Think Humanity works to bring hope to Uganda refugees


Think Humanity helps save lives in Uganda.

Jennifer H. Monaghan

Think Humanity is one of many vendors at FLEAGAD Market every first Saturday. Their colorful booth displays merchandise such as textile bags, beaded jewelry, dolls, all of which are hand made by Achioli women in a settlement camp in Uganda.

Think Humanity is a nonprofit organization based in Colorado and a community organization based in Uganda since 2007. Its mission is, “to help save lives and provide hope for refugees and underdeveloped communities in Africa by improving provisions for healthcare, clean water, education and socio-economic development.”

The organization was founded by Beth Heckel, whose mother had traveled to Uganda in 2006. From the stories Heckel told of the devastating conditions refugees faced in a settlement camp, Think Humanity was formed, targeting assistance to those refugees.

According to Deana Austin, who represents the Think Humanity’s Florida office, and also a sister of the founder, 100 percent of the proceeds are returned to Uganda and directly applied to various projects in accordance with its mission. One example was the funding of a hostel for girls.

Austin is a volunteer, as are all the organization’s staff. She reports that Think Humanity currently is in the process of launching a mosquito bed net campaign to help fight the spread of malaria. Their goal is to obtain 100,000 nets to distribute in Uganda next spring. With 20 million cases, Uganda has the world’s highest malaria incidence. It still is its leading cause of death.

“Right now, my heart is in reaching this goal for the bed nets. At $5 apiece, we’re really saving lives. And, when people contribute and help us, they have no idea how much the impact $5 can make. About 95 percent of the people don’t get malaria after we provide bed nets. Malaria is not only treatable, it’s preventable,” Austin said.

Think Humanity has an ongoing relationship with the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts — Florida Tech and it has partnered with the center on a past exhibit and another is scheduled for February 2020, where products will be on sale.

For more information about Think Humanity, go to

For more information about FLEAGAD, go to

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