Who We Are…
Our work in Uganda dates back to 2006 when a pastor from that country visited Trinity Covenant Church in Lexington, Massachusetts. Todd Klipp was touched by his story and over the next several months the two became friends. In June 2007 Todd, along with two others from Trinity, went to Uganda for the first time. Upon his return, he shared the following:
We all know the power of words; I am here to testify to the inadequacy of words to describe what we experienced in Uganda. Perhaps one day we will be able to convey more fully, and in a more meaningful way, the power of this experience, but for now I must ask you to imagine.
Imagine a sprawling city of perhaps 1.5 million people (though it’s really impossible to tell) beset by poverty, disease, congestion, and chaos, with vehicles – and especially people – everywhere you turn, for miles and miles. You might ask yourself, where could God be in a place like this? Imagine in the midst of this city a rickety looking church, consisting of tree limbs driven into the soil with boards nailed partway up the sides and a corrugated aluminum roof. And hanging within a banner welcoming their American brothers – the only white faces there – with open arms and hearts. A reminder that a church is not a building but rather a group of believers joined together in faith.
Imagine worship – in music, dance, and preaching – so powerful that it brings tears to your eyes. Imagine young children kneeling at your feet in gratitude that you would journey so far just to visit them.
Imagine an orphanage located in the middle of nowhere, where 100 or so children – the victims of HIV, malaria, and other diseases – who haven’t had a good meal in who knows how long and likely have never even seen a white person before, are singing and dancing just for you.
Imagine the most loving, gentle, faith-filled people you have ever met embracing you, looking into your eyes, and telling you what a blessing you have been and how much they love you.
Can you imagine this? If so, then you have some idea of the incredible blessing that was bestowed upon us. As for me, there is one thing I cannot imagine: ever being the same again.
Co-Founders and Directors of Kisoboka Uganda
Hope Kaliballa, Chairman-Board of Directors
“Kisoboka supported me in my education and videography/photography business; now I help lead their efforts on the ground in Uganda.”
Kalibbala Hope is Chairman, Board of Directors, Kisoboka Initiative for Progress. Hope was born in Kampala, studied in Masaka, went to St. Charles Lwanga Senior Secondary School, then to Old Kampala secondary school for his high school education. Hope Studied at Mukono Christian University and attained a degree in Community Leadership and Development. Using the knowledge and skills attained, Hope continued working in the community of Bakka village in Wakiso district and in Kampala, where he had been working for over four years before joining university, dedicating himself to service in Kisoboka Initiative for Progress. The combination of passion for the children and knowledge in Community leadership and a desire to see transformation in people’s lives was what gave him the drive to work hard as a projects manager in the various projects under the umbrella of Kisoboka Initiative for progress. It has been Hope’s joy seeing many school dropouts get back to school and attaining degrees and certificates, orphaned and needy children that had lost hope for education receiving quality education and dreaming to become doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, ministers in government, extra. Hope has been privileged to be part of the work that causes such transformations.
Patrice (Paddy) Walakira, Treasurer
Loving a Village One Child at a Time. Patrice (Paddy) Walikira, Treasurer for Kisoboka Initiative for Progress, Uganda. Paddy is the last born of 22 children. He was raised in the village of Katwe, a ghetto of Kampala. Paddy graduated from Kyambogo University with a diploma in Building and Civil Engineering. Later with the sponsorship of Hearts and Hands (now Kisoboka Uganda, Inc.) he graduated from Auckland Park Theological Seminary South Africa with a degree in Theology.
Sandy Gannon, Co-founder and director
“My heart is overflowing with love for the children of the village of Bakka. We are making a difference in their lives every day.”
Sandy Gannon is co-founder and director of Kisoboka Uganda, Inc., and missionary to Uganda. Her first trip to Uganda was in 2008, when she witnessed hundreds of children suffering from treatable diseases and severe malnutrition. The average education level in the village is fourth grade, a village that, at that time, had no hope anything would ever change. She made a promise to God and the children, that she would work faithfully to change their lives. In 2009 she began a sponsorship program. Today this program provides education for 460 primary school children and 100 high school children. All the children and their families receive free healthcare, eliminating cases of jiggers and worms, and reducing the cases of malaria.
Stephen Martin, CEO and President
Stephen Martin is CEO and President of Kisoboka Uganda, Inc. and an active member and former chair of Trinity Covenant Church where he currently chairs the Ministry Support Team. He is vice president of global sales and marketing for Atollic, a software tools company. The foundation of our success on the ground is the work of native Ugandans who, themselves, were sponsored by Todd Klipp (under the Hearts and Hands for Uganda organization) to attend university and seminary. This positive cycle of hope and empowerment means that the young Ugandans we help today can, in turn, help the next generation of their countrymen.
Todd Clipp, Co-founder
“In my many visits to Uganda, I have been overwhelmed by the warmth of the Ugandan people, by their eagerness for education and training, and by their willingness to work hard to achieve their goals.”
Todd Klipp is co-founder, of Kisoboka Uganda, Inc., a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing the Ugandan people hope and a future. He has been involved in this work since 2006. Believing in the transformative power of education, Todd concentrates his efforts on helping young Ugandans obtain an education and/or practical skills training. He also started a micro-finance program which provides small grants to assist people in starting or expanding their own small businesses. Both programs have helped many Ugandan people support themselves and their families. Todd has spent most of his professional career as a lawyer and has worked at Boston University for over 32 years.
Pastor Christopher Haydon
The Rev. Christopher Haydon is Senior Pastor of Trinity Covenant Church in Lexington, MA, the church that first launched this mission to Uganda in 2006 and continues in active support of Kisoboka and its efforts to serve the needs of our neighbors. Pastor Chris has been involved with this work since his first visit to Uganda in 2012 stirred his passion for the faithful, loving, hard-working, hopeful, and hurting people he met.
Stephen Kakaira, Director
“I was blessed to receive Kisoboka’s support which enabled me to obtain an education, and now with my family I am giving back by founding and supporting Shalom Restoration Academy, a Christian primary school in the village of Mukono.”
Stephen Kakaira is a director of Kisoboka Uganda, Inc. He was born and raised in Uganda where he both witnessed and experienced much of the suffering and inadequate resources that are prevalent in poor communities. Under the sponsorship of a predecessor organization to Kisoboka, Stephen received his bachelor’s degree in community leadership and development from Uganda Christian University and later his master’s from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. Stephen is passionate about community development, raising up leaders in underprivileged communities, and transforming other people’s lives through education. He has devoted significant time to World Vision, community-based organizations, and churches to achieve these goals. Stephen and his wife, Judith, are the founders of Shalom Restoration Academy in Mukono. He also serves as Youth Pastor at New Life International Christian Center in Medford, Massachusetts.
Russell Gocht has served as director and treasurer of Kisoboka Uganda, Inc. since 2015. His previous non-profit work includes serving as Treasurer of the East Coast Conference of the ECC from 2012 to 2016, and as director from 2010 to 2016. As Treasurer of Kisoboka Uganda, Russ is excited to have a small part in improving the lives of Ugandan children and their families, and often sees God’s grace through the actions of this team. He has determined that it is an easy decision to devote time and resources to this enterprise – hoping that more and more people will agree. In his professional life Russ is a nuclear engineer at the Knolls Atomic Power Lab. In his spare time he designs and builds specialty barns for non-profit organizations.