GPE’s Uganda Project partnered with the organization Bright Kids Uganda. Bright Kids Uganda or BKU has been operating since 2000 and is a children’s home located in Entebbe, Uganda. The organization assists children from various backgrounds ranging from street kids, HIV/AIDS orphans, children who have been living at Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camps and those rescued from the rebels in Northern Uganda.
In 2010, with the help of FSU faculty, GPE recognized a need for close and affordable healthcare for the children at BKU and the surrounding population. A team of students spent the summer of 2011 conducting field based research to understand the healthcare needs of the surrounding population, potential sustainability of a clinic, and other necessary market analyses. In 2012, GPE received the True Seminole grant to fund the construction of a sustainable healthcare clinic in Entebbe Village. This soon came to be known as the Gloria Namusoke Memorial medical clinic, named in honor of a BKU child who passed away due to medical neglect at boarding school. Students spent the summer on site, overseeing construction, budget management, the hiring of an on-site nurse, and focused on community outreach. By 2013, the clinic was fully functioning, providing necessary and quality care to the children of BKU and local area. With the success and continual use of the medical clinic, GPE returned in 2013 to begin a clinic expansion to add two additional rooms. Students maintained responsibility of managing constructions finances, labor, and community outreach. Recently, BKU became a Deihl Family Social Enterprise Competition finalist and received a fifty-thousand dollar grant to further develop the clinic to include housing units and renovate a nearby market in order to develop sustainable methods of income for the BKU children’s home.
(Check out Global Peace Exchange’s presence and projects all around the world: GPE Projects│Florida State University (GPE-HQ) and GPE Projects│Birmingham-Southern College. Global Peace Exchange (GPE) is a not for profit student-run international development organization at Birmingham-Southern College which looks to promote education, engagement and empowerment. It was originally founded in 2006 at Florida State University. It aims to establish relationships with international non-governmental organizations in order to allow students to work on sustainable development projects at the grassroots level. We hope to foster mutual understanding between differing cultures through service, sustainability, and education. On the fall of 2013, Saurav Bhandary and Wesley Chambers, BSC ’16, founded Birmingham-Southern College’s GPE chapter. In the past, our projects have had focus areas such as education, business, the environment, health, and women and youth empowerment. Since our inception in 2006, over 200+ volunteers have traveled to 8 countries around the world. We have had projects in Rwanda, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, Ghana, Uganda, Moldova, and Guatemala.)