Addressing the Needs of 
Ugandan Street Children 
and Their Community

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Celebrating Success!
  • Heartfelt Thanks
  • Ronnie's U.S. Visit
  • Moving Forward
  • Dream Fulfillment - Phase 1
  • Recent Media Coverage

Heartfelt Thanks  to all who made Jajja's Kids 2017 fall event a success!   

Thanks to all of you who:
  • gave your support by attending the event,
  • sent donations even though you couldn't be there,
  • donated items for our live auction.
And a big THANK YOU to our dedicated JK Board who work diligently throughout the year, and to our volunteers and the wonderful staff at Revolution Hall--thank you all for your energy, caring and support.  

Your generosity and commitment keep lifting us forward!

Jajja's Kids' fall event was attended by120 people who enjoyed good food, lively conversation, inspiring thoughts from Congressman Paul Tonko, energetic dancing and drumming by the Kuumba Troupe, a touching talk by Ronnie and a new video describing our program.  The event's success earned us enough to match the $10,000 challenge grant offered earlier this year by our great friend Jim Suozzo.  

Thank you, Jim, and thanks to all who made the match a reality! 

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Ronnie's U.S. visit this year included:  meetings to pave the future for Jajja's Kids, presentations at  churches and schools, outdoor adventures, a personal tour of the US Naval Academy, and visits with friends and family.  

Many of you donated gifts and supplies to our children and staff that went to Uganda with Ronnie: laptops, cameras, school materials, games, hair cutting equipment, shoes that grow as children's feet grow, even an extra month's salary for each staff member! 

Some highlights of Ronnie's visit:

Ronnie and Nick Kabat checking Nick's donated computer 


Touring the US Naval Academy with
Captain Jerry Farrell


Kayaking on the Mohawk River

 
Ronnie and the guys at Brick's Barber Shop in Albany, with  haircutting equipment the staff donated to Jajja's Kids

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Moving Forward, we reflect on Jajja's Kids' significant growth this year, and the impact of that growth in the year ahead.
  
With no free education, Ugandan children must pay for uniforms, books, registration fees, tuition, even toilet paper and brooms--or they don't get an education.  Secondary school is considerably more expensive than primary school, and advancing in any grade level increases tuition as well.  
  • During 2017, three of our children were in secondary school.  When the 2018 school year starts next February, seven will be in secondary school.
  • This past February, 15-year-old Sonia joined Jajja's Kids.  Sonia had been unable to pay school fees and had a challenging home life before coming to our program.  She's now happily in school once again.
  • In July, Ronnie hired a social worker, bringing the number of paid staff at the home to five.  
  • In August, salary levels were reassessed and increased for the original four staff.
Absorbing these new commitments has increased program costs.  As a result, sponsorships for 2018 will be as follows:

$   600 - Annual education cost for one child  (tuition, books, uniforms)
$1,200 - Annual living expenses for one child  (food, medical, housing)
$1,800 - Total care for one child  (annual education plus living expenses)

Annual sponsorships are an essential component of our program's stability and are greatly encouraged for 2018. These new levels of sponsorship will soon be reflected on our website.  

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Dream Fulfillment - Phase 1 is a logical next step for Jajja's Kids...

Nearly five years ago, Ronnie acquired a rented house that became Jajja's Kids' children's home.  From the very beginning, we had a bigger dream, to:  
  1. Develop Jajja's Kids to be a self-sufficient organization owned and operated by Ugandans themselves; and 
  2. Create a home for children in the vicinity of Kampala, with a farm to grow food and learn by doing while also attending school.
With five years of stability and steady program growth, and aware of the vulnerability that comes with being renters, the Jajja's Kids Board has committed to secure funds for the permanent home we've dreamt of.  The time seems right to focus our energies in this new direction while also making sure our existing program stays strong.  

Plans are underway to launch a social media campaign early next year.  The first phase will focus on purchasing land and developing the farm.  Subsequent phases will focus on buildings to house children (both boys and girls), the staff who care for them, and guests who wish to visit.  

We are thrilled that over $11,000 has already been donated for this project, and will keep you updated as this exciting new effort moves forward!

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Recent media coverage was a key contributor to our success while Ronnie was here.  Paul Grondahl interviewed Ronnie and Diane and wrote a great article in the Albany Times Union (his third on Jajja's Kids).  We were also interviewed by Joe Donahue on the local public radio station, WAMC.  A few days later a commentary by Steve Gottlieb about Jajja's Kids was on the same radio station.  To see or hear, click below.


WAMC Radio Interview                                                                     


We are grateful to Paul, Joe and Steve for helping spread the message about Jajja's Kids--where we are, where we've come from, and where we plan to go in the months and years ahead.


So, stay tuned for more news about Jajja's Kids, and remember:

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

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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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