In 2010 we went on our first trip to Uganda where we met a group of inspirational children during a voluntary placement at an orphanage in Kampala. We were astounded by the love the children had for education and saw their passion to build themselves a brighter future. However, while 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 knew we wanted to help the children we’d met 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 to fulfil their dreams by joining 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. This led us to make the huge decision to take on full responsibility for the children and move them to a new home that we would run, it was called Rafiki House. We knew that the children all had relatives but they were simply too poor to care for their child and that was the reason they had ended up in an orphanage. We therefore 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 our 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 inspire us with their passion for education and determination to break the cycle of poverty. They have all been through a lot in their lives already but they are determined to make the most of this opportunity and do all they can to build themselves a better future.
Lilly Uganda | registered charity number 1142006
Trenant, Penton Hook Road, Staines, Surrey, TW18 2HU