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Monday, August 31, 2009

Branco in U.S.

After satisfying all the necessary requirements during the intense nation-wide scholarship competition, Branco was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue his graduate studies at Wesleyan University in CT. Prior to joining his academic institution, Branco had to undergo a pre-academic training at the University of Washington in Seattle where he spent over two months. In the end, he won the best student award in the training among a few others and awarded a certificate of merit. At Wesleyan University, Branco is studying Music Composition and sound/recording technology skills which he hopes will be beneficial to Bitone Center upon his return after the completion of his studies. Despite his physical absence, Branco still renders full time services to the center; ensuring that all programs run smoothly. His counterpart Francis Katimbo who is the current interim administrator is such a devoted and passionate volunteer whose services have already established positive values in kids.

While in US, Branco hopes to spread more awareness about the goals and mission of Bitone Children’s Center. He is still considering more partnerships and collaborations opportunities with individuals and organizations that are interested in sharing the stories, struggles, successes and vision of Bitone Children. Branco has always strongly believed that music and dance can restore peace, international relationships and economic development. “Everyday, as I work with the Bitone children, I am amazed by the power and impact of music and dance in restoration of hope, development of talent and realization of leadership and life skills in the lives of these little children. The urge to excel and to be productive in the children has always left me in wonders and overwhelming excitement” said Branco.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Global Giving Campaign (Give Below)

Thank for your continued support and interest in Bitone success!  Beginning today August 18th, Bitone is participating in GlobalGiving’s Global Open challenge, a fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations working around the world.

Now through September 18, if Bitone Center can raise at least $4,000 from at least 50 donors, we will earn a permanent spot on, the internationally recognized marketplace for philanthropy that connects individual donors to the causes they care most about.

Every donation helps, and no donation is too small. You can support Bitone for as little as $10 and make an impact. In addition to helping us earn a spot on GlobalGiving, the organizations that raise the most money will earn a bonus $1,000-$3,000. The organization that recruits the most donors will earn an extra $3,000.

On behalf of Bitone Center and Global Giving, I would like to initiate a call for support!!

Obtaining a permanent spot on Global Giving’s site, will allow Bitone to raise money for operational costs, equipment, costumes, instruments, all resources that must be obtained in order for the organization to become sustainable.  

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bitone Meets the President

Bitone graced the states house in Entebbe on Saturday May 30th, performing for Uganda's own, president Museveni, and Burundian president Pierre Nkunziza. Nkunziza was visiting the pearl for 3 days, and Bitone helped send him off in style.

The performance was short and sweet (maybe 3 minutes) but Museveni spent a considerable amount of time talking with the kids afterwords, asking them each their name, age, and place of birth.

Some of the Bitone youth reflect on the experience in their own words:

I am Afrochian Joanita. On Saturday May 30th 2009 I was the happiest person in the all world becuase it was my first time to go to the state house and what I saw I had never seen it. First of all I shaked presidetns' hands. That made me happy because many people want that but they cannot get it. I thank God for that. It was good and interesting and I never knew we had a beautiful place like that in Uganda. So president I pray to God that he gives you more life forever and ever. For God and my country.


My name is Nansumba Sylvia. On Saturday May 30th 2009 it was an intersting day in my life, reason being, it was my first day to take to handshake with the president of Uganda and go to the state house. I thank God for that. Rich people are there in Uganda but of all God has choosen me, and they had never gone there. It was my first time. Prasie is to be for Mighty Lord and I know that He will take me in other good places like that. Praise Lord.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bitone Youth

My name is Kayongo Roscoe. I am 16 years old. When I was young I was not studying because my parents are very poor. They decided to take me to government school but I was not studying very well. When I reached Primary 4 I joined the school choir and was doing very well in all items. One day we had music competitions between 6 schools and we won, the judge appreciated very much. I felt very happy. When I was sitting home people from Bitone Center came and spoke to my parents because they wanted to look after me. I was really excited and my parents decided for me to go because I was going to attend school again and also develop my talents in music and dance. At Bione, I found children who were disadvantaged but very talented. Here I learn many things like music, care, education, and discipline. Thank you Bitone.

My name is Elizabeth and I am 16 years old. Before I came to Bitone I was deep in the village staying with my mother. My father died when I was a baby. I grew up in a tough situation to the extent that I missed the paternal love of my dad and some many years without schooling. Soon a clan member of ours conquered our property and our situation became black where we could not see our future. Bitone made me forget my sour times and tears. I came to Bitone become I was an orphan with a talent for singing. Bitone has promoted my talents, and I will payback such privileges and I promise to be a good musician in the future, if not a trainer. As I go on I want to study human rights so that I deal with those who have bad behaviors, those especially who are mistreating the children because I am feeling sorry of my country. May god bless you.

My name is Jane-Rose and I was born in Uganda, Luweero district in a family of 4 children. At the age of 1 year old I lost my dad to HIV/AIDS scourge and stayed with my mom deep in the village of Kiyanda in Luweero District. At that time, my mom was chased away from the house by my Aunts. I started staying in the kitchen where I also was haunted and sent away. Without hope my mom was forced to get married again to another husband who was also a peasant. We moved to another village known as Kisooba in the same district and rented a small house for survival. Due to no rent, we were forced to evacuate the house. With the help of some neighbors we were able to rent another house in Kiyana Village where they started subsistence farming. I was 4 years old and was therefore ready to start school. With the small earning they yielded from farming they sent me to school. By now my mom was struggling with her illnesses and I was brought to Bitone for educational as well art music dance and drama programs.

My name is Gloria. I was born in Uganda, Gulu district in a family of 8 children and I am the 4th born. My late dad Luke Ochopi was a local farmer. My late mom worked in Salon in the village. At the age of 5 years old, my family was attacked by the rebels of the “Lord’s Resistance Army” and Joseph Kony. Both my parents lost their lives. With the help and the my Aunt, us remaining kids moved to Luweero District in Kalule village. In 2005, I was rescued by Bitone for rehabilitation and educational programs as well as talent development.

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