A STORY FROM THE FOUNDER
An Idea Blooms...
My name is Juliet Najjumba. The story of Africano Waltham is really my story…
I founded Africano Waltham after I came here to the US in 2010 - a mother with two small children. Even though I had family here, there was lots l didn’t know. I saw many of my fellow immigrants struggling.
I had to figure out the way mostly on my own. I didn’t know the system and I didn’t know anyone who knew the system.
I had to rely on minimal information l gathered about food pantries, insurance information, housing and the best ones were far and at best accessible by bus.
I had to walk this path by myself, and it was a lonely road. I was determined to help other immigrants in the same situation get their footing.
I had started an organization in Uganda that empowers women and youth to get the best out of the world. Educate women and educate youth. Give them tools for success and give them a voice. l wanted the same in Waltham.
I saw how Ugandan children here in the US were cared for by grandparents because the parents had to work long hours to support the family. These grandparents loved and nurtured the children but hardly spoke English, rarely took the children out of the house to socialize, libraries and more to learn about their environments. At school begin many children struggled to fit in with others.
I set up Africano Waltham in August 2010 to help African immigrant children and their families to prepare to enter school and support them to succeed.
Fast forward to Africano Waltham of today.
The twelve original children who started at Africano long ago successfully graduated from high school and enrolled in college. Another thirteen graduated in 2022. All are on their way to productive and successful lives, because we believed in them.