Part 3: The 30 Most Notable Africans of 2013
03 Feb 2014
What: In Uganda, an estimated 2.3 million children have been orphaned due to civil unrest and the AIDS epidemic. When you confront this type of statistic, it can be overwhelming trying to figuring out how to make a dent in the needs of so many; however, this didn’t stop Conche McGarr from taking the leap and finding a way. As a former teacher in Virginia public schools, McGarr decided to return home to Uganda in 1998 to teach a workshop on setting up community-based systems to care for orphans. Within one week, word spread and McGarr found herself working with 200 people. By 2004, her nonprofit, Bambi Uganda Orphans (BUO), was founded and grew quickly. BUO’s mission is to improve the living conditions of Ugandan orphans and the families who care for them by providing financial, technical and educational assistance to community-based organizations (CBOs) which provide services to vulnerable children in Uganda. The organization also directly manages programs that improve the lives of 4000 vulnerable children.
Why I’m Inspired: As a mother of two and grandmother of three, this energetic community organizer could have easily decided to retire and enjoy the perks of grandmotherhood. Instead, McGarr works up to 60 hour weeks serving this organization that has been a labor of love for the past 10 years. An unsung hero, her acts of selflessness have contributed to the welfare and well-being of individuals in 100 villages in Uganda. It certainly takes a village to raise a child, but often it starts with the power of one.