In 1996 Joanita Senoga, the founder of Circle of Peace School (COPS), was forced to flee her homeland due to persecution. On her voyage to the United States, her belongings were stolen and she found herself in Richmond, Virginia, penniless.
With her perseverance and hard work along with assistance from St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Joanita built a new life, completing advanced degrees at the University of Richmond and acquiring U.S. citizenship.
In her absence, Joanita's family stepped up to run Circle of Peace School in Makindye, Uganda. Despite her own difficult circumstances, Joanita never forgot the students at her school and sent what funds she could spare to help with their care.
As she talked with friends and colleagues about the school, some contributed funds to help with specific needs. These friends encouraged Joanita to start communicating publicly about the school and how others could assist these deserving children with their education.
In 2009, a group began meeting at the University of Richmond to assist Joanita in raising funds for the school. In 2010, Circle of Peace International (COPI) was founded as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation in Virginia. Today, COPI is governed by a Board of Directors that meets monthly.
Circle of Peace International
founder, Joanita Bbaale Senoga
(right) with her mother, Aminah (left)