In 2003 African Great Lakes Initiative, an international outreach project of Friends Peace Teams in the United States, sent a team of eight Quakers from Philadelphia to construct in Bududa, Uganda, a two-room schoolhouse for children orphaned by families who had HIV/AIDS.
One of the team members, Philadelphia-resident and Canadian-born Barbara Wybar, was moved by the simplicity and kindness of the rural agricultural peasants of Bududa to want to do more to improve their impoverished lives. Many years of hard work followed to create Bududa Canada Foundation, a non-profit organization in Canada qualified to do business in Uganda, led by a skilled and dedicated volunteer board of directors; obtain a long-term lease on adequate land for a campus in this remote part of Africa; raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in Canada, the US, and the UK to fund construction; build two major classroom structures, a kitchen, a dormitory, and numerous out buildings; raise more than $100,000 each year from individuals and small foundations in Canada, the US, and the UK to cover annual operating expenses; hire and manage a staff of almost 40 local Ugandans; operate a guest house for volunteers from North America and the UK; and recruit, feed, board, and educate the hundreds of children, young adults, and impoverished women who are the beneficiaries of our efforts. The result is the Bududa Learning Center of today.
With ongoing financial support through Friends Peace Teams and grants from generous individuals and organizations including Grannies Aid for Africa, Webster Canada Foundation, and Jephcott Charitable Trust, Bududa Learning Center’s current campus was dedicated by the Canadian Consul to Uganda in 2014. Since then our center has grown and expanded to enable us now to look for ways to evolve into an institution less dependent on our founder.