'Hands Across the Water'
Thaxton and Broyles
Rotary President Don Broyles presents a check to Ron Thaxton for a residential school in Uganda.

Funding continues for Uganda school

April 8, 2008

Ron Thaxton, a pastor with the Church in the City in Cross Lanes, today received a grant of $1,000 from Putnam Rotary for the Divine Secondary School, a residential facility for orphans near Entebbe, Uganda.

The funding will go toward purchase of equipment and materials to bring some measure of economic assistance to the school.

Thaxton started an organization called Smile Uganda and served as the team leader when Putnam's Chet Marshall visited the African nation in March 2005 to conduct a two-day business leadership summit.

Thaxton serves as liaison with Joab Sonko and Jeff Kayongo.

Kayongo, a member of the Rotary Club in Entebbe, is staff director for Smile Uganda.

Sonko, a Ugandan pastor, has an organization called Excel Africa and he plants churches, works with young people, and also encourages entrepreneurship among his people.

The Divine Secondary School, serving 100 children between the ages of 13 to 23, was without running water or electricity last year. Three meals a day are prepared over a fire pit in the floor by a solitary cook who is paid $12 per month.

When Chet Marshall first visited the school he personally provided science books at a cost of 536,000 Ugandan shillings. (That was $312 in United States money.)

Marshall also pledged to match all funding by Putnam Rotary.

Student desks cost $20 each for the Divine Secondary School, and Marshall donated $500 to purchase desks for nearly a third of the students.

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