Jajja's Kids

Addressing the Needs of 

Ugandan Street Children...

And Giving Hope for a Better Tomorrow!




 
 
   
Spring 2014 Newsletter


Happy Spring to You All...
 
We're Official in Africa! 
After months of time, effort and expense, Ronnie Sseruyange has established Jajja's Kids Africa as a humanitarian organization recognized and approved by the Ugandan government.  Ronnie had planned to just update the name of his community-based organization to match our name here, and soon learned that Ugandan policies have become more specific and well-regulated regarding children's homes.  So he created Jajja's Kids Africa as his new organization and also took the extra steps to establish our boys' home as a certified Children's Home.  Working through the system has been challenging, but Ronnie persevered and was successful.  The result will be opportunities for support from other organizations within Uganda an internationally. 
Weebale to Ronnie for a job well done! 

New Additions to the Boys' Home
Great improvements have been made so far this year to the rented home where our 14 boys live.  Thanks to two kind donors, beautiful wooden tables and padded benches are now in the main room, and are a welcomed improvement over the boys sitting on the floor when having meals or doing homework. Another generous donor gave funds for a computer that the boys now use for reading, writing, and educational games. Our next important purchase is a refrigerator, and contributions from individuals plus student groups at SUNY Albany are being set aside for that. The refrigerator means fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased at local markets and stored, adding nutrition and variety to the posho (cornmeal) and beans that have been the boys' daily diet.

 

Travel to Uganda 2014
In February seven volunteers traveled with me, at their own expense, to spend a week with our children in Kampala As soon as we arrived at the boys' home, it was love at first sight--the boys came to us with open arms and welcoming hearts.  Whether the team was with our boys at home, with the children in the surrounding neighborhood, or with youth in the Kisenyi slum community, each person embraced every experience they encountered.  Together we played soccer, sang, danced, made crafts, and shared food. Our team also painted the garage, visited the children's school, toured Kisenyi slum community, and accompanied our boys to the Wildlife Education Center and Lake Victoria. Ronnie did an outstanding job of handling the team's needs in every way, from hotels to transportation to banking trips and everything in between. 

Supplies Packed and Ready to Travel 7,000 Miles

Special thanks go to the many, many friends of Jajja's Kids who either donated money to help offset the cost of program activities or collected gently used clothes and shoes (or purchased new ones), toiletries, games, books, and sports equipment for us to take.  Special thanks to the third graders at Verne Critz Elementary School, Patchogue, NY for donating books and making friendship bracelets that we gave to over 100 children.  Special thanks also to the Youth Group at First United Methodist Church, East Greenbush for clothing they collected to fill our duffle bags. 

A highlight of our week was a Skype get-together between our boys in Uganda and second graders at Delaware Community School in Albany, NY.  A wonderful article about the event was published in the Albany Times Union and can be seen at: 

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Here is a sample of images from our week with the children:

 

 Drumming and Dancing with Elena at the Boys' Home

 

  

 

 Painting the Garage and Creating a Reading Room

  

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

Ronnie Distributing Clothes 

Donated by Dozens of Friends 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth and the Team Gathering Community Children to Sing and Play

  

  

Making Sculptures from Pipe Cleaners and Swimming Noodle Disks, with Help from Bill

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 Barbara Making Play-Doh 

on a Charcoal Stove

  

  Mark's Play-Doh Elephant

 

  

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Our Boys Meeting

Second Graders in 

Albany, NY

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boys' First-Ever Swimming Experience - Lake Victoria

  

  

  

 

Connor and Bill (above) and Ashley (left) Playing Soccer with Kids in 

Kisenyi Slum Community

(and avoiding the nearby cows)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

After Soccer, Everyone Gathering   Inside to Create Sculptures, 

Have Food and Get New Shoes -- All Thanks to Our Team!

 


  

 

  

 

 
 
 
Having Rice, Chapati and Juice

  

 
 
  
 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

Trying On New Shoes

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

 

  

 Our 2014 Team

From Left:  Matt (Matayo) Lindroth, Diane Reiner, Barbara Nagler, Ashley Smith, Ruth Pelham, Connor Smith, Elena Mosley and Bill Smith

  

    

Thanks to Each of  You -- 
who has contributed to Jajja's Kids in recent months, for your time, your energy, your financial or material contributions, your good thoughts and wishes.  
Your financial support keeps the program going, 
and your moral support keeps us going!!
 
 A Final Thought...
If you have considered making a contribution to Jajja's Kids but haven't gotten around to it, now is the perfect time!  In recent months we have experienced an increase in costs due to:
  • all 14 boys going to school this year, up from 8 last year;
  • the need for two paid staff on site (a house mother and a security guard) plus a part time accountant/bookkeeper;
  • increase in the cost of foods and other staples. 

     

    Your Tax Deductible Contribution
     can be made to:
    Operation Unite, with Jajja's Kids
     in the memo line.
     
    Please mail to:
    Jajja's Kids ~ P.O. Box 1425 ~ Latham, NY ~ 12110
    Feel Free to Contact Diane at:
    DHReiner11@gmail.com
    (518) 588-0651
     
    We are grateful for your interest in Jajja's Kids!
    Happy Spring!!!
     
    With Much Gratitude,
     Diane, Ronnie and Jajja's Kids

     

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