2014: Our Year in Review

Four years ago, two friends dreamed together about a day when we would build a school together. Collines and I talked on the phone for countless hours (racking up an impressive long-distance phone bill) about the passion we both had for educating and empowering the next generation of global citizens. At the time, the dream felt so big–almost impossible and certainly very, very far away in the distant future. What we couldn’t have imagined then was how fast it would all be realized.

2014 has brought with it so many incredible moments as our first year as an official organization. From the moment we decided to take the leap to become “Far Away Friends” over a year ago to now, ending 2014 with our first school built in Northern Uganda, our journey so far has been crazy, scary, exhilarating and absolutely unforgettable.

As 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite memories and milestones of the past 12 months.

MARCH: We held our first successful fundraising event, the Far Away Friends Mardi Gras Masquerade for Education

APRIL/MAY: We partnered with Little Man Ice Cream’s incredible Scoop for Scoop Program which allowed us to feed students at our partner school, Faith Children’s Foundation, for three months, light their dormitories and fix a leaking classroom roof!

Future students sitting at our classroom site in Namasale

Future students sitting at our classroom site in Namasale

JUNE/JULY: We spent six weeks on the ground in Uganda, traveling between Bulenga in Wakiso District, where our pen-pal program is located, and Namasale in Amolatar District, where we are building our first school, the Leadership Academy of Namasale. This trip allowed us to further develop our programs on the ground in Uganda and understand in what ways we can improve and grow with our partners in development in the field. Some of our favorite memories from our trip include spending time at the building site of our school, hanging out with students at Faith Children’s Foundation and having crazy encounters with some African elephants on the Arua highway near Murchison Falls!

AUGUST: We created the Roof Our School Campaign and held our second fundraising event in Denver at Epernay Lounge.

NOVEMBER: We received our 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Status (WOO!) AND launched our first online Built by Beads shop via Etsy just in time for the holidays!

Leadership Academy Dreams.jpg

DECEMBER: We received photos from our team in Uganda of the Leadership Academy of Namasale with our new roof, almost ready for students!

This has been such a crazy and incredible year for us, but we couldn’t have done it without YOU. All of our progress is a direct result of the generosity we’ve received from all of our supporters. Four years ago, Collines and I could have never imagined that we would be where we are today–ready to begin educating and empowering the next generation of global citizens. Together, we are building bigger dreams than ever before.

Thank you for believing in us and with us. We love you.

With Tenacious Hope,

Jayme Ward

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Far Away Friends

Christopher Skirka