Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda follows the inspiring journey of twenty orphans who overcame tremendous hardships to form a dance troupe and become cultural ambassadors for their troubled country. They have brought their intense energy and joy to audiences across the US over the past ten years, which have resulted in their support of more than 700 orphans in Uganda. Rising from the extreme poverty and devastation wrought by AIDS and civil war in Uganda to receive standing ovations while touring the best theaters in the US, these exceptional children bring good news from Africa. 


Transcendent Spirit is brilliant, inspirational, and visual proof that soaring human souls can overcome almost any adversity. Doug Menuez has once again proven that his camera is in the hands of a grand master and one who witnesses brilliant light where others might only see the gloom of desperation. This book should be in the shelves of every school in America.
— David Hume Kennerly, former Presidential Photographer and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in photography
Great photographs broaden the mind and touch the soul- and that is exactly what Transcendent Sprit does.
— Gerd Ludwig, Photographer of the Year, 2006 International Photography Awards
Africa’s kids are some of the world’s greatest heroes. This book gives them their due.
— Spencer Reiss, former South African Bureau Chief, Newsweek
Douglas Menuez’s vision is full of caring and humanity. His sincerity and compassion are genuine. Transcendent Spirit is a superb and moving look at the resilience of the human soul seen through the eyes of one of the world’s great image makers.
— -Douglas and Francoise Kirkland


This project was done in connection with Empowering African Children, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, launched in 2006 by Alexis Hefley and Donna Malouf, following Hefley’s 15 years of work with Ugandan children. Empower strives to provide a fresh approach that unlocks the potential of a new generation of leaders through experiential learning. The organization’s holistic approach provides tools for success in life, thus inspiring confident, skillful, and visionary leaders. Visit the site


This project was made possible through the generosity of: 

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