God Cares School Celebrates 25 Years of Impact!
1999 - 2024
Twenty-five years ago, God Cares school opened its doors with 96 students to start the first school in the basement of a newly built Kabalagala Pentecostal Church (KPC). The church and its school were a dream of Pastor Bethuel and Florence Dongo, who had five biological children and had begun to adopt additional orphaned children into their small house built next to the church. Their vision for the school was to empower the orphaned and needy children through education and discipleship to impact the nation of Uganda…one child at a time.
The Dongos believed that the only way a child could rise above their circumstances of poverty and abandonment was through education, and that included learning about Jesus and empowering these children academically, spiritually, and emotionally. They named the new school God Cares School, so when a child was asked what school they attended, the answer God Cares would be forever on their lips, and they would be reminded that God cared for them and provided a school home for them.
The new church was built in the heart of the Kampala slums and consisted of a large dirt floor and pieces of plywood, separating the basement into four rooms for different age groups of kids from nursery to second grade (P2). Florence Dongo and three other teachers took on the challenge as the first staff of God Cares School. Their students were children of the church members and children from the surrounding slum areas.
Pastor Dongo committed to coming to the USA twice a year in the beginning years, reaching out to friends of his friends Jerry Lehman and his wife Pat, who committed to starting the first Buyamba ministry in Kingston, New York, where a young woman named Kelly Kreps became the very first committed monthly sponsor, which would one day lead to thousands of others. The New York connections spread there and extended to Houston, Dallas, TX, Westlake Village, CA, Sebring, Florida, and on and on and on. God called so many into the ministry of His care for these children, and each of us has a story of how and when we got involved.
The dream seed of God Cares school forged in the dirt of the basement floor would grow under God's hand for 25 years to a multi-storied, multi-campus school system that would run from baby class to university, serving over 1800 students a year and impact thousands of children over the last 25 years!
How Can You Join the Celebration?
When and How Did You Get Involved?
We are creating a timeline to celebrate 25 years of impact, and we want to know WHEN and HOW you got involved with Buyamba. Please fill out the form below and let us know your story, and then you can see where you fall on the 25-year timeline!
Attend Our Fundraising Dinner
We're celebrating 25 years of Impact with Florence Dongo Lukandwa and her son Ezra Dongo sharing stories of how God Cares School started and the impact it continues to have today.
CLICK HERE to register!
CLICK HERE to register!
The Timeline - Where Do You Fit In?
We are building a storyline of what God has done in the past 25 years with God Cares School. To do this thoroughly, we need YOUR help, for you are part of the GCS history timeline. As the year rolls out, we will share the Ugandan timeline's progress and stories and the Buyamba support story with you in our email communications and occasionally in a newsletter. This is a significant endeavor, and you can be a part of filling in the blanks! By the end of the year, we will have a more complete story to tell. You are invited to post a video or a photo and story of how you got involved with Buyamba and in what period of growth regarding GCS!
Use your mouse to click and drag around the timeline!
After you submit your story through the form below, check back in a few days to see where you fall on our timeline.