MAY NEWSLETTER: OUR PARTNERS MAKE US STRONGER

           Brick by Brick masons begin work on the new Lwamaggwa Health Center III

          Brick by Brick masons begin work on the new Lwamaggwa Health Center III

It’s right there in our mission statement. We create partnerships that improve education, health and economic opportunity. From the onset, we saw that as a growing Ugandan non-profit we could only deliver on our ambitious goals, given our limited resources, working hand in hand with our local communities. Our partnership model is not only dictated by our current revenue streams, but also from our experience that real progress in addressing the complex social and economic causes of disparities in health and education leading to chronic poverty can only occur when our communities are fully engaged, with Brick by Brick providing the seed capital for change.

Traditional development strategies rely on billions of dollars in foreign aid. While this approach addresses the immediate suffering of the almost three billion people who live on less that $2.50 per day, it also fosters a cycle of dependence. Brick by Brick promotes an alternative, relying on strong, long lasting partnerships with local communities.

So, Brick by Brick is different than other ‘charities’. In fact, we are not really a charity in the true sense of the word, which is defined as: the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need. We start our work relying on the leadership of our local partners and full participation from the communities we serve. We take our direction from our Ugandan staff and local partners. We build strong two-way partnerships based on trust and a long-term commitment.

Trusting partnerships do not happen overnight, they take time, in fact they take many years to build. This is the reason that our programs have focused on just two rural districts, Rakai and Kyotera with a population of a half million people. Community leaders know that Brick by Brick will be with them for the long haul that it takes to solve complex problems like crumbling school infra-structure, poorly equipped hospitals, or the lack of access to clean water. They also now that unlike other NGOs, we will require their vital contribution to achieve common goals.

Over the past year we have experienced some real breakthroughs in strengthening our partnership model.

  • The Lwamaggwa Health Center III is a remote and rural facility, serving a large population in need of quality health care. Its’ maternity unit is falling apart. This year, the Rakai District has committed $5000 in co-funding, allowing Brick by Brick to build a new maternity unit for our mothers and babies. 
  • The Rakai and Kyotera Districts also pay the full salaries for 105 mentor midwives, trained by Brick by Brick’s Babies and Mothers Alive (BAMA) Program. They work alongside our skilled staff to train the midwives who perform the 26,000 deliveries annually in our 25 health centers and hospitals.                                                            

As we build a reputation as a trusted partner in community-based programs with a solid return on investment, we have attracted respected international partners:

  •  We Care Solar will partner with Brick by Brick to provide solar powered light to 35 health centers, while their colleagues at We Share Solar, will do the same for 11 primary and secondary schools.
  •  Vital Health Africa will work with the BAMA team to assess and train our physicians and midwives to improve newborn care helping us to save the lives of thousands of babies.
  • This year we begin an exciting new partnership with the Dutch-based NGO, Knowledge for Children, who share our partnership model in improving the quality of literacy education for Uganda’s children.
  • Our work has been recognized at the national level thorough our regular participation in quarterly meetings on maternal and newborn health. We have also been honored to receive funding and in-kind support  from such internationally respected donors as the ELMA Foundation, the U.S. State Department’s DREAMS Innovation Challenge, Global Health Corps, the US Peace Corps and World Connect.

In the U.S. we have an expanding community of partners who support our vital work for the people of Uganda. They are regular donors large and small, board members and other volunteers who give of their time and vital knowledge to help build our resources and ensure solid program management and oversight.

Brick by Brick is so much more than our twenty full time staff both in Uganda and in the U.S. We are truly hundreds if not thousands of people who share the dream that every human being has the right to a quality education, health and economic opportunity. Brick by Brick is our vehicle to move closer to that day where our dream becomes a reality.