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Article: Mondetta Charity Foundation: Giving Back to Move Forward

MCF Founder Kish Modha with students of Kamwokya Primary School in Kampala, Uganda
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Mondetta Charity Foundation: Giving Back to Move Forward

Mondetta Charity Foundation (MCF), the philanthropic division of Mondetta Clothing, was established in 2004 and was created to do some good in the region the company's founders once called home, Uganda and Kenya in East Africa. Although they had left their homelands nearly forty years previous, the bonds to where one is originally from are not easily severed.

From the beginning, MCF focused its efforts on children who, through no fault of their own, are often the most vulnerable victims of the poverty, violence, and AIDS epidemic that are tragically common characteristics of life on the African continent.

The Foundation, from the outset, targeted improving education, healthcare, nutrition, and gender equality to break the cycle of poverty that can afflict families for generations. By providing children with a head start and the support they need to succeed, MCF strives to create a better world tomorrow by creating opportunities to succeed today.

Since its inception, MCF has worked with Kamwokya Primary School in Kampala, Uganda and the New Life Home Trust orphanages in Kenya to take a grassroots approach to provide assistance to children in the region.

In addition to its efforts in East Africa, MCF, in 2020, established an annual indigenous students scholarship program to graduates from high schools in the Seven Oaks School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Mondetta Clothing is based. The aim of the scholarships is identical to the Foundation’s efforts in Africa: Provide hard-working students assistance to reach their full potential by receiving an education.

Kamwokya Primary School

Young boy in the classroom at Kamwoyka Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

Initial Improvements

Starting small, MCF began by providing classroom dividers to manage class sizes, books and shelving for the library, computers, desks, and furnishings, and enhanced the uniform program to ensure every student could take pride in their appearance when arriving at school.

Students being fed lunch at Kamwoyka Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

Feeding Program

By updating and refurbishing the on-site kitchen facility and providing additional funding, MCF expanded the daily lunch program from only serving those students whose parents could afford the fees to include all children attending the school. To date, the school has served over 3 million meals to hungry children, which for many is often the only food they will receive all day. And the teachers at school are keen to remind us that the kids may forget their books or homework, but they will never forget their bowl or plate for lunch!

Seven Oaks School Division logo

Seven Oaks Division Partnership and Teacher Exchange

Fostering a partnership with the Seven Oaks School Division, where his sons attended school, Kish forged a flourishing relationship between the two organizations, which has resulted in multiple shipments of desks, computers, and books from the SOSD. Two teacher exchanges took place, with one teacher from Winnipeg traveling to Uganda and two teachers and the headmistress from Kamwokya coming to Winnipeg to engage in a cross-cultural interchange and discuss pedagogical methodology.

A volunteer dentist working on a student at the Dental Mission at Kamwoyka Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

Dental Missions

In 2012 and 2019, MCF enlisted a group of Winnipeg dentists, their staff, and families to travel to the school and administer dental treatment to hundreds of students, most of whom had never been to a dentist and would probably never have an opportunity to do so.

New playground at Kamwoyka Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

Playground Structure

In concert with the Manitoba Council of International Cooperation, MCF facilitated installing a play structure on the school campus to provide the children with an enjoyable diversion during recess and contribute to their ability to play, which is an essential aspect of childhood development.

Louise Charette Wing new classroom construction at Kamwokya Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

New Classroom Construction

In 2013, MCF expanded the scope and breadth of what it could do by an unexpected donation of more than $400000, bequeathed to the Foundation by Winnipeg journalist Louise Charette, who was familiar with the Foundation wanted to ensure our efforts could continue. Those funds allowed us to embark upon our largest project since our inception: constructing a new wing of classrooms at the school campus, achieved by partnering with the Kampala City Council.

Kamwokya Primary School shoe program provided by Mondetta Clothing

Mondetta Sneakers

Mondetta Clothing provided every student at the school with a pair of sneakers. No longer relegated to wear flimsy flip-flops, worn-out shoes, or even come to school barefoot, the students could now walk and run with confidence and joy.

Water Harvest and Filtration structure at Kamwokya Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

Water Harvest and Filtration

Partnering with various branches of the Rotary Club, MCF installed a water harvesting and storage system on the school campus to provide potable water to students and teachers.

Two female friends at Kamwoyka Primary School in Kampala, Uganda

Gender Equality and Female Empowerment

Aiming to alter and shift long-held attitudes toward gender roles in society, MCF has begun implementing a gender equality program to provide female students with an opportunity to expand their hopes and dreams by learning specialized skills and receiving vocational training. MCF has also supported a feminine hygiene product program to ensure the girls at the school have access to basic sanitary needs, which are not always readily available. MCF has also become a member of the Institute for International Women's Rights Manitoba, promoting women's initiatives at both the local and international levels.

An infant being cared for at New Life Home orphanages in Nairobi and Lamu, Kenya

New Life Home Trust

MCF has taken a much more hands-off approach in neighbouring Kenya by partnering with New Life Home Trust, a non-profit operating a network of orphanages and schools across the country. Housing, nurturing, and educating newborns to toddlers, the orphanages take in babies who have been abandoned on the side of the road or dropped off by parents who cannot care for their children due to poverty, illness or a myriad of other reasons. Often arriving emaciated and in failing health, the children at New Life are revitalized and nursed back to vibrancy by an on-site team of caregivers, nurses, and visiting doctors.

Without the support of generous individual donors who have pledged assistance to the Foundation, the improvements completed at KPS and the support provided to New Life Home Trust would not have been possible. Because MCF's parent company, Mondetta Clothing, covers all Foundation administration costs, all funds received go where they're intended: to children in need.

If you would like to learn more about our philanthropic efforts, please visit www.mondettacharityfoundation.org

Students holding up a thank you message banner to Mondetta Charity Foundation

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