Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A suggestion for your holiday gifts — Ugandan a Capella!

Over the past year, I have been working with several friends on a project to build a library outside of Mbale, the capital of Eastern Uganda. The brainchild of Maital Baldachin, and her continual passion, she and her husband Adam spent the 2007-08 year in Uganda, where Maital worked full time at the Bushikori Christian Center, teaching, generally working throughout the NGO and planning for the library, while Adam simultaneously worked at BCC and also with the Abayudaya Jewish Community.

Because of their efforts, the library is up and running — a building, books, computers and librarian. From the ground up. The project has shown just how instrumental a library can be for a community. These books, this building filled with learning, are changing lives.

So here's where you come in. Adam founded an a Capella group while working in Mbale and they produced a CD. It's awesome. Sample the tunes here.

See... told you it was good. Proceeds from this CD will go directly toward financing the library.

I know you're getting a lot of these e-mails right now. But please consider buying this unique gift and contributing to educational empowerment in the developing world.

Don't want a CD? Only want to donate $10? That's awesome. Please do — via Paypal. All donations are tax-deductible; American Friends of BCC is a 501 (c) 3 certified non-profit.

Below, you can find the letter that AFBCC has formally crafted for the holiday season with details of how to buy the CD.


This holiday season you can give a gift of joyous music and support the library in Mbale, Uganda at the same time!! That's right – Bushiglory, an eight-track CD with songs by BCC staff and children, is now available at for $19.95 plus shipping and handling. Thanks to Rachael Keeler, the CD also includes a 12-page color booklet with lyrics and translations to accompany the joyful singing on the CD. You can listen to clips of the music here, and you can read more about the Ugandan recording experience here. Proceeds from the CD go toward the improvement and maintenance of the library. (If you live in the NY area and/or want to buy the CDs in bulk (5 or more) at a discount rate, please email me at

I am also excited to announce that in July 2009, I returned to Uganda for the opening of the library!! I hope that you have read the blog entry about the 15 boxes of donated books from Temple B’nai Shalom in Fairfax, Virginia that I picked up in Kampala, the 50 local textbooks that we bought in town with your help, and the opening ceremony that was filled with joy, music, speeches, and celebration. You can even watch the ribbon cutting ceremony. The library is now in use!! Children and teachers fill the room with learning and reading every day. The building houses over 200 books, has six bookshelves, four tables, 12 chairs, and a desk for the librarian.

And yet, there is still more to be done and every donation helps. The community dreams of purchasing computers ($1000 each), additional reading materials ($15-20 per book), opening an internet café, offering computer classes, hiring a trained librarian ($175 per month), and more. The current monthly cost of running the library is $170. Help keep the library up and running – sponsor one month per year. Donations can be made through Paypal or by sending a check made out to AFBCC to 223 Albemarle Rd. White Plains, NY 10605. AFBCC is a registered 501(c)3 and all donations are tax-deductible.

We look forward to sharing other exciting updates with you soon. Keep your eyes out for a BCC Community Library website...

May this year be one of bringing educational opportunities to people around the world.

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