FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A retired Fresno Unified teacher is giving back to an African village he grew up in.
Lawrence 'Lance' Omeje is in the process of building a K-6 school in Uganda.
Each year, Lawrence 'Lance' Omeje travels to a small village in Uganda where he is working to build an elementary school. It holds a special place in his heart because the village is where he grew up.
The mission began after Mr. Omeje (Mr. O) retired from a 25-year teaching career at Fresno Unified. He took a trip back home and realized learning conditions were nowhere near modern standards.
"I was really surprised. Things hadn't changed, children were still learning under trees, still running under the trees, no electricity," says Mr. O.
Lance started his efforts in 2018. So far, he has completed one building on the 10 acres he inherited from his family.
Now, he needs $50,000 to build four more classrooms. The money would also provide school supplies, solar panels, desks and lower tuition costs for over 100 students.
"I ran into a student one day and she had tears in her eyes. I asked what happened... (she) had been sent home, why? Because her parents could not afford tuition fees." "But with this dream of mine those kids will also be picked up." retells Lance.
While Lance pushes to provide accessible education in the village, his communities in both Fresno and Uganda are supporting him.
What truly keeps him going are the grateful children he is impacting.
Mr. O hopes to finish the school in the next several years. Once he raises the $50,000, the elementary classrooms can be built within one year.
If you would like to donate, visit Mr. O's Facebook page.