazarus a $250 micro-loan, which he used start a poultry business. With the proceeds from the eggs and meat, Lazarus and his family opened a nursery school for 38 children in the community who would not have had access to early childhood education. Before Lazarus opened his school, the closest school was eight miles away which was simply not accessible for children to walk to school—their only transportation.
Lazarus is very resourceful and has a sustainable plan to be able to serve the most vulnerable children in the community. He has constructed a rainwater harvesting system at the school site to address the lack of water access. He has expanded his business enterprises to include pigs, goats and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. With increased revenues from his business ventures, Lazarus’s family will be able to feed the children a meal in addition to their mid-day porridge. For many children, this will be the best nutrition they receive.
The Feather River College Enactus team is proud to support Lazarus and his family in providing educational opportunities to the children of Bwindi, especially because he is so enterprising and resourceful that this is a project that will thrive long after the initial loan. Infrastructure support from the Uganda Development Initiative made it possible to give a hand up at just the right time.