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Rachel Ryan Jensen's Fundraiser:

HEALS

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Rachel Ryan Jensen via Crowdrise
August 19, 2010

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BENEFITING: GOT YOUR BACK

Rachel Ryan Jensen

THE STORY:

HEALS (Health, Education, Arts, Literacy, Sports) is an after school play therapy outlet for the war-affected youth of northern Uganda. This amazing program is the dream of a remarkable woman called Jolly Grace Okot. Many of you who are familiar with the movement of Invisible Children are already acquainted with Madame Jolly. Jolly was one of the first female child soldiers as a product of Joseph Kony’s nightmare of a war that has been oppressing the beautiful people in northern Uganda for now 24+ years. Now that the north is relatively peaceful, there is much rehabilitation to be done. Our goal is to build HEALS into a stronger, more sustainable program that empowers and enriches the students that we sponsor. HEALS is an after school outlet where kids can be kids. They come to our facility to play traditional instruments, learn traditional and hip hop dance, do art, photography, play football (both American and European), learn to read, and grow as positive figures in society.

As of now, HEALS is SOLELY funded by a non-profit cafe called, Kope Cafe. Lindsey and I are basically going to mold this project and make it our own. We plan to (but aren’t limited to…ideas encouraged) create a steady flow of volunteers (which is highly lacking currently), continue to grow in numbers of students we sponsor in the program (which includes supplying them with school fees since secondary school in Uganda is not free), make sure Kope Cafe has adequate and quality equipment so they can continue to sustain a steady income for HEALS, and eventually start a scholarship program for our students to continue their education and be strong members of their society.H.E.A.L.S is a registered non-profit organization based in Gulu, Northern Uganda. H.E.A.L.S was founded by Jolly Grace Okot who was among the first children abducted by the rebels in 1986. She was forced to work as a child soldier for two years later. Jolly returned to school and went on to work with several international organizations such as Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontiers-Holland, InterAid International, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Having directly experienced the effects of war gave Jolly a deep understanding of what war-affected children in Northern Uganda were going through and inspired her to start her own non-profit organization.In 2003, Jolly created H.E.A.L.S so that war-affected children could be provided with a variety of programs and services including school sponsorship, hea

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