2010 - 2011:
What inspired Square One? In 2010, Extending the Link (ETL) went to Uganda to make a documentary called "Essubi: Growing Up With Hope" about the plight of child-headed families in rural Uganda and how education at Hope Academy made a difference in their lives. The film focuses on teenagers who have become the primary caretakers of their families when their parents die of the AIDS epidemic, forcing them to sacrifice their education and provide food, housing and medical necessities to their younger siblings. Very often, the government and other organizations fail to notice struggling teenagers. The documentary focuses on a few of these young Ugandans and organizations like the Uganda Rural Fund and Hope Integrated Academy that are actively working to break this damaging cycle.
As a result of this documentary, a group of inspired students set up a social enterprise selling jewelry made by student at Hope Academy. It also inspired two Johnnies to return to Uganda to empower the community and boost local economic development by creating lasting business ventures in this developing country. These activites were the beginning of the group that is now called Square One.
2011 - 2012:
Two Johnnies, John Burns and Cole Schiffler, went to Uganda to set up a chicken coop. Our school newpaper, The Record, wrote an article on the project.
2012 - 2013:
Last year, 5 students went to Uganda to set up a pig farming business. Check out this video of our project last year:
We were featured on the front page of the college website for this project. Read the article here.