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Radnor Pen Pal Program

The first step – becoming pen pals

It started back in 2009 with a pen pal project organized by Global Village Connect and sixth grade teacher Jodi Sabra, now one of our board members. Kids at Radnor Middle School in Radnor, Pennsylvania, started writing letters to kids at Buppala Primary School. When the kids in Uganda wrote back, a story of love and desire to help others their own age began to unfold.

Meet some of the students involved in the schools’ pen pal program »
Visit Radnor’s pen pal project blog »

Then a latrine

When the Radnor kids learned young women were not going to school because they were embarrassed to use a latrine with no doors, they decided to build them one.  The fundraising began and Global Village Connect secured a talented engineer in Uganda, Moses Bagonza, to manage the construction of a compostable latrine.  Read more about building the latrine »

Building a latrineNext up: nutrition

Pen pal relationships continued to ignite ideas for change.  The Radnor sixth-graders (a new bunch) started raising money to support the school’s lunch program.  They raised the needed funds — $125 per week — through grassroots efforts like bake sales and lemonade stands.


Raising funds was a constant worry, so moving Buppala School towards sustaining their own lunch program became a top priority. Radnor gradually decreased the amount of money designated for lunches and invested more in supporting organic gardening efforts. Today, a 5-acre organic farm is totally sustaining itself and feeding over 600 students lunch every day.

Generating income

The success story continues. With the help of Radnor students, the Buppala community now has one acre of banana trees, generating an income for the school from the bananas they sell. Work is on-going with soil bands and irrigation channels to prevent soil erosion.  In addition to bananas, crops include avocado, mango, orange, and papaya trees, and they have raised beds with cabbage, kale and eggplant.

Working on the farm

Connect with a school

Global Village Connect can connect you with a teacher or school director in a developing country and help get the ball rolling. As communication begins to flow, you will see a new generation of global citizens emerge, filled with project ideas or you may choose to extend one of our projects already underway. Check out how you can get your school involved and our levels of participation. We are here to help.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you and your students can participate in a Global Village Connect project, please take a minute to fill out our contact form. Click on the button below.