Towards the end of 2020, I was approached by Muhindo Peterson from The Joy Orphanage, Uganda. He is one of the ministers and wanted to see if The Hidden Needs Trust could help in any way.
I explained that HNT was a local charity supporting children and young people with SEN/additional needs in Dorset and Somerset, their families, carers and the specialist educational provisions. Therefore, helping financially would not be possible.
However, I was intrigued to know more about what The Joy Orphanage and was amazed when I studied their website. It is not merely an orphanage, the ministers and volunteers doing so much humanitarian work, some of which I have described below.
Many years ago, when HIV/AIDS was first openly spoken about in the UK, I trained to become an HIV/AIDS telephone counsellor. When I realised that The Joy Orphanage was
a home to 50 children, all who had lost their parents through this dreadful disease I knew that I wanted to help in some way.
The school has 375 children attending. Those not in the orphanage itself are being looked after by elderly relatives in the nearby villages as their own parents have also died of AIDS.
Eastern Uganda is very rural and has multitudes of issues. Many families are dying of famine, there is a constant battle against disease, and child sacrifice still exists.
Here are just some of the projects that the orphanage and school are involved in…
Home to 50 children, looking after every aspect of their care and education.
School to 375 children. Some of the children in the orphanage and school have SEN or disabilities.
Providing a Child Immunity Programme.
Ending Child Sacrifice.
Safer Motherhood and Maternal Health, providing Birth Kits and Education to Mothers-to-be in the Community.
Access to Clean Water and Medication.
Vaccinating, Deworming, Medical Testing, and Treating all Disease.
Fighting the Jigger Parasite; Prevention Programme.
Ensuring all the children have Mosquito Nets.
Menstrual Hygiene Management Programme; Stronger Development for Girls…Personal, Educational, and Professional.
Food Buster Fund…to try to Decrease the amount of Famine.
Installation of Solar Panels for Lights.
Income Generating Projects such as Organic Farming to Feed the Children, and Fruit Growing Project.
Throughout the lockdowns, I have not been able to fundraise for HNT but have been able to source and donate out masses of quarantined goods to local families in need.
I put out a request for unwanted goods and through the support of the local community am still receiving donations. Everything from a teaspoon to furniture, gardening tools, mowers, and white goods have been accepted.
I also have gradually built up a double garage full of goods for The Joy Orphanage. This includes clothing, bedding, educational items, educational toys, outdoor toys and sports gear, blankets, and towels.
I am still gathering items and the following are now needed…
250 chairs for the children to sit on during lessons
Stationery such as pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers, notepads, writing paper, drawing paper, glue…everything your child would be using at school.
Please do not throw anything that is in good order away as these children need all the help that they can get as do the local families I support.
Food is also required. If you have any contacts with organisations which can help get food to the orphanage, please do pass on my details to them.
I have a company called Lunar Shipping that is ready to take the goods out. They will bring the container to my home for filling, and then ship the load direct to the orphanage.
I need to raise the money for the shipment and insurance of the goods. The quote for the shipment is just below £4,500. I have set a target to raise £5,000 via GoFundMe.
PLEASE donate if you can. Every £1 will make a huge difference.
Are you a business that would love to sponsor the load? What a wonderful way to help so many children, young people and families.
Click here for my GoFundMe page.
There is one mistake in my writing, the district the orphanage is in is KASESE not Kabarole.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this,
Hidden Needs Trust Founder, Chair of Trustees, and Sole Fundraiser.
Charity Number 1187246