I went to Uganda in 2006 to study photography, and Ronnie Sseruyange became my guide into the slums of Kampala. As I saw him offer hope to street children who had nowhere to go and nothing to do, I developed a deep respect for his commitment to their welfare. The fact that he himself had been a street child made his work more compelling, and the decision to help him help others was easy. Jajja’s Kids has grown steadily from that simple beginning.
After 30 years working for New York state government, I wanted to utilize my organizational and managerial skills in an international setting. Developing Jajja’s Kids allowed me to apply my abilities and the result has greatly exceeded my expectations.
Connie Frisbee Houde
One of my passions is combining my love for photography and travel with working for humanitarian aid organizations. This helps me have a perspective of other cultures and their importance. I have been fortunate to visit Jajja's Kids in Uganda several times, and enjoy working with the children and staff there.
My background and job experience are in the nonprofit sector, working as director of a small house museum, consultant to historical societies and small museums, and now as curator in a major museum. My varied experiences have helped Jajja’s kids grow as a nonprofit, especially my knowledge of grant writing and program development.
Meet Our USA Team
Every child deserves a chance to be happy, healthy, educated, and loved. Our children have such enthusiasm for life and the opportunities being given to them. It reminds me every day how precious life is and to be grateful for all we have.
I joined Jajja's Kids in 2017. In February 2021, I was voted in as Board Secretary. I assist in social media management as well. One day I hope to be fortunate enough to visit our home in Kampala! I'm currently a graduate student, working towards my Master of Public Administration degree and concentrating in nonprofit management.
As a retired accountant, I have wanted to share my skills to help small businesses. I started with Jajja’s Kids in mid-2019 as a volunteer bookkeeper. As I learned more about their accomplishments and goals I wanted to help more. In early 2020 I joined the Board of Directors and was appointed Board Treasurer. This is a position where I can add my life & business experiences to the growth strategies needed for a successful Jajja’s Kids future.
I am a small business owner/operator and have had over 40 years of broad / diverse management and accounting roles. I am a certified public accountant and a veteran of the US Army.
As a teacher, I believe all children, no matter where they are born, have the right to an education and a safe and happy life. I love knowing that I can help this group of children to have a healthy and bright future.
I coordinate education sponsorships to ensure all of our children have an opportunity to succeed. I have a Masters in Education from The College of St. Rose and was a classroom teacher for The City District of Albany for over 20 years. I have also been the coordinator of an inner city children’s garden called The Friendship Garden for over 2 decades and have extensive
experience working with youth.
Joanna Stellato Kabat
When I met Ronnie I was impressed with his youth, ethical nature, genuine love for the children, and his leadership ability. Jajja's Kids has become a second family to me, and with the acquisition of the house in 2019, we have made our family even more secure.
I bring to the Board of Jajja’s Kids my perspective from both business and family experiences. I spent 20 years in a business partnership where I learned the value of shared goals among partners and staff. For the last 20 years I have been a social worker focused on family practice. It is easy to recognize that Jajja’s Kids are being raised well, with decent values, and are being educated to make a good life for themselves and their community.
Currently employed as the Vice President for Sales and Marketing for a world class manufacturer, I use my organizational skills to help steer Jajja’s Kids Africa and US to achieve long term sustainability and vision. After attending a Jajja’s Kids fundraiser in Nov 2017, I visited Kampala in 2017, 2018, and 2019. I have been ‘hands on’ in the purchase and construction of our permanent home.
I left England at the age 27 and have since been based in NY. I have been lucky enough to travel to many parts of the world, which brings experience of different cultures.
It is my belief that as humans we need to help each other wherever there is need, anywhere in the world. When any human suffers, we all suffer. When any human is happy, we're all happy.
I assist with planning and implementing the annual fall fundraiser and other events. I also attend monthly board meetings and offer thoughts on the development of Jajja's Kids.
First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush, NY
Global Law Firm,