2016 Caring Award Winners
John and Joyce Wanda
Adult Caring Award Winner
Building a Community of Hope
Arlington, Virginia, United States
We know we can't do this alone, this belongs to the village and everyone who lives in it is our partner.John and Joyce Wanda
Founders, Arlington Academy of Hope
John and Joyce Wanda are building a community of hope. They provide education, health care, and opportunity for children in rural Uganda, where classes are overcrowded, learning is done on empty stomachs, and malaria keeps many kids home. These problems are familiar to the couple who grew up there and came to America in 1995 after winning a lottery visa. Once here, they settled in Arlington, home to some of the nation's top schools. After seeing the opportunities their kids had, the Wandas wanted to give children in their home villages the same chances to succeed. They began by providing tuition in 1999 for five children and soon had raised enough support to fund 300 students at a model primary school that would fulfill all of the children's basic needs. They also run a farm that trains students and community members in modern farming techniques that should someday make the village vibrant enough to help support the school. "We know we can't do this alone," John says. "This belongs to the village and everyone who lives in it is our partner."