Reflections on 2023 (and Goals for 2024)
As we reflect back on this past year, it fills us with joy and hope: joy and thanksgiving for the things that have happened in the year 2023, and hope for the things that are to come this year.
This hope is fitting in so many ways as it is also our theme for Box2Box Tumaini Academy. Tumaini means Hope in Swahili. Fun fact: Swahili is the 3rd most spoken language in the city of Lexington, KY.
One of our young gentlemen at Box2Box that has exemplified this hope, is James Ndayishimiye, who has been involved in Box2Box Tumaini Academy since its founding in 2020. James is a refugee of the Democratic Republic of Congo. James’ family later fled to Uganda due to the social and political unrest in the DRC. Since 1996, Congo has been at war. In 2023, Congo remains the same until this day. Many of its civilians have been internally displaced, which has reached a record high of 6.9 million in 2023.
James’s father died while leaving Uganda, leaving James’s mother with 7 children to flee to the United States. Reaching the U.S in 2015, James has shown what it means to have hope. At Lafayette High School, he joined the soccer team, before transitioning to cross country. He had never run competitively before, but in less than a year, he has earned multiple college scholarships and set four separate school records!
Like James, many of our students have hope to create a better environment for their families and themselves. At Box 2 Box Tumaini Academy, we believe in providing this hope to over 40 students through tutoring, mentorship, and sports throughout the academic year.
With the help of our volunteers and mentors from UK, BCTC, the Newman Center and the city of Lexington, we can continue providing the best educational support and positive experiences for our students.
With this in place, we believe that our students have a greater chance of achieving academic success. We also believe sports and teams have a great impact on student development. Box 2 Box Tumaini Academy currently hosts two soccer teams with a third team in development.
This year for the tryout of our third soccer team, we reached an all time high in numbers of those in attendance for trying out. Our partnership with Lexington Sporting Club (LSC) helps make this soccer experience possible for our students.
The activities that we took part in this past year, (that led to hope for the future):
- Box 2 Box Tumaini Academy After School Program (Fall & Spring Semester).
- A 6 week Summer Program in partnership with Parks & Rec (which included a Civics week, a visit to the Mayor’s office and the Capital in Frankfort, KY).
- October 18th, 2023: A visit to SpyCoast Farm in Lexington, KY. Also a visit to LSC (Lexington Sporting Club) Headquarters.
- August 17th, 2023: Box 2 Box "Kickstart Your Dreams" Annual Fundraiser
- May 19th, 2023: Bluegrass Transplants: Refugee Edition Fashion Show
(in collaboration with Joan & Jeffery Couch of KY Trifecta Hand Made Hope Rags and Samantha Jean Moore of Mococo Lex).
We are incredibly grateful to all those who made these experiences possible, with a special thank you to LSC, The Sisters of Providence, The Sisters of Loretta, and CHI Saint Joseph for their amazing efforts and partnership for our village. During this holiday season,we hope you might consider donating to this world of wonder and hope for the young men and women at Box 2 Box Tumaini Academy.
Your contributions help give Box2Box students hope.
– With Appreciation, Box 2 Box Tumaini Academy
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