We`ll build a Children`s Home in Uganda
The decision to build a children's home in Uganda was taken quite some time ago and soon it's time to start. The friend, sponsor and member of the board of our Children's Home Association, Mr. Volker Booten, is the main initiator and the driving force for the implementation of the project.
Financing and Start
The financing of the construction costs and the future ongoing operation has ensured Mr. Booten himself and sponsors from his personal environment. Already existing resources can partly be shared by both children's homes. This has a positive effect on the running costs of both institutions. In Uganda, we are meeting a similar environment to Kenya. Therefore, our years of "Kenya experiences" will help us to complete the children's home in Uganda quickly and to soon be able to offer a home for about 100 orphans and street children. At least in the initial stages, our director, Ms Evarlyn Charo, and other Kenyan staff will occasionally provide on-the-spot assistance in Uganda, such as staff selection and training for their new colleagues.
Search for a suitable plot
Volker Booten has located several plots of land for the children's home and recently traveled to Uganda, together with Oliver Drewes and Jochen Feyerherd, to view these properties. Finally, the choice of a large plot of land near the city of Mbarara was made. Due to its size, the property in a hilltop location offers the opportunity to grow vegetables and livestock, so that later some of the food itself can be produced. Both primary and secondary schools are within walking distance. Optimal conditions, therefore, to build a children's home there. At present, the owners are being clarified and the feasibility tested. Mbarara is located four and a half hours south of the capital Kampala with the airport Entebbe and has 195,000 inhabitants.
The country is poor, according to the World Bank, 35% of the population live below the poverty line of US $ 1.90 / day. The infrastructure of the country is bad. Nationally, for example, only 25% of households are connected to the electricity grid and more than 20% of the population has no access to safe drinking water.
Child labor is widespread in Uganda, affecting 36% of Uganda's under-14s. Of course these children can not attend school. Lack of opportunities in later life is therefore inevitable for them.
Street Kids in Uganda
As in almost every city in Africa, thousands of children in Uganda's cities live on the streets and in similar circumstances as in Kenya. The country can offer these children no life perspective. We want to help as many of them as possible to have a home, food, clothes and a proper education.
Historic from Uganda
Just like Kenya, Uganda was a colony of the United Kingdom until it gained independence in 1962. Subsequently, democracy was officially introduced, but the self-proclaimed President and Prime Minister, Milton Obote, led the country like a dictator and did not allow democratic conditions to arise.
Idi Amin came to power in 1971 through a military coup and caused much suffering with his terrible reign of terror. He executed about 300,000 opposition members and drove hundreds of thousands of ethnic minorities out of the country, or killed them immediately. Idi Amin led several military clashes with neighboring countries and nearly destroyed his country. In 1979, an attack by the Tanzanian army put an end to the horror. Milton Obote returned from exile and led the country until President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who is still in power today, was appointed in 1986. Museveni introduced the multiparty system in 2005, but the opposition has not yet had a real chance to develop.
The colonial era and especially the reign of terror of Idi Amin have left visible traces in the country and among the people. Many adults still think with horror how they were cruelly recruited as child soldiers as children of Idi Amin's regime.
Working in Uganda
Uganda has no significant industry. The country is fertile and exports mainly agricultural products such as coffee, fish from Lake Victoria, cotton, tea and tobacco.
However, the largest foreign exchange earnings give the country mercenaries. Nationwide, about 30 agencies are engaged in recruiting mercenaries. The largest buyers are the US, which uses these mercenaries mainly as security forces in Iraq.
No other country in Africa has received nearly as many refugees in recent years as Uganda. Most of them have fled the terrible conditions in South Sudan and Congo and are living in Uganda refugee camps in dire circumstances. Uganda's economy is thereby heavily burdened.
Uganda as a holiday destination
Travelers who are returning from Uganda report a great warmth of the country's inhabitants, overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes and a very pleasant climate, due to the altitude of an average of 1,050 m above sea level.
Uganda is riparian state of the famous Lake Victoria, there are nine extensive national parks with the wildlife of Africa and the last of the wild gorillas. Furthermore, the country has a breathtaking mountain range with peaks reaching up to more than 5,000 m.
Uganda is diverse and fantastically beautiful. You should travel this wonderful country once. Soon you also will be able to visit the new children's home.