Kupendwa Ministries, founded by Amy Washington (BBA ’09) in 2011, is a maternity home for Ugandan teenagers facing crisis pregnancies. Amy, a Watkinsville native, first visited Uganda after graduation and during a return visit in 2010, a severely malnourished little girl living in an unstable home was placed in her arms. Amy relocated permanently to Uganda in 2011 to adopt this child, and five more orphans were placed in her care soon after. Upon discovering childbirth is the number one cause of death in Uganda, Amy knew she had to do something to help alleviate this devastating statistic.
She opened Kupendwa driven by a mission to “save lives, two at a time.” Since then, more than 50 mothers and babies have lived at Kupendwa, and Amy has served as foster mom and grandma to them all. Today, she has legally adopted five of her seven children and is in the process of adopting the remaining two. This past spring, Amy and Dr. Juliet Sekandi, assistant professor in UGA’s College of Public Health, met while Juliet was conducting research on the university’s behalf and formed an instant friendship.
Amy asked Juliet, a native Ugandan, to speak at Kupendwa’s second annual fundraising banquet and on November 17 they were reunited stateside. Juliet’s heartfelt message helped the banquet successfully raise $40,000. Amy and Juliet serve as a shining example of how professors and students can impact one another’s lives beyond the classroom. As they reside in each other’s native homelands, their commonalities have bonded them in a truly one-of-a-kind friendship. For more information about Kupendwa Ministries visit www.kupendwaministries.org.