Posted by Sharon Schendel on May 27, 2018
Marsha Hunt, Chief Financial Officer of Uganda Development Initiative (UDI), was our speaker at the May 24, 2018 meeting. UDI works to increase education opportunities in Uganda by building schools and by providing sponsorship programs, tutorials and support to agricultural, medical and small business programs.
Marsha told the story of a number of children who had been helped by UDI. She explained that many young children in Uganda must care for children even younger than themselves. One child, Joanna, began caring for an orphaned infant when she was only 8, and by the time she was 11, she was caring for three younger children.  Ugandan children like Joanna often put their schooling on hold while they care for these children.  UDI helped Joanna get the schooling she needed, and also to get medical care to treat a brain tumor that might have otherwise killed her. 
Through its work, UDI has facilitated sponsorships of many children living in and around the town of Kanungu in southwestern Uganda.  Kanungu was once the site of tragedy- over 300 members of a religious cult perished in a fire in 2000- but now, due in part to UDI’s efforts, is an educational center.  UDI has helped to build four elementary and high schools and one college. The town is also the site of the Kataate Medical Center, which will provide residents to access to surgical facilities.
Marsha Hunt is past president of Rotary Club of Woodland Hills and continues to travel regularly to Uganda to oversee UDI projects.