Addressing the Needs of 
Former Street Children 
in Uganda



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Holiday Greetings!
  • Shafic's Story
  • Holiday Celebration with Jajja's Kids  
  • Moving Toward Our Future
  • What a Dollar Buys
  • Uganda 2018

Shafic's Story

Shafic Kiyagi lived with his mother in the vast Kisenyi slum, in the heart of Uganda's capital of Kampala.  Because they had almost nothing, he decided to help his family by collecting and selling scraps.  Getting an education was not an option, and earning some money could help stave off hunger.   Shafic was 8 years old.  

When Ronnie Sseruyange began  Jajja's Kids' home in January 2013, Shafic's mother brought him to the program. There was concern that he might take drugs commonly available to kids living on the street.  Ronnie took him in, and Shafic has been with Jajja's Kids ever since.  He will turn 13 soon, just completed Primary 6, and moves on to secondary school in a year.  He is deeply appreciative for all he has been given in the last five years.  While his mother continues to struggle, she is grateful to Uncle Ronnie and all who support her son at Jajja's Kids' home.

Shafic recently wrote this message:

Dear Jajja Diane, 
How are you?  To me am very fine and I thank you for your support.  I thank you for helping my mother because if it wasn't for you with other people and Uncle Ronnie I couldn't go to school and I want to study a lot to help my family.  Thanks. One day I will be in America like you.
Your lovely son, 
Shafic Kiyaga

Shafic at Jajja's Kids - January 2013


Shafic at Jajja's Kids' home- August 2017

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Holiday Celebration with Jajja's Kids

The school year in Uganda ends in December and holiday festivities begin.  Our fifth successful year at  Jajja's Kids' home is being celebrated  with a party on Dec. 16 that includes volunteers, family members, local children, community leaders and other special guests.  A special holiday meal of rice, potatoes ("Irish" to Ugandans), chicken, meat, greens, matoke (cooked bananas) and soda is being prepared.  Our children will perform traditional music and dance for their invited guests, sing karaoke, read poetry and report the highlights of the year at Jajja' s Kids' home.  Ronnie will explain to families how the home and program operate for their children.



Each of our nineteen children will receive gifts: a new holiday outfit (dress for the girls, shirt and pants for the boys) plus sandals that expand as their feet grow and are strong enough for dancing.  Each child will also receive 15,000 shillings ($4) to spend as they wish.  And a child who wants to visit their family during the holiday will get transportation funds as well. 

Special prizes will be given to those children at Jajja's Kids' home who have been most serious in their studies or made the most improvement during the year.  The day-long celebration also includes the "exchange of officers" for the coming year.  These elected positions among the children include food minister, entertainment minister, sanitation minister and president.  Outgoing officers will receive a certificate of appreciation for their good work during the past year!

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Moving Toward Our Future

From the very beginning of Jajja's Kids the dream has been to create a permanent home for children who were orphaned or had families too poor to care for them.  Our goal is to purchase land and develop a farm and buildings so our children can live and grow healthfully and securely in the Ugandan countryside.  After five years of successfully running the program from a rented home, it is time to take the first steps toward a permanent home, starting with the purchase of land.  

This  was the theme of our recent fall fundraiser.  We are thrilled to report that Jajja's Kids' "New Home" fund already has $21,970!  So w e have a great start, even before the GoFundMe campaign that will launch next spring.  Thanks to all who have contributed to this special cause!  It is a very exciting next step!

Typical Ugandan landscape


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What a Dollar Buys

As many of us shop for gifts  this holiday season, it may be interesting to consider how far a dollar goes in a country like Uganda.  Ten dollars feeds one child for a month, and $50 supplies four weeks of special weekend meals for the whole house. Our rented home houses 19 children plus two staff and  is $417 a month.  Electricity for the house is $27 a month, and water is $22 each month.  

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables at the Market

Our program works because the dollar goes far and buys much.  It also works because of you, the many steady supporters who continue to care and share.  No amount is too small, and every dollar adds to the future of many.   Please remember Jajja's Kids in your end of year giving.  Check out our "19 Days of Giving" on Facebook, and please  Like Us On Facebook!

Take advantage of matching grant opportunities.  Please remember that Jajja's Kids is a 501(c)(3) organization, which means donations are tax deductible and should qualify if your employer matches your charitable donations.   General Electric will match donations from current or former employees and their family.  Click here for more info:   GE Match.

We also collect funds through Smile.Amazon, at no cost to you or to us.  A percent of every purchase you make through Amazon's Smile program goes to Jajja's Kids.  Check it out at  Smile.Amazon.

Several wonderful donors to Jajja's Kids have already sponsored a child for next year.  Our goal is to have all 19 children sponsored so their wellbeing is assured. Education sponsorships are $600, and supporting a child's living expenses is $1200 for the year.  Any level of sponsorship will receive our book created by and about our kids-- The Best Part of Jajja's Kids.  It includes photos of each child plus their own drawing and writing.

And remember:
Every dollar you give
helps these special children
have a better tomorrow!

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Uganda 2018

A small group of volunteers is preparing to travel to Uganda in March.  The group will spend two weeks doing educational projects with the children, creating new promotional material, and researching land purchase opportunities.

There may also be a second trip before the year is out.  If you are considering traveling to Uganda and having a life-changing experience next summer, please contact Diane at Jajja'sKidsUganda@gmail.com.  It's never too soon to plan your next big trip!


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We once again thank you for your caring and support.  Jajja's Kids could not be where it is today without the dedication and commitment of our many donors, sponsors and volunteers. 

Our words are small, but heart-felt:
THANK YOU!!!
 
Jajja's Kids, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

P.O. Box 1425, Latham, NY 12110  ~~  (518) 588-0651  JajjasKidsUganda@gmail.com  ~~   J ajjasKids.org
 
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