How I Planned my First Donation

Donation drive

Planning a School Donation


What was it like planning my first donation? A real adventure from start to finish!

I have often been questioned about my choice to work with children and why I devote most of my efforts to youth and children’s causes. The truth is, this path was not something I initially envisioned for myself. The story of how I started my own foundation began when I started noticing the impact of the work I was doing and developing a connection not only with the children but with the community. Witnessing the gratitude and appreciation for our work and the donations we provided left a deep mark in my heart. This compelling me to centre my work around early childhood care and education and marginalized youth through the Young Eye Foundation.

This all started with my first donation in November 2019, an experience I constantly reflect upon and keep learning from. How did I execute a donation at a young age and plan for sustainability? It was not an simple process, but one that I fully immersed myself into and learnt a number of lessons in the 5 months planning it.

Why Plan a Donation?


I needed to understand why I was planning a donation – at the time the cause was to complete the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) component of the IB program. “Why do the IB program” explains this component of the IB. For anyone planning on organizing a donation drive, you need to ask yourself why you are doing it, and being honest about it, will help forge the direction of whether it is short or long term and thus making the next steps of executing a successful donation easy.

Identifying the Cause


Identifying a cause that truly resonated with me was the first step to the planning process. I had to find something I was genuinely passionate about and willing to go above and beyond for. Considering Uganda’s population primarily youth population at 78% below 30 and an average age of 15 coupled with the value I placed on education; I chose to focus my first donation on a better education for a pre-primary school in the rural parts of Uganda. I recognized that not everyone has access to the same level of education that my peers and I had and I felt the need to address this disparity. In order to gather more information, I needed to identify a school, and conduct a situational analysis on the school.

Making the Donation Plan


While formulating the plan was relatively straightforward, the big challenge was putting it into action. I reached out to various people to help me in identifying potential schools across the country. After researching ten different options, I narrowed it down to one located about an hour away from home. However, determined to make a difference, I traveled to the school alone to conduct a situational analysis. The school consisted of four classes, 80 children, and four teachers in a small plot of land. My interaction with the teachers gave me an insight into the specific scholastic needs of the school and determined how best to utilize the resources I had.

Setting Goals and Objectives


To guide the donation process, I set clear objectives that would serve as benchmarks for success. These objectives were aligned with the cause I identified and what means I would use to support the cause. By defining measurable goals, such as supporting a specific number of students by enhancing educational resources, I was able to assess the caliber of donation. The structure, goals and objectives will always guide how you choose to approach the type of donation.

What was the Donation Type?


After considering the school’s needs and my personal capacity, I carefully determined the type and amount of my donation. I evaluated various options, such as financial contributions, in-kind donations, working with friends to support through volunteering time and skills. Considering the school’s priorities and my resources, I settled on a financial contribution that would provide meaningful support without stretching my limits.

Planning For the Future


I’ll be very honest, I did not know whether I would be doing this 4 years down the road, but the one moment that stuck with me forever was, when I was asked to help a child put on one of our organization’s shirts. She looked up at me and said thank you with an innocent and genuine expression, it struck a chord deep within me. It was a simple act, but it carried immense meaning. In that moment, I realized that working with children is about witnessing their innocence and working towards identifying their potential.

How I planned my Donation

In addition to the assistance, I wanted my first donation to have a sustainable impact. To achieve this, I worked closely with the community to develop strategies that would ensure the long-term success of the school. This included discussing potential collaborations, identifying other sources of funding, and exploring ways to raise awareness about the cause. I aimed at creating a ripple effect that would extend far beyond my initial contribution.

Celebrating the Impact


After finalizing the details of my donation, I eagerly awaited the moment when I could witness the impact firsthand. I organized an event where I had the opportunity to meet the children, families, community leaders and interact with the staff, and see what my small contribution meant to them. It was a humbling and gratifying experience that reinforced the importance of supporting causes that align with our passions.

To this day, I remain in close contact with the headteacher and director of the school. They keep me updated on the progress of the school and how they continue to utilize the resources from the first donation. It is inspiring to witness their resilience and resourcefulness.

These ongoing connections remind me of the importance of sustainable support. It’s not just about providing one-time assistance; it’s about building long-lasting relationships and empowering communities to become self-sufficient. Equipping the school with resources and sharing knowledge on optimizing their usage, we enable them to continue thriving even in challenging circumstances.

Do your part and help make a difference in whatever way you can – You too can plan your first donations! Young Eye Foundation


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Darren Harry Baine

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