Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHO IS RAISE THE ROOF ACADEMY?
Raise the Roof Academy is giving hope and building a future through education! The mission of Raise the Roof Academy is to engage groups and individuals to enter into empowering relationships that foster hope, stability, and wholeness, with children in rural Uganda who are orphans or vulnerable, in the work of building and resourcing schools as centers of transformation.
At Raise the Roof Academy we believe that education provides the highest return of any social investment in rural Africa. Education empowers people by giving them the tools they need to make their own way in the world.
2. IS RAISE THE ROOF ACADEMY A REGISTERED CHARITY?
Yes, Raise the Roof Academy is an incorporated, registered, 501(c)(3) charity in the United States. EIN # 20-8231560
3. WHO SUPPORTS RAISE THE ROOF ACADEMY?
100% of Raise the Roof Academy's funding comes from direct contributions and in-kind support generated by people all over the country. From car washes, bake sales, to walk-a-thons, garage sales and coin drives, it is the innovative and passionate fundraising that has always been the fuel for our organization. Whether it be donating funds to support education projects or securing in-kind support of medical supplies to be shipped to communities in need, regular people make up the foundation of Raise the Roof Academy's support.
4. IS RAISE THE ROOF ACADEMY A RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION?
Raise the Roof Academy is a Christian organization. We are a non-denominational, para-church organization (not affiliated with a particular denomination). We serve all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender, respecting each person as created in the image of God. The children at Raise the Roof Academy in Bwasandeku, Uganda come from diverse belief systems. We believe in sharing God's love, and helping these children receive an education, two meals a day, and healthcare, is an expression of that love.
5. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHERE TO WORK?
We work in rural communities with high incidences of poverty and child labor. At Raise the Roof Academy, we believe that creating lasting change is not a one-person job; entire communities need to come together as one, to make a difference.
6. WHO IMPLEMENTS RAISE THE ROOF PROJECTS?
Raise the Roof Academy has a team of seasoned, knowledgeable partners that implement our programs in Uganda and the US. Regular monitoring and evaluations of the programs are completed by our staff and board. We are committed to hiring locally in Uganda to ensure the effectiveness of our programs and to build infrastructures within the regions where we work.
7. HOW ARE DONATIONS DISTRIBUTED?
At Raise the Roof Academy we are dedicated to being good stewards of all donations. 100% of your money goes to the project you specify. General donations without a specified project equip Raise the Roof Academy to balance all resources to fulfill our mission.
Each donation is distributed in a strategic and timely manner so that funds reach those who need it the most as soon as possible. Donors can choose to target their donation to a specific program area. Alternately, donors can choose to let the Raise the Roof team match their funds to the areas of greatest need at the time of their donation.
8. HOW MUCH MONEY GOES INTO PROJECTS?
Raise the Roof Academy prides itself on using 100% of your donation on its projects, not cutting off any percentage for staffing and administration.
We believe that full transparency is key to the success of all our operations and, as such, an outside accounting firm conducts an annual audit of Raise the Roof Academy. Furthermore, an all-volunteer Board of Directors oversees the work of Raise the Roof Academy, sets policies and procedures, and monitors our budget and expenses to ensure funds are spent wisely.
9. ARE THE COSTS FEATURED ON THIS WEBSITE THE EXACT COSTS FOR ALL PROJECTS?
All the prices provided on this website, and in our materials, represent average costs in Uganda where Raise the Roof Academy works. These prices are meant to be used as a general guide for our donors who may choose to contribute to one or more components.
10. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A TAX RECEIPT?
As Raise the Roof Academy is a registered charitable organization, any donation of $10 or greater is tax deductible.
11. HOW CAN I SEE THE RESULTS OF MY CONTRIBUTIONS?
One of our core values at Raise the Roof Academy is “honoring every stakeholder” and, among other ways, we adhere to that value by being fully transparent in all our operations. If you choose to donate to our international projects, you’ll receive an update twice a year on the progress of the community you support.
These reports include:
- Photos from the community you’re supporting
- An update on all the programs Raise the Roof Academy is implementing in that community (education, water/sanitation, health care, alternative income)
- Stories about the direct beneficiaries of your donation and a preview of what our next priorities are in that region.
12. CAN I VISIT THE COUNTRY OR COMMUNITY I AM SPONSORING?
Meeting the community and volunteering to help make the project a reality is an extremely rewarding experience both for the donor and community, and we welcome you to visit Uganda.
To facilitate your visit, Raise the Roof Academy plans all trips to Uganda. During the visit, you’ll have a chance to connect with the community you’ve donated toward and even volunteer to implement the projects you’re helping to fund.
We strongly encourage you to visit our projects and experience for yourself the impact that your donation has on the lives of children and families in need.
13. HOW LONG AM I COMMITTED FOR?
One time donations: By engaging a community of donors to support a community overseas, we ensure all aspects of the program are implemented until the projects become self-sustaining. There is no obligation on your part to continue supporting a project.
Ongoing donations/sponsorship: Supporting a child or community on an ongoing basis by becoming a monthly/annual donor or taking on a fundraising campaign makes an incredible difference in many lives. We’re able to match you with a child or community you can support over the long-term, receive update letters and photos, and even visit yourself. We encourage you to call or e-mail us to find out more about all the support, resources and benefits we offer to ongoing donors.
14. WHERE IS BWASANDEKU, UGANDA?
Bwasandeku lies very close to the Equator. It is in Kalungu District.
The Republic of Uganda is a land-locked country in East Africa. It is bordered to the east by Kenya, to the north by South Sudan, to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the southwest by Rwanda, and to the south by Tanzania. Uganda is the world's second most populous land-locked country after Ethiopia. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria shared with Kenya and Tanzania, situating the country in the African Great Lakes region. Uganda also lies within the Nile basin, and has a varied but generally moderate equatorial climate.
15. WHAT DOES MY SPONSORSHIP REALLY DO?
Your sponsorship allows your child to be nurtured while attending Raise the Roof Academy. Your child receives education, medical screening, health and hygiene care, a school uniform, breakfast and lunch, recreational activities, and scholastic materials while learning about God’s love in a safe and loving community. Our mission is to teach and to nurture orphan and at-risk children. We are dedicated to working with children and families to reach their full potential by demonstrating God’s love and tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Our goal is to establish, outfit and resource permanent village schools that will educate and nurture leaders that shape Africa and the world. We know that a permanent, well-resourced, village school means an entire family can journey out of poverty together. At this school, children find life-shaping opportunities and their guardians find a partnering community. Thank you for your love and support. Because of your generosity the children and their communities have renewed hope for their journey out of poverty.
16. WHY DO THE BOYS AND THE GIRLS SHAVE THEIR HEADS?
Most of the boys and girls keep their hair short because it is difficult to maintain. Hygiene is a definite concern, availability of water, cost of soap, cost of hair care products, and parents/guardians do not have the time to help because they are concerned with making enough money for dinner each day. Girls might choose to grow their hair out when they are older and have the ability to maintain.
17. DO THE CHILDREN AT RAISE THE ROOF ACADEMY KNOW ENGLISH?
The uneducated that live in Bwasandeku do not know English (even though it is technically the national language of Uganda). Once they begin attending school they are taught English. The youngest are in preschool, so it takes them a couple more years, but the older children that have been in school now for a few years, speak and write in English very well. The teachers use English and Luganda to teach. A teacher might have to help interpret a sponsor letter if the child is not very far along in English.
18. WHAT IS A TYPICAL HOME LIKE IN RURAL UGANDA?
Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, wood and mud walls, and corrugated iron roofs or thatched roofs.
19. WHAT IS THE MAIN INDUSTRY IN UGANDA?
In Uganda, approximately 70-80 percent of the population is employed by the agricultural industry. In Bwasandeku, most of the people are subsistence farmers.
20. WHAT IS THE REGIONAL DIET?
The regional diet consists of various types of vegetables such as maize and starchy roots such as cassava and sweet potatoes.