donate-belowHumanists doing great, important work in Kampala, Uganda, need your urgent help, following a significant burglary.

The Humanist Association for Leadership, Equality and Accountability (HALEA) runs education and support services for children in some of the poorest parts of Kampala.

They go into schools running workshops centered around human rights and the rights of the child in particular, as well as democracy, confidence-building, and other issues. They run debates on ethical and humanist topics that otherwise may never be discussed. HALEA even publish a regular magazine written and produced by school students; it’s a rare and valuable opportunity for children to see themselves in print and to be heard! Through leadership training at their offices HALEA support some of the brightest and most able students to learn new skills, and through their IHEU-supported public debate series they air topics and arguments among adult participants which otherwise are often heard only from a one-sided perspective.

HALEA's Kato Mukasa (back, right) and IHEU's Bob Churchill (back left) on an IHEU-funded placement in 2011, at a meeting outside HALEA's office

HALEA’s Kato Mukasa (back, right) and IHEU’s Bob Churchill (back left) on an IHEU-funded placement in 2011, with students at a teen training session outside HALEA’s office

But this week HALEA have suffered a major setback. On Tuesday Kato Mukasa the director of HALEA told us:

“We woke up today to the sad news that our offices had been broken into and lots of property and cash taken. The first people to reach the office found [the building security guard] unconscious lying at the upper/ behind part of the building. Our offices were wide open.”

The thieves have taken all 6 computers, 2 laptops, power cables, their projector and camera, three guitars, a desktop printer, and even the office phone was taken. Some cash due to be paid for rent was also stolen. (The security guard is now conscious again, by the way!)

Kato introduces a vocational training session

Kato introduces a vocational training session

HALEA staff and members are devastated with this development, we have lost the important tools that enable us to operate and surely this is a great set back in the history of the organization. This has happened at a time when we had so many vital activities going on and many pending.”

The main school holiday in Uganda is over the Christmas period, not the summer months of the northern hemisphere, which means that HALEA’s work is at its peak and the need is urgent.

Donate through this page today to help Kato and the humanists of HALEA recover their losses as soon as possible. They estimate the cost of replacing their equipment at just over USD $10,000 and we have a detailed costing list of items stolen. [Updated 23 July to reflect changed estimate.] Every donation made on this page will go toward the target, and if any excess donations are made they will go to IHEU’s Growth and Development Fund which supports new and developing organizations like HALEA in countries around the world.

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[THIS APPEAL IS NOW CLOSED — October 2014]

Even today HALEA are continuing their work in schools, but it is vital that they recover their office capabilities as soon as possible. Thank you so much if you can give today to support HALEA at this time.

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