Jajja's Kids

Addressing the Needs of 

Ugandan Street Children...

And Giving Hope for a Better Tomorrow!

Summer 2013 Newsletter

Program Update
This summer has been productive for Jajja's Kids! 
(and yes, it is still summer in the U.S., and always summer in Uganda!)

The Boys' Home

We now have a full house!  Fifteen boys live with Ronnie and his assistants in the home we began renting in January, in the area of Kampala called Masanafu.  Ranging in age from 4 to 11, most of the boys are in primary school, while the rest study at home to prepare for school in the future. When they get home from school they watch TV, do school work, have dinner, and report the day's problems to Ronnie--the final arbitrator in all disputes!  They play soccer on Saturdays with other area children, feed their chickens and take care of the dog.  All of this is a far cry from a few months ago when they were living in the slums at night and often begging for food or money during the day.

Saturday Soccer with Friends

Since the kids are young, Ronnie felt they needed a woman around, so Auntie Annette now serves as the house mother to watch over the boys, cook and do laundry.  Alex has worked with Ronnie for a long time, and now helps the boys study and keep their rooms clean.  Molly, the newest addition to the team, is a long-time friend of Ronnie and  will assist with bookkeeping and shopping.

Alex Helping with Schoolwork
Molly and Ronnie

As required by local government, each boy in Jajja's Kids home has the written blessing of a relative--whether it be a grandparent, distant relative or a parent too poor to adequately provide for their child.  Ronnie has worked diligently to meet legal requirements for a safe and happy home; adherence to government guidelines also paves the way for possible local support in the future.  Visitors from as far away as Australia and South Carolina have come to see the home and learn from Ronnie's experiences to date, or to assist in areas such as first aide care.

Ronnie and the Boys Doing Crafts

Given that this is our first year having a home, much is being learned at all levels. While school fees are relatively modest, each boy needs a new uniform and shoes every term.  And when one falls out of his bunk or gets hurt playing soccer, a trip to the clinic or hospital is necessary.  So, as with any family, unexpected expenses often arise.  This first year's experiences help us plan better for the years to come.

Dinner Time at Home

The  Friday Program

Our original program--bringing math, English and art lessons to slum children who otherwise have little chance to learn--continues to run with volunteers who themselves had started life in the slums. With ongoing input from Ronnie and assistance by Robert, this program provides hope where little hope is otherwise available.


What's Next

  • Our next event will feature a "Skype Party" with Ronnie and the boys, to give a glimpse of life in a different world.  It will be similar to the very successful Skype conversation held at SUNYA this past spring between curious college students and the boys.
  • I will return to Uganda this winter, and will bring the children used clothes and shoes collected from here.  Talks are underway with a local church and a school, arranging for kids here to gather items for kids in Uganda. 
  • For this next trip, I would like to bring others who would like to spend time with the children while also experiencing Africa firsthand.  Please let me know if you are interested in joining me, so we can discuss and make plans.  I guarantee you that a visit to Africa is a life-altering experience!
  • Ronnie is gathering individual profiles for each boy, starting with the eight children in school.  Our hope is to eventually match each child with a sponsor who can help pay the cost of school, food and housing.  More on that in our next newsletter!

Our Five year Goal

As we now learn how to run a successful home for children, we stay committed to the long-term goal of acquiring farmland and building a suitable structure for boys and girls.  By developing a sustainable way of life along with formal education and other life skills, these young people will be able to better serve themselves, their families and their communities.


Thanks To Each of You...

who has contributed to Jajja's Kids in recent months.  Your financial support keeps the program going, and your moral support keeps us moving ahead!


In a recent conversation, Ronnie said to me, "Jajja, I am no longer trying to make a difference.  I AM making a difference".  With your continued interest and support, together we can sustain that difference. 


And Special Thanks To...

our friend Bill Smith, owner of Smith's Paving and Sealcoating.  Last year Bill pledged a donation to Jajja's Kids for each paving job his company does this year, and he recently gave us a very generous donation.  Please remember Smith's Paving for any paving needs you may have.  They can be reached at 266-9526, or check their website at www.smithspaving.com.   "Weebale" to Bill and Staff!


How You Can Help

We continually accept contributions to help defray the cost of Jajja's Kids home.  Current costs for each child:
  • $21 a month ($250 a year) provides three meals a day plus personal care for one child;
  • $35 a month ($410 a year) covers tuition and all school expenses for one child;
In addition, the overall operation of the home including rent, utilities and staff costs $380 a month, or $4,560 per year. 

All contributions to Jajja's Kids are fully tax-deductible!


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
Contact Diane at:
(518) 588-0651
We are grateful to everyone for 
your interest in Jajja's Kids!
Happy Final Days of Summer!!
With Much Gratitude,
 Diane, Ronnie and Jajja's Kids

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