On 27th February 2012, Esther Kalenzi decided to use the easiest means available to her in order to realise a long-held dream – to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children.
She opened a Facebook page and added her friends, most of them recent graduates from university, and some, unemployed. She then asked them to donate anything they had; food, clothes, books, toys, money; and join her during the Easter weekend to deliver the items and celebrate with the kids.
40 days later, we had raised over Ushs 3 Million in cash and heaps of other items. That Easter weekend, we visited two orphanages, played with the children, ate, danced and made merry. We created over 40 Smiles!
We had started a movement that could not be stopped. The party was over but the orphans still remained. They still needed food, they were still sick, they needed to go to school, they needed a home. They needed to be loved.
We understood the need to do more. Esther then assembled a team of volunteers who willingly share her vision and together, they birthed the youth charity group, 40 Days Over 40 Smiles Foundation.
On June 11, 2013, the group was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee; now boasting of a growing number of volunteers, and a support network of individuals, groups corporate organisations.
So far, through social media and events like Basketball and Football games, music and poetry, and through our networks, we have raised over Ushs 100 Million and invested it in the lives of over 500 children. Our events host over 1000 youths and we have a presence on all major social media platforms.
Our activities are based on programmes that support value addition in education like Food and Nutrition, Literacy, Health and Sanitation, and Extra-Curricular Activities. The idea is to integrate the above programmes with the community so that the problem is solved communally, to encourage self-sustainability and avoid dependency.