- We support a home for 19 former street children who live together, are lovingly cared for, attend school regularly, eat three meals a day and get medical attention.
- The children receive counseling, support in their studies, leadership training and encouragement.
- The children’s home serves as a center for the community, providing weekly lessons in traditional music and dance, along with a meal and counseling.
- Community service projects enhance the local environment with activities such as repairing roads and cleaning neighborhood schools.
- Jajja’s Kids bridges geographic and cultural divisions by connecting the children in Uganda with children at schools in the U.S.
- Skype sessions, art exchanges, pen pal letters have led to increased understanding of our commonalities and differences.
More On What We Do
From its beginning, Jajja’s Kids, Inc. has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for children who were too poor to attend school and in some cases lived without food or shelter. In 2008, weekly programs began in the slums of Kampala to provide a meal, basic lessons in English and math, and a sense of hope for the future. To provide greater security, comprehensive care, and a steady education, a children’s home and education program were established in 2012.
Nineteen children currently call Jajja’s Kids their home. They live together as a family, enjoy three meals a day, receive medical care, and attend school regularly. The children are lovingly cared for by a staff that includes a housemother, security guard, social worker and education coordinator, as well as program director Ronnie Sseruyange and an administrative assistant. The home is sanctioned by the Ugandan government, which provides guidance and oversees its operation as an NGO (non-governmental organization).
Our children range in grade level from early elementary to high school, with our oldest child currently in vocational training. They take their education seriously, knowing it is a critical path toward a better future for themselves and their families. While some are orphans, they all have in common family members who had been unable to adequately care for them. Both the children and their families are grateful for the opportunities that Jajja’s Kids’ home provides.
To supplement their formal education, the children in our home also receive training in art and traditional music and dance. Leadership training is an equally important component of life in the home, with formal elections held each year in which the children campaign amongst themselves for positions such as education minister, food minister, entertainment minister and timekeeper. In addressing issues that affect them, their peers, and their environment within a safe and supportive setting, our kids develop important leadership and empowerment skills.
The Community Outreach program is an extension of the original work of Jajja’s Kids’ programs in slum communities. On weekends, Jajja’s Kids’ home becomes the center of activity for children in the surrounding neighborhood. They enter the gate each Saturday and Sunday for a friend to play with, a book to read, a lesson in English or traditional music and dance, and a meal. They also get counseling on doing what is right, and ways they can help their future. The program includes community clean-up days and road repairs. Each week as many as 75 children and young adults take part in community outreach activities.
Cross-cultural exchanges take place between U.S. school children and those residing at Jajja’s Kids’ home. Pen pal letters and artwork are exchanged and stories shared. Personal interactions between groups take place via Skype sessions, where kids play games with their new friends, perform dances, ask questions, and tell stories to their peers half a world away—all face-to-face.
The effect of Jajja’s Kids is not confined to a small group of children in a particular location. Many lives are touched, including the children’s families, the staff of Jajja’s Kids and their families, and the many volunteers both in Uganda and the U.S. who expand the children’s experiences and help keep the program going. Among those who gain the most are volunteers who travel to Uganda to spend time with the children and staff there. For many, the experience is life changing!