Molloy College’s Madison Theatre is hosting a kick-off fundraiser on Feb. 17 to build a permanent school building in Uganda.
In April 2009, with one teacher and 45 children, HELP International Uganda birthed a free primary school for the children of Masese in an open-air shed with some paper and pencils, according to the organization’s website. The Garrity and Silon families of Rockville Centre partnered with HELP International in 2010.
Today, there is school in various sheds and a new three-room building, educating 550 children. Villagers are employed by the school as teachers, cooks, construction workers and brick makers.
Prior to the establishment of the school, children ate once every three days. Since 2010, children have received lunch five days a week, which for many of them is the only food they eat. The original lunch was a plate of posho — a food made from cornmeal with a mashed potato-like texture — and beans, but in 2013, thanks to generous donors, the organization added vegetables and fish to offer a broader range of nutrition. Also in 2013, it added a small breakfast program so that the children wouldn’t start their school days on an empty stomach, and now the villagers receive lunch and breakfast daily.
Hoping to expand, HELP is looking to build a weather-proof school and windows and electricity, which will allow more uneducated children to attend school and will provide a vocational center for illiterate adults.
HELP has partnered with Madison Theatre and the talented jazz guitarist, John Pizzarelli, who will perform arrangements of Paul McCartney’s songs and meeting VIP attendees at a post concert Meet and
Greet. Pizzarelli will hold a recording session from 4 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 17 with the highest bidder of a silent auction at Molloy College.