Home Sweet Orphanage-Uganda………help! help!

About 132 miles along the Kampala- Masaka Road at a place called Kamuttuze, one easily notices this sign post. 10 km from this sign post deep into the villages is Home Sweet Orphanage.
Home Sweet Orphanage was founded back in 2002 in memory of Fr. Declan O’Toole a Mill Hill Priest who was murdered by armed attackers in Kotido.

Why in memory of Fr. Declan? Fr. Declan was significant in the life of one street kid, Robert Luwalira. One afternoon this street kid approaches Fr. Declan with a request for a coin! “Mpayo e kikumi”…meaning “Kindly give me 100 shillings”.(100 shillings is 0.04 of a dollar) Anybody who has met the street kids in Kampala is familiar with these words. Literally, the children are not only requesting for a hundred shillings, but are requesting for help. As narrated by Robert himself, this afternoon he was not asking for 100 shillings, but for lunch. Then, Fr. Declan goes with this kid to his residence, gives him lunch and there on they become friends.
Robert is later taken to a driving school where he qualifies as a driver. He is later to serve as a taxi driver. In 2002, Mr. Robert Luwarila is inspired to start this orphanage in memory of his late friend, Fr. Declan.

Why in Kamuttuze? Kamuttuze is Robert’s home area. It is one of the villages in Central Uganda that has been hit so hard by the AIDS/HIV scourge. This has left so many orphans on the village, and Robert was moved by the desire to help some of these orphans.

Our trip to Kamutuuze and to Home Sweet Orphanage: One month to my wedding with Sarah, I read an article from Robert as he showed concern about the crisis at the Orphanage. He exclaimed that he is now overwhelmed by the demands of the children, and is considering shutting down the Orphanage. He went on with a request to any potential individuals/organizations which can be able to adopt the Orphanage and take over the management.
Moved by this story, I asked Sarah if we could go and spend our honeymoon volunteering at this Orphanage. She was happy about it and gave me a go ahead. I informed a few friends, and some were kind enough to send in some support to take to the children. Unfortunately, we could not make it there for our honeymoon like we had planned. All the same, these children were in our hearts, and for two weeks we patiently kept a piece of our wedding cake to take to these children.

On Saturday we finally traveled to Home Sweet Orphanage. It was a six hours journey on bus and bodaboda(commuter motorcycles).
It was at around 1pm when we finally arrived, and we were warmly welcomed by Mr. Robert and some of the children who were at the Orphanage at the time. Singing and joy was in the air.

The orphanage is home for 50 children. About 10 of them are under 5 years of age and not more than 10 are above 12 years old. The biggest number of the children is between 6-12 years.

Thank God for the universal primary and secondary education that the government of Uganda introduced, those who are of school-going age go to nearby schools to study. The Orphanage only needs to provide scholastic materials.

Basically, there are 2 blocks/houses on the site. One long building doubles as the children’s dinning and dormitory. In here are 3 long tables and benches as dinning space, and not more than 7 double-decked beds. This means that most of the children sleep on the floor, while some share beds.

The other block has a classroom for the young ones who cannot walk to the nearby schools. The matron often gathers them here to teach them songs, prayers and storytelling. On this same block is the store and kitchen.

The Orphanage is blessed with a modern water system which was donated by Child Care back in the years. Using a generator, water is pumped from the ground to the storage tank, from where the children are able to fetch the water. Remember there is no electricity on the site, so they have to use a diesel generator to pump the water. Robert says, for the storage tank to be filled to capacity, they will need fuel worth 20000sh(app $10) and the tank is used up within 2 weeks. He had started on construction of a rain water harvesting tank with an aim of reducing the cost of fuel, and use in the flushing toilets. Due to lack of funds, neither the tank nor the flushing toilets were completed.

A piggery had been set up on the Orphanage as an income generating project, but as I write now, there are no pigs in here. Robert says they could not help but sell of the few pigs they had when the crisis hit hard.

What is the situation at the Orphanage as of now? Mr. Robert told us that he has operated the Orphanage for the past 10 years on his earnings from the businesses he runs in Masaka town, topped up by donations from individual friends in the UK. Over the years, these friends have been cutting down their donations and neither are his businesses doing well. This has caused him to think of closing the Orphanage, selling it off or handing it over to interested capable individuals/organizations to run it. He says he wants to take retire from this kind of ministry, and that is why he is constantly calling on individuals/organizations to adopt this orphanage.
The challenge is that he cannot reunite all the children with their families. Many of them are total Orphans, and their immediate relatives claim they are unable to look after the children. Over the years people have known this place as an orphanage, so some of the children are brought and abandoned here. He says there are about 20 children on the orphanage who came in such a situation. So he knows nothing about the families of such children.

In the meantime, Robert hopes that some potential organizations will come up and adopt the orphanage. May be some other capable orphanages can also consider taking on these children. As we wait and pray for all that, you and me can save the situation of the children. They need food and other domestic supplies. We were told, at the moment the children are only taking one meal a day, and in most cases this is only posho and beans. The orphanage is urgent in need of food. We need to come out and help these children.
The children need domestic supplies like washing and toilet soap, fuel for lighting their lamps ( though I would feel that a solar system is the best option. In the long run, solar is even cheaper than using Kerosene lamps). The children need Vaseline, more bedding, clothes and scholastic materials.
Though not clean enough, the children looked somehow healthy. They only need another matron to boost their personal hygiene. The only matron on the orphanage must be overwhelmed by the number of children that she has to look after. We were told, such a matron would require to be paid at least 100000sh($40) per month.
Thanks to the Medical Missionary Sisters of Kitovu, who offered medical cover for the children. Whenever anyone of them is sick, he/she can be treated at their clinic at no cost. Some of the children are HIV +ve, and whenever they need special attention, Sanyu Babies Home comes in to help.

I and Sarah, on behalf of Uganda Youth Ministry Association have committed to visit the Orphanage monthly, on the last Saturday of the month. Then we can take to the children whatever God is able to provide. Help us, partner with us for this generous cause. Send in your donations, and we will be very happy to deliver them to the children. Support the new Magazine, Your Sunday Visitor. Remember 50% of the funds raised from sales of this magazine goes directly to help these children. And lastly, tell your friends and family to come up and help.
Our next visit to the Orphanage is on 26th May 2012, and these are the items we would wish to take along for the children.

• 50kg of Rice $84
• 100kg of powdered milk $100
• 25kg of beans $37
• 25kg of Gnuts $53
• 10 bars of washing soap $20
• 50 pieces of toilet soap $42
• Books and pens $30
• 20 liters of Kerosene $25
• Diesel for the generator(water pumping) $25
• Vaseline and tooth paste $20
• 25 kg of Posho $32

Total $468

SEND US YOUR CONTRIBUTION NOW. Visit YOU TURNS, click on “Donate” and remember to quote,‘Donation to Orphanage,Uganda’.

Thank you so much and God bless you.


2 Responses

  1. I have been moved by your words here. I will help in any ways that I can. We are from Australia and hope to one day be able to visit and offer assistance to the orphanage, I feel that God has led me to this website. May God bless you in your continued work for these children!

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