For their safety and protection, Ugandan children are often escorted by armed soldiers.
It is with pride and pleasure The Honickman Foundation supports L.E.A.D. Uganda.
L.E.A.D. Uganda is an educational leadership initiative for children affected by AIDS, war, and poverty in Uganda. The initiative provides education to impoverished youth, transforming the lives of the children themselves – and the communities that surround them.
The students that L.E.A.D. Uganda serves come from tragic backgrounds. Many have lost parents to AIDS. Others were abducted and forced by the Lords Resistance Army to be child soldiers or sex slaves.
Since joining L.E.A.D. Uganda Sarah attends one of the finest primary schools in Uganda where she is always first or second in her class.
Our partnership with L.E.A.D. Uganda has allowed us to sponsor an 18-year-old student, Ronald. At the age of nine, he was abducted by rebel forces, beaten, and forced to watch as his father was brutally murdered. During an escape attempt, he was shot in the arm – a wound that was never properly treated and resulted in amputation.
Our belief that everything has a rippling affect was validated. We often don't know what that effect will be — only that, for ill or good, it will be. On seeing the most recent body of work by photographer Steve Shames' work, we decided it should be shown in its glory as well as well as its struggle.
Miriam Seidel, curator at the galleries at the Gershman Y in Philadelphia agreed and organized an exquisite show in spring, 2008. Among the images was a compelling portrait of the amputee, Ronald. During a pre-opening visit by the board of trustees of the 'Y', one woman exclaimed while staring sadly at the photo, "My husband's a brilliant surgeon — we can get Ronald an arm."
As member of L.E.A.D. Uganda, Ronald is now thriving. Formerly shy and withdrawn, he was recently elected class prefect and hopes to become an engineer to make lives better in his own community. He recently visited us after his last therapy session for his new arm... ebullient, confident and thriving. Life can be so beautiful.
Sanyu & Ronald from L.E.A.D Uganda on Vimeo.
Steve Shames is a socially concerned, award-winning photographer whose pictures have appeared in Newsweek, US News, Life, The New York Times — among others.
For his work on child poverty, Steve received the Kodak Crystal Eagle award for excellence in Journalism, the Leica Medal of Excellence in Journalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Foundation — among many others.
He is the author of the acclaimed Outside the Dream: Child Poverty in America and founder of The Outside The Dream Foundation which kept the spotlight on at risk children, primarily street orphans, who were denied any social services or educational opportunities.
Steve, aside from being an insightful, sensitive writer is an uncompromising, amazing photographer who now supports his new foundation L.E.A.D. Uganda through the sale of his 'telling' photographs.
His photographic skill, power and gifts have grown in equal measure with his compassionate heart. We are proud of our association with both the man and his mission.