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Canvas Rebel Magazine Feature



We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Katy Griffin a few weeks ago and have shared

our conversation below.

Alright, Katy thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What was it like going from idea to execution? Can you share some of the backstory and some of the major steps or milestones?

An Unexpected Beginning In 2013 Dr’s Mick and Elaine Lebens and their children Ryan, Jessa, and Nathan take a missions trip to Arua, Uganda. All of them are astounded by the poverty they see and the resilience of Pastor JP, a local pastor who has served the community for years. Upon returning home, the three Lebens children take the initiative to establish a non-profit.

The small-town church Templeton Presbyterian catches the enthusiasm of the Lebens family. In a single Christmas offering, the congregation of fewer than 250 people donates over $40,000 for the first four-classroom wing. It’s a miracle, and it’s just what Zozu needs to get going.

In 2015 Solid Rock Christian School, led by Pastor JP and all-Ugandan staff, opened its doors to 200 students. For almost all of the children, this is their first time in a classroom– and some of them are as old as 9!




Katy, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?

We have three parts to our philosophy. The first is our heart for children, as they are Uganda’s future. When children and their parents have hope for a lot, the cycle of poverty is truly broken. As much as we can, we work holistically to serve the children and their families relationally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. ​

Secondly, we prefer the local leaders, churches, and organizations in Arua, Uganda. As much as possible, we partner with existing groups to provide basic needs, education, and sustainable community development. We aim to empower the local people to break the cycle of extreme poverty through holistic and long-term developmental change and recognize that we have much to learn from them. After all, “a true non-profit is the only company that actively works to put itself out of business.”


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