Uganda Orphans Fund cares for vulnerable Ugandan children by providing stability, education, and healthcare, and raising them to be responsible and productive adults who can positively affect their country.
Currently, Uganda has 2.5 million orphans. Conservative estimates predict this number will grow. The average Ugandan family has 7 children. When parents die or abandon their children, the responsibility is often too great for extended families to manage. Children are farmed out to different family members in diverse locations. A child stand to loses not only his parents, but his siblings as well. Many kids are treated poorly by resentful relatives. Others try to survive on the streets.
In the north, countless children lost their families during a 20-year war against Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Some kids saw their own parents killed by the rebel army. Countless boys were kidnapped from their villages and forced to be soldiers with a kill-or-be-killed mandate. Girls were used as conjugated wives and sex slaves, and ended up having babies though they’re still children themselves.
In an effort to protect its citizens, the Ugandan government set up Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The camps became slum cities, rampant with disease, crime, and chaos—a terrible environment for vulnerable children. The war ended in 2007, but the children who survived the army or the camps are traumatized beyond belief.
Even for children from a stable background, malnutrition and disease can wreak havoc. A quarter of Ugandan children will not reach their 15th birthday. In the Kamuli District, 24% of all deliveries result in stillbirths, and the infant mortality rate is twice the national average.
Uganda Orphans Fund began in 2002, founded by Duncan Hill. In the early years, UOF partnered with other relief organizations to build over 30 orphan homes in various locations. A typical orphan home cost $40,000 and houses 50-60 children. UOF left the ongoing care of the orphans to local church leaders, and other ministries in the area.
In 2006, Uganda Orphans Fund obtained “non-government organization” (NGO) status with the Republic of Uganda. This designation allowed UOF to steward its own vision and build Kasozi Village in the Kamuli District. The Village has four dormitories, a primary school, staff housing, a church/dining hall, a soccer field and a large garden. The property has a capacity for 200 children and 30 staff members. This diverse community includes kids and staff from three different tribes and has become one loving and cohesive family.
In 2012, we began a Sponsorship Program to help older children obtain a high school education and vocational training. Over 120 kids are currently sponsored, and that number is growing.
We plan to launch a maternal and children’s medical clinic to serve the Kamuli District in 2017. Our mission is to grow Ugandan children into adults who can be positive impacts in their country, but they cannot do that without surviving childhood.