Retired Fresno teacher breaks ground on new school building in Uganda

The education center is being built on 10 acres of land Mr. O inherited from his family.

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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A retired Fresno Unified teacher was raising funds to build a school in Africa. The dream is now becoming a reality for Mr. O's home village in Uganda.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Earlier this year, Lawrence 'Lance' Omeje or Mr. O, began his non-profit, "The Abiya School Project."

An Action News report sharing Mr. O's desire to build an elementary school in Uganda left people wanting to help and prompted him to kick off the project.

Since then, his non-profit has raised $24,000, nearly half of their $60,000 goal.

This August, Mr. O broke ground on the school he is building in Eastern Uganda.

Omeje mentions, "It's a tremendously positive reaction from the village. At first, it felt unbelievable. Is it really true it's happening?"

The village is personal to Mr. O because it is where he grew up.

The education center is being built on 10 acres of land he inherited from his family.

The project has employed over a dozen locals, who take pride in being a part of the new building.

"They are excited that their children are going to be able to go to school, but first of all, because there's not a school in the area that children don't have to travel two to three miles to go to school," Mr. O shares.

While visiting his village this summer, Mr. O lost a brother.

Despite the hardship, he is determined to complete the school and is drawing strength from the pain.

"It's that vision. Once you get started, you got to stay with it and complete it. That keeps me going," says Mr. O.

The Abiya School Project is currently accepting donations.

Mr. Omeje Hopes to fundraise about $30,000 to complete the school by this upcoming January.

To donate, you can visit here. For updates and details, click here.