From its modest beginnings in 2006 as a community outreach program in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, Jajja’s Kids today provides food, shelter, medical care and education for 20 previously homeless children. The program has grown through a rented home opened in 2013 to a permanent home built in 2019, where the children (who helped with construction) live together as family.
Children at the home receive counseling, support in their studies, lessons in music and dance, and a structured family life. Cared for by a staff of six, they are taught to cooperate and collaborate. They share responsibilities and daily chores, and actively participate in the management of the home. In 2020 the program acquired a farm an hour’s drive from the home, where the children learn important skills while growing food for home use and for sale.
Community service projects sponsored by Jajja’s Kids positively affect both the children and those around them. Helping repair washed-out roads or cleaning up the local area alongside their neighbors has enhanced the environment while also teaching Jajja’s Kids the importance of striving to benefit others.
Getting a good education has been a cornerstone for Jajja’s Kids. The children understand that a quality education can be a doorway out of poverty, so they work hard in school. They know that their future success can help their families as well.
Each child is encouraged to establish career goals and work toward them throughout their education. The US team supporting Jajja’s Kids is committed to seeing each child through to the highest level of their educational ability, with the goal that they develop the skills needed for their chosen careers. The children attend quality schools based on their academic standing and career interests. When the home first opened, the children were between 4 and 9 years of age and enrolled in nursery school to grade 5. Today most have reached secondary school, with the oldest students preparing for university.
Public education in Uganda is not free. Currently, the primary school for Jajja’s Kids costs $1100 a year per child, and secondary schools range from $1,400 to $2,400 per year. Costs include uniforms, books, meals, and school supplies as well as tuition. University and trade schools are comparable in cost.
Jajja’s Kids was founded on the desire to help others help themselves and those around them, and the goal was to give a hand up rather than a handout. Toward that end, the children and staff have been encouraged and supported in learning the skills of entrepreneurship, of doing for themselves, of building for their own future.
Proposals large and small for income-generating projects have been funded in recent years. They include:
A bakery project to sell small cakes in the community
Farmland to grow crops for sale and for the children’s home
A truck to transport both children and the products they grow
Although the farm had been a dream from the beginning of Jajja’s Kids, sudden shortages of food brought about by the pandemic made the land and truck a necessity.
The children have also generated their own projects. All were involved in making sandals from used tires--for themselves, for others and for sale. And two of the older boys received funding to build a chicken house and start an egg project.
With Thanks From the Kids...
I am writing this letter to thank you for your support towards me, paying our school fees in time, giving all needed for me in my life to grow up in right way, like clothes, shoes, food and books for me to go to school.
With these short words I would like to thank you very much for everything you do towards me.
to Every one in USA