Our Story and Mission
When our founder and president, Simone Puccinelli, was a sophomore in college, she received a God-appointed email. The email detailed the serious financial issues faced by a school in Nakaseke, Uganda. If the school could not raise $500 for rent on their school +building, the students would be sent away without an education.
Simone decided that she could try to raise the money, and through the help of family and friends was able to do so. She also had a desire to visit Uganda to see where the money was being sent.
When she got to Uganda and met the man behind the email, Godfrey, and all of the students, she realized that this was a divine connection—something that she couldn’t just leave. Her life was going to be devoted to helping those children and the heart of Simone’s Kids was born. Simone’s Kids exists so that the children in Nakaseke can strive for a successful future through quality education in a nurturing environment
God’s Hope Primary School was the starting point of Simone’s Kids. Our Founder, Simone Puccinelli, was contacted in 2010 by Mr. Kayiire Godfrey requesting help to save a small school for orphans and impoverished children in the community. The school initially held classes under a mango tree. It was then moved to a rental building, and finally, on February 14, 2014, officially opened the new school campus on Simone’s Kids property.
Origin: Story of Godfrey and Hope
Godfrey Kayiire and his wife, Hope, are the current administrators of God’s Hope Primary School. The couple started with only a dream to be able to help the poor and orphaned children in their community. Godfrey and Hope are passionate about the cause because they were both orphaned at a very young age as well and have a personal empathy toward the children they serve. In fact, Hope is unable to celebrate her birthday because both of her parents died before she was old enough to remember. Godfrey and Hope were both sponsored by an organization that supported them through school. They both attest that, without the outside help, neither would have been able to complete their education. Godfrey was so grateful for the help that he received growing up that, after graduation, he volunteered for two years at the school where he received his primary education.
In 2008, Godfrey and Hope took the little money that they had and established a primary school in Uganda. This was not an easy task for the couple, as their funds were quite limited. During the first term that the school was open, they had forty-six students and eight teachers. The students that attended were not able to afford payment for tuition, and our school remains that way to this day. In 2010, Simone began communicating with Godfrey, questioning him about the needs of the school. During that year Simone was only able to provide the rent for the school buildings. However, that was enough to keep the school open for the children.
Godfrey remembers, “I didn’t believe that she was going to send the money until I received it in my account. Glory be to our God who is always faithful even if people may not be!”. In 2011, Simone’s Kids was able to raise enough funding to provide complete financial support for the entire school.
Rebuilding God’s Hope Schools
After founding Simone’s Kids in 2010, Simone Puccinelli determined the biggest need in the Nakaseke community was a place for orphans and vulnerable children to receive a quality education. In 2010, God’s Hope Primary School was being run out of dilapidated war-torn buildings. It was not a safe or effective learning environment. In 2011, Simone’s Kids kicked off their “Building a School” project. Over the next three years, Simone’s Kids was able to purchase land, acquire legal status with the Ugandan government, and construct a new facility. The new God’s Hope Primary School boasted ten classrooms, a large office, bathrooms, and a kitchen.