LOVE UGANDA FOUNDATION PROFILE
The context of our work
Over the past decade, the number of orphans and vulnerable children living in Uganda has been escalating at an alarming rate. In 2004, the number of orphans was estimated to be 1.8 million; in 2009 that number had grown to nearly 2.6 million. Over one million of those children have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS-related complications and suffer the following problems that challenged us to start up a stretching hand to the orphans, vulnerable and needy children in Uganda:
Many of these children are deprived of their basic needs due to high levels of poverty. Nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line, out of which 19% are children. Uganda’s rural areas in particular struggle with a very high poverty rate
After their parents die or become disabled by illness, orphans and vulnerable children as young as five years old become both mother and father to their younger siblings. Those whose parents suffer from HIV/AIDS face an additional burden of care as complications develop and worsen over time. Children are forced to drop out of school as they try and provide necessities for their siblings.
Orphans have to find work wherever they can due to their lack of education and resources: laboring in fields, tending cattle, carrying water, or other back-breaking tasks. When they can find work, orphans are often paid unfair wages because they have no alternative but to accept whatever is given. When there is no work, they must beg for or steal food to ward off starvation. Survival becomes a daily struggle.
Living in extreme poverty without the support of their parents, orphans are vulnerable to additional kinds of exploitation. Neighbors and occasionally relatives can take advantage of them because they know that there is no longer an adult to enforce the children’s property rights. Orphans are also vulnerable to physical abuse. These children are beaten and sometimes mutilated after they are driven by hunger to steal small amounts of food to eat. Girls are subject to sexual exploitation when they face the hard choice of selling their bodies for food or watching their families go hungry.
Many of these children live in communities where there are widespread misconceptions about the causes of HIV/AIDS. After their parents die from HIV/AIDS-related complications, they are shunned by neighbors and community members for fear of catching the disease. Orphans find themselves isolated within their communities, surrounded by those who are unwilling or unable to reach out to them.
It was while facing these serious issues that Love Uganda Foundation was formed.
Love Uganda Foundation is a Christian, faith-based, non-profit organization operating currently in Uganda, with offices located in Kampala, Plot 1490 Gayaza Road, Kubbiri Roundabout. Our orphanage is located in Mukono district, Kalagi Sub-county about 25 miles from the capital city, Kampala.
Love Uganda Foundation began in 2006 as a small outreach ministry operating in both Kampala town and Mukono town. It was founded by the late Emmanuel MacMillan Kitumba. Emmanuel had a passion for helping the needy in his community. From childhood, he dreamed that when he was financially able to, he would go back and make his community a better place.
His parents, Pastor Sam Sekirime and Mrs. Robina Sekirime helped nurture Emmanuel’s dream by bringing him up in the ways of the Lord. As the Scripture says: “Train up a child in the way he should go, that when he or she is grown, they will not depart from it” Proverbs: 22:6. With this strong foundation in Emmanuel’s life, it was only to be expected that his life would bear much good fruit.
In 2008, after Emmanuel completed his theological course, he decided to ask his sponsor, Mr. Andrew McMillan, how he could repay his gratitude towards him. He had already adopted Mr. McMillan’s surname. Mr. McMillan said, “Do to others what has been done to you”. This was a perfect confirmation of what the Lord had placed for so long within Emmanuel’s heart.
The Late Emmanuel opened the Foundation, and in 2014, Love Uganda Foundation was officially recognized by the government as a Community Based Organization (CBO) number 178298 and in 2019, LUF was officially recognized as An Indigenous NGO by the government of Uganda with NGO Registration Number INDR141921543NB and Permit Number INDP0001543NB
As of now, Love Uganda Foundation is trying to address major issues affecting our Ugandan communities at large. These include:
- Under-age marriages and teenage pregnancies
- Domestic violence
- HIV/AIDS pandemic
- Child abuse.
We support poverty eradication programs, widows, and empowerment of women, programs for the disabled, Sanitation and Health and environmental conservation, among many others.
Our main current project is our children’s home where we currently care for 22 Orphan children 12 boys and 10 girls aged from 3 years to 16 years.
Our major objective of the Foundation is to empower & save the next generation through the provision of quality education, health and mentorship. We intend to provide these services to children in the children’s home and throughout the country.
In the early period, the Foundation carried out the following activities to support and achieve this objective:
- Raising awareness in the community,
- Home visiting,
- Monitoring families with children at risk,
- Resource mobilization
In 2012, at the annual general meeting, members resolved that the orphanage should focus on addressing education development issues more directly, from primary to tertiary level. The same year, LUF recognized the need to broaden the scope of the interventions to cover other Socio-economic poverty issues and health holistically and sustainably.
This area of care will be the pilot project area as it helps many orphans, street children, and needy children who are suffering because of the low levels of community awareness on education.
We believe that every one of our children must be exposed to at least five core competencies that we consider necessary to excel in this world today:
- Ethics and integrity
- Spiritual development
- Environmental Literacy
- Talent development.
As we embark on Love Uganda Foundation becoming a first-class children’s center, it will be our commitment to provide these core competencies to all those who will emerge from it.
Child advocacy and community outreach.
This covers all interventions to empower children in especially difficult circumstances. It aims at encouraging commitment and action from the community to empower children / young people.
We will work towards implementing:
- Counselling, child recovery, and reunification with their families
- Advocacy for children through media coverage
- Child care and protection
- Skills development for young people
- Maternal and child health care
- Parental education on good child care
- Teaching parental skills, parental guidance, encouraging parental literacy, and cultural identity
- Equipment for children’s activities
- Monitoring and evaluation of the above
Our current status.
1. Children’s profile
Love Uganda Foundation enrolls almost equal numbers of female (48%) and male (52%) children.
Our children reflect a broad tribal diversity with children from all over Uganda, though the majority come from Mukono, Wakiso, Kabale, Gulu, and Kayunga. We accept children from anywhere in Uganda.
Love Uganda Foundation looks after children between the ages of 3 yrs-15 yrs. These are normally children abandoned by parents or orphans.
Children are currently accommodated in a bungalow house which is rented with funds from the proceeds that come from our sister organization, Love Uganda Safaris, and well-wishers. The house has 3 rooms, each with the capacity for over the boy’s room accommodates 12 boys and the girl’s room accommodates 10 girls. It also contains an indoor store, with a sitting room/lounge and a dining hall where various activities are conducted. There is also room for the caretakers/staff and volunteers. Located outside are the washrooms and pit-latrines and a spacious compound where our children get an opportunity to play and exercise their skills.
We would like to expand our accommodation to enable us to care for more children. Read more about our House construction project.
2. Governance of Love Uganda Foundation.
LUF is still a small children’s foundation though it is working to attain the administration expected of a modern children’s center. The role of each area of management will be defined in the governance policy document, but the following shows the structure of governance at Love Uganda Foundation;-
The Founders’ Board.
Governance is vested in the Foundation’s Board of Directors, committed to steering Love Uganda Foundation to excellence amid the challenges of the 21st century. The board members also serve as trustees of Love Uganda Foundation. The members are nominated at the annual general meeting.
Currently, LUF has 13 full-time employees and several volunteers. Our full-time staff comprises of one Centre administrator and two care staff. Volunteers are normally university students who aim at giving back to society. They come from Makerere University, Multi-tech Business School, and local churches.
Below is a list of our staff and their duties;
|Mr. KYEYUNE ROBERT PAUL||Team Leader|
|Ms. NAMUTEBI SHARIFAH||Administrator|
|Mr. MUKISA DEO||Coordinator- Mukono region|
|Mr. KYOYITA ISRAEL||Programs Coordinator|
|Mrs. MURUNGI BRENDA||Creative Arts Coordinator / Social Worker|
|Mrs. NALUBEGA JOSEPHINE||Social Worker|
|Mr. JOSEPH TOPACH||Coordinator- Gulu region|
|Mr. MANDELA WILFRED
Mrs. KATUMBA MONICA
Mrs. BANURA CHRISTINE
Mrs. KATUSHABE HOPE
Mrs. NAMBUSI MARIAM
Mrs. NAMAGEMBE SYLIVIA
|Coordinator- Gulu region
Grants and Partnership Officer
Media and Communications Officer
3. Major stakeholders to seek affiliation in the next five years.
Over the next five years, LUF plans to strengthen its partnership and affiliations with local based, and international children’s organizations, as well as government agencies. The organizations we will target include the following:
- UNHCR, among others
- The Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and also the Ministry of Water and Environment, because we want to provide “facilities as green as possible.”
- Church Leaders.
- Community Leaders
- Development partners in the same line of activities in other countries.
- Academic institutions for research and publication
- Media houses for advocacy, public relations
- Ambassadors of goodwill locally and internationally
Current Status of the Home
When the owners reclaimed the house after Emmanuel’s death, the original home was disbanded. The children and everybody residing in the home by then were scattered, some being returned to particular relatives who were still alive and others handed over to other orphanages in Mukono which took them in.
In July 2016, Love Uganda Foundation was re-established by Emmanuel’s older brother Robert Paul Kyeyune, who felt the need to continue with his late brother’s vision. With the help of his younger brothers, Kyoyita Israel, and a few friends, they were able to process the documents that had been lost in the building accident that claimed not only the LUF offices but also the founder’s life. However, they still had no home to accommodate the children. Love Uganda Foundation was back to its beginnings of the door-to-door outreaches in the villages.
In July 2017, a generous lady by the name of Ms. Joan Belford donated towards the re-establishment of a home to accommodate the children. With the funds we received, we were able to rent a house monthly but not able to purchase it. After installing some basic equipment in the home, we were able to admit 15 children on the 1st July 2017, who have increased now to 22 Children that currently stay in the house with caretakers/mothers to look after them. Our vision however is to expand to help more orphans, by constructing our own home. This would be more economical in the long term.
Love Uganda Foundation, therefore, welcomes partners and well-wishers who would wish to support and partner with us in any way possible.
- Currently the Foundation is paying fees for 300 students under our External Program in the community schools located in the various regions our Love Activity team visits. Our social work team identifies children/orphans from the poorest families in a community that has failed to access education due to poverty. Currently, this external program is going on in 4 communities; Ruhija- Kabale, Paichor-Gulu, Kateete- Mukono, Kijabijo-Mukono under the campaign “Keep an Orphan in School” and we hope to increase the number of children by 70% in the next 3 years of our strategic year plan 2018-2022.
- We have been able to establish various community outreach programs which tackle various issues in life among widows, the elderly, the disabled, and under-age girls. These have greatly benefited the communities. Our widows’ projects in Gulu, Kateete, Kabale, and Kalagi have provided an opportunity for widows and women to gain skills from which they can earn a living.
- Not only do we train them in skills but we also teach them about many life aspects which include health and sanitation, HIV/AIDS awareness, and poverty eradication methods based on godly principles. This has greatly impacted the women whom we have contacted in our External Program. We also donate basic life materials to them like food, clothes to mention but a few, as this is one step to restore hope and to empower these great mothers.
- Orphaned children, with either one parent or none, under our internal and external programs.
- 20 families in local villages
- Elderly women and widows from the districts of Gulu, Kabale, and Kateete – Mukono district.