S.O.U.L. Foundation was founded by Brooke Stern and her father in 2009. At the age of 23, Brooke went on a backpacking trip with her father, Ken Stern. The depth of poverty and lack of available educational options in Uganda’s villages ignited Brooke’s entrepreneurial spirit to help those communities design projects to enable self-sufficiency. Shortly after her initial trip, she returned with a one-way ticket and lived in the village for 13 months learning and engaging in the community to create sustainable solutions.
S.O.U.L. seeks to foster sustainable and vibrant Ugandan communities through unique partnerships focused on education, women's empowerment, food security and health.
S.O.U.L. has four main initiatives including Education, Women’s Empowerment, Food Security and Health. Everything is a partnership and focuses on collaborative solutions so that community members are stakeholders and invested in their future. There are no handouts, but rather hand ups.
Their programs include: student sponsorship, pre-primary education, tailoring classes/instruction, computer classes, large-scale fish farming, goat rearing, chicken rearing, agriculture, handmade craft groups including beaded bags and basket making.
Through their ten Women’s Empowerment Business Cooperatives, S.O.U.L. directly impacts over 1,000 women daily. Women who have completed tailoring training and received a tailoring machine as well as women in fish farming and chicken groups have tripled their daily income.
The women in the communities now have a voice. They are empowered and are reclaiming their independence within their families. They are able to pay for their children's school fees, take care of household needs, as well as initiate new businesses. They are a community of leaders and have become agents of their own change. Learn more.