The program is a collaboration between Jajja’s Kids, Inc. in the United States and Jajja’s Kids–Africa based in Kampala, Uganda. Together we provide support for twenty children and the staff of six who care for them. The ultimate goal is for Jajja’s Kids–Africa to become a self-sustaining program offering former street children a chance to succeed in life.
Jajja’s Kids–Africa is a non-governmental organization (NGO) located in Kampala, Uganda. It was incorporated in 2014 and granted NGO status in 2017.
The USA component Jajja’s Kids, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in upstate N.Y. It was founded in 2008 and became an IRS-sanctioned nonprofit in 2014. The U.S. organization provides the support necessary for Jajja's Kids - Africa to succeed.
How We Began
Jajja’s Kids is the creation of Diane Reiner and Ronnie Sseruyange, who first met in 2006. Diane had gone to Uganda to do a photography workshop and was introduced to Ronnie, who guided her into the slums of Kampala to photograph street children. Ronnie had been a street child himself for ten years starting at age six, and was passionate about helping other street children avoid the life he’d had. Diane was moved by his commitment and big heart, and together they created programs for children living in the slums and unable to attend school.
As the programs evolved, these children were offered lessons in English and math as well as a meal, a shower, and sometimes a rain jacket or shirt. But small acts were not enough to change the life of a street child when their environment remained unchanged. Therefore a home for children was started in January of 2013. Fourteen children, ages 5 to 9, moved into a rented house with new mattresses and access to three meals a day. Funds were only available that first year for eight children to attend school, but the following year all were enrolled.
Today all twenty of our children are in school. To ensure the stability and security of Jajja's Kids, a permanent home was purchased in January 2019, in the same community where the children have been since 2013.
From our humble beginnings in 2006 to now, everything we have achieved has been because of our caring donors. We're proud to say we dream big, and are deeply grateful to have the support of so many who help us help others.
Our Vision and Our Values
We hold a vision of children growing up with the opportunity and community support needed to drive their own economic, social, and political futures.
We believe that children need:
a safe and loving home that welcomes family and community involvement
an educational foundation that nurtures each child’s individual potential
a supportive home environment that gives children a voice in matters that affect them
caring adults and mentors who understand the strengths, needs, and future goals of each child
respect, pride, and accountability in their home, themselves, their relationships, and culture