Bideau’s memorial goes to school in Uganda

A few days after the passing of Edwin H. Bideau III, a memorial fund was created for the children of Uganda.

The Bideau family expressed its appreciation this week to friends, family, and community for donating more than $10,000, which is being sent this month to Elyon Primary, a private Christian school in the village of Mutungo.

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The Bideau family has a special tie with the school. The Bideau’s daughter Jennifer first visited on a mission trip in 2008, staying with the Namanya family. She returned several times, taking her mother Margaret in 2009. They both performed home visits to enroll children and also taught classes at the school.

Margaret, a teacher at Chanute Elementary, formed a pen pal relationship between her students in Uganda and Chanute.

Most schools in Uganda are little more than a daycare serving more than 200 students per teacher. Shadrack and Winnie Namanya founded Elyon in 2001 to provide a proper yet affordable education.

What began as a one-room schoolhouse next to the Namanya’s home has since expanded to multiple buildings across two campuses, now providing kindergarten through seventh grade to more than 700 students.

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“It has been a long journey of perseverance but we are sure the results will be good,” says Winnie Namanya. “We have set a good foundation for these pupils.”

Shortly before his passing, Ed expressed a desire to help pay for expansion of the school and provide scholarships for children whose parents cannot afford the fees.

Family members said this memorial fund carried forward that plan in Ed’s absence.

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