In 2010 we went on our first trip to Uganda to do a voluntary placement at an orphanage in Kampala. We met a brilliant and energetic group of children who were all absolutely determined to build themselves a bright future. However, whilst the children living at the orphanage were able to attend the local primary school we discovered there were no funds for their secondary education.
On returning to the UK we wanted to raise the money needed for them to complete their education and so we decided to establish Lilly Uganda, a UK registered charity. We began fundraising in our local community and we were instantly amazed by the incredible support people gave. It was just six months after that initial trip that the first children began fulfilling their ambition and joined secondary school.
Sadly, in 2013, we discovered that the orphanage where the children were living was being poorly managed and the children were no longer safe there. We took the decision to move them to a new home that we would run, it was called Rafiki House. Knowing that the children all had relatives but they were simply too poor to care for their child, meant we opened the house knowing that our goal would be to rebuild the children’s relationships with their families so that one day they could return home.
In 2016 we were extremely excited to achieve that goal. All of the children are now able to live with relatives although they do need support to do so through the Family Support Programme. The children also all remain in the Education Programme and will have the chance to complete their studies and even go on to college.
From what you have read above you can see that there have been ups and downs along the way but these children continue to be passionate about their education and determined to achieve their goals. They have all been through a lot in their lives already but they are making the most of this opportunity and will do all they can to build themselves a better future.