Raising Up Hope is involved in many projects including our orphanage, our safe house, rescuing street children. We support children attending school by paying their school fees and providing school materials and food.
Raising Up Hope provides many opportunities each year for people desiring to serve and be a part of a mission team to Uganda. This includes two to three week mission trips, 90 day internships as well as full time volunteer staff positions in Uganda.
Raising Up Hope for Uganda is an independent, indigenous, non-political, non - governmental organization with a primary mission to provide education to poor disadvantaged and neglected orphans whose parents have died of HIV/AIDS and to help their families to overcome poverty and hopelessness in Uganda through helping them initiate sustainable income generating projects.
RUHU seeks to provide a better life now and a constructive future for these children.
RUHU is fully recognized and registered by the republic of Uganda as a community based organization. We have been authorized to operate in Wakiso and Mpigi district. Our main office is situated in Bulenga Village, 7 miles from Kampala.
Uganda at the turn of a new decade
Most Ugandans are already too aware of the problems facing our country. As we prepare for elections, all of the candidates promise change and how it is needed.
As a country we have by no means escaped the AIDS epidemic that has devastated Africa in such a disproportionate way. We've much to be thankful for, in terms of the improvements made by preventative strategies and governments have made great strides at improving the quality and quantity of medication available to sufferers. However a whole generation is being slowly destroyed, dying parents leaving orpaned children in the care of elderly parents. These children have found their core support in our Ugandan extended family system, but it was never designed for this. Social and economic pressures have strained this network to near breaking point and many families are now making the pragmatic decision not to help their young children.
If, as a fellow Ugandan, you read this with sadness, we share it. This wasn't the way our country was mean to be. But we want to share with you a message of hope and restoration, of children growing up in love and communities taking responsibility for their young ones. We want to acknowledge that 'yes its should be better', but also affirm that 'yes it can get better' and 'yes it will get better'.
For every Ugandan that wonders what they can do, whether any difference can be made, we invite you to read on, to visit us, to work with us. We don't have to leave it to the politicians, we can effect change together.
CHILDREN AT RISK IN UGANDA
Orphanages The vast majority of (94 to 98%) children in orphanages through out the world have at least one living parents. The only exception is sub-Saharan Africa, where an increasing number of HIV orphans have been established. According to the UN there are roughly 1.8 million children in Uganda who face life as orphans. That number is expected to jump to 3.5 million children by 2012. Some source estimated that Uganda has 1.1 million AIDS orphans, which is the highest in the world.
Street children It is estimated that Uganda has 10,000 street children. There are 10 – 15,000 children who are living in camps in the northern districts as a result of conflict. Furthermore, there is increasing vulnerability among children as a result of the break-up of marriages and partnerships and domestic violence. There are children who have endured unimaginable abuses; children with disability related vulnerabilities; and children in institutional or other forms of foster care that are often unstable. The large numbers of street children in Uganda can be attributed to several factors. According to the children we spoke to loss of parents due to disease, disabled parents, poverty, abuse, shame, stepmothers who treat the new children badly, neglect, divorce and war were the reasons children were on the streets. Interestingly, no child told us that they were on the street because there were more opportunities provided by the local charities or Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (MGLSD). They came most often because of home situations.
Child trafficking in Uganda Trafficking of people is the fastest growing form of international crime generating $7 billion each year. This makes it the third most lucrative form of organized crime behind drugs and small arms. Globally, 2.4 million people are trafficked each year, half of them children. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics demographic and health survey showed that there were 2.7 million working children in Uganda, and according to ANPPCAN, the majority are trafficked. According to an ILO report on child labour in the urban informal sector, six out of 10 working children have been trafficked. According to the US State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, Uganda is in 'Tier 2', meaning that it requires attention. This report describes Uganda as a source, transit and destination country as far as trafficking in concerned.
Reasons for which children are being trafficked in Uganda Research into child trafficking in Uganda identifies the following areas as having high-levels of trafficking: Busia, Kalanagala, Masaka, Kampala and Pader districts. The following chapters descripes the purposes for which children are been trafficked in these areas.
Child Soldiers The most documented incidents of child trafficking are in the North of Uganda where an estimated 25,000 children since 1986 have been abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army to serve as child soldiers or 'wives' to the rebel commanders.
Domestic child workers Among children who are trafficked, girls under 14 were the group mostly likely to be trafficked into domestic work. 16.7% of the male children and 21.1% of the female children in one study of trafficked children reported that they were trafficked for domestic labour purposes.
Commercial Sexual Exploitation A 2004 ILO study revealed that 12,000 children between the ages of 14-17 were involved in CSEC, the majority of who were girls. Another survey of girls in Uganda working as commercial sex workers showed that from a sample of 500 girls working in CSE, 10% of them had been trafficked. Surveys focused on trafficking victims show that girls aged above 14 are often exploited through commercial sex. However, this is normally under the cover of other work: 84% of the trafficked girls surveyed for one study served as bar maids and cleaners in bars and lodges where they also were expected to double as sex workers.
Agriculture and Fishing Industries In the areas of Uganda where fishing and agriculture are major industries, children are attractive to employers as source of cheap labour. A study by the ILO30 highlighted that 80% of children in the fishing industry were employed in their locality, suggesting that some of the remaining 20% could have been victims of trafficking.
Informal and Cross Border Trade Children are popular recruits by those running illicit trade and smuggling operations around border areas as they are cheaper and they are less likely to be interrogated by the Uganda Revenue Authority officials. One study showed that of a sample of 342 children involved in cross-border trade and related activities, 35% were trafficked. The main transit points/routes for children trafficked in Uganda are Kenya, with 51% of children passing through, followed by Sudan at 31% and Tanzania in the third position; while the final destinations include the Middle East, and other countries besides Africa. Children trafficked from Uganda end up engaged in the worst forms of labor, commercial sexual exploitation including sexual slavery, and a range of criminal activities.
The trafficking network Trafficking in Uganda is organized through informal networks of relatives (22% males, 16% female, 21% young women), friends and boyfriends (39% male children, 16% female children, 29% young women), neighbors and family friends (11% male children, 32% female, 21% young women), parents and village mates, and strangers (17% male, 42% female children). Pentecostal churches, the Immigration Department, and the Airport Security also play a role in abetting international trafficking. Traffickers have good connections with the police who inform them of impending 'trouble with the law' and they disappear for some time until the heat subsides and they are back into trafficking business as usual. In the case of external trafficking where forged passports are used, it is difficult, under the current law, to charge the actors (users of forged passports) with trafficking.
General issues facing children in Uganda
Malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhoea are the main causes of under-5 mortality.
Approximately 20,000 babies are infected by HIV annually through mother-to-child transmission.
Nearly half of the estimated 2 million orphans are orphaned due to AIDS, with the total expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2010.
Net primary school attendance has risen to 87 percent.
Children and women comprise 80 per cent of the 1.4 million people forced to flee their homes due to conflict. They live in more than 200 camps, with limited services.
The LRA has abducted more than 25,000 children since 1986.
In the conflict-affected districts, around 40,000 unaccompanied children – the 'night commuters' walk every night from their homes in outlying villages to urban centres, in search of protection from the threat of LRA abductions and attacks.
UNICEF's estimated needs for Uganda's children To date less than one third of UNICEF's appeal requirements have been met. UNICEF urgently needs US$ 36,604,705 to ease the impact of conflict on children in Uganda.
Patrick is the founder, director and visionary of Raising Up Hope for Uganda. He is passionate about the restoration of Uganda. His primary focus is to help children who have no hope and who receive no food, clothes or love. He likes to ask questions and is always looking to learn. The children call him 'Uncle Patrick'.
"The vision is big, but if there's one thing the last few years have taught me, it's that big things can happen. We want to be ambitious in what we dream and in what we aim for. We don't want to settle, because these children are the heartbeat of our country."
William joined Raising Up Hope for Uganda in 2007. He loves God, working with children, and playing football. William has been blessed with a strong intellect and has a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Procurement and Accounting. He has a warm personality and infectious laugh. The children call him 'Uncle William'.
In addition to all of the work he does for RUHU, Wiliam serves as a Youth Pastor and Leader at Zana Community Presbyterian Church.
"Teaching can be difficult, but so is learning. It is our job to teach our children the importance of perseverance, of working hard. They've come from nothing, where no matter what they did, things were bad. Now we have to instill in them strength of character and dertermination to persist at school. We're not here to spoon-feed them, we're here to train them so they can look after themselves and so they can look after others."
The creation of Raising Up Hope for Uganda (RUHU) has been a humbling experience. The organization first began when Patrick, who was already looking after his younger sister, opened up his home to a child he'd met living on the streets of Kampala. Patrick felt compassion for the child and decided to take action. After two years, he'd taken in over 10 vulnerable children.
Though Patrick was too young to legally adopt, he consulted with authorities and they granted him permission to continue to take care of these children. As resources allowed, he continued to take in children. Many of the children had abusive backgrounds and were living without food or shelter. They had no hope.
In 2007, Patrick 'raised up hope' for these children. RUHU was officailly formed when a gift of unbelievable generosity allowed for the purchase of property and a home in Bulenga. To this day, Bulenga Children's Home is the main center for all of RUHU's work.
Friends and supporters have played a very important role in the growth of RUHU and have blessed the organization with resources to help more and more people. Earlier this year RUHU became an established NGO. The process of creating and maintaining an organization continues to be a humbling experience.
Vision Statement: To see the children saved from dangerous and hopeless situations by providing education, love, and belonging so that they are empowered to be a future generation of leaders in their communities.
Mission Statement: To help orphaned, abandoned, homeless, and vulnerable children by providing for shelter, clothing, medical, educational, spiritual, and other needs.
Statement of Faith: Raising Up Hope for Uganda is a faith based organization. We believe that our mission and vision is in line with God's heart for the disadvantaged. We promote the Lordship of Christ over every area of our ministry in the hope that our children will grow up to be men and women who know the love of the their creator. - "You shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, with All Your Soul, and with All your strength. And you shall Love your Neighbor as Yourself..." (Luke. 10:27). Thus Christ's Love is our Central driving force in our efforts as we reach out to help AIDS orphans. As members of the body of Christ, we are motivated to reflect God's broken heart for "Orphans and Widows" and His concern that their rights should be protected. "Learn To Do Good, Seek Justice, Rebuke the Oppressor; Defend the Fatherless, Plead for the Widow" (Isaiah 1:17).
At RUHU, we aim to be as economically self sufficient as possible. All our activities are aimed at lifting the vulnerable out of a cycle of poverty, where they can provide for themselves. Wherever possible, we want to be Ugandans helping Ugandans, with whatever resources we have at our disposal. However, we also acknowledge that we're not there yet and that the reason we've come so far has been because of the unbelievable support of our friends. If you'd like to partner with us, we would love to hear from you!
One of the most significant ways to help RUHU is to provide financial support, at any level. We have virtually no overhead or administrative costs, meaning that any money you give goes directly to those we are serving.
Whether you'd like to support a particular program or simply give a gift to be used where the money is most needed, we are truly grateful. There are many options for donating:
Another rewarding way to give is by sponsoring a child. Child sponsorship allows a child to attend school and also provides for his or her needs at home (food, medical care, etc.). If you would like to sponsor a child living at Bulenga Children’s Home, please send an email to our child-sponsorship partner at
or visit their website at http://beautifulresponse.org/get-involved/sponsor-a-child.
Can I help?
Yes. Our children need Ugandan role-models, and if you are able to commit some of your time to blessing these children we will be delighted.
What sort of characteristics do you hope a volunteer will bring?
Volunteers typically share common characteristics such as flexibility, compassion, a sense of adventure, and most important, the desire to work with and learn from local people in the host community.
How long can I stay?
Our volunteers stay varying lengths of time, from less than a week, to over 3 months. We're flexible and our desire is that many people from all kinds of backgrounds can work together to restore our country.
Is there a cost?
We do ask that international volunteers make a contribution to costs, but you'll still find it cheaper than staying at any guesthouse, and have the knowledge that your 'rent' is going directly to the children.
What about groups?
Groups are welcome too. Whether you're coming from abroad or are friends near Kampala we would love to welcome you and see how you can interact with what we're doing here.
What would I do?
There is a wonderful range of activities that volunteers can engage in depending on their skills and motivation. Many teach the children, but others focus on administrative work, such as writing proposals, evaluating the budget or managing files.
I only speak English, is this ok?
Though for non Luganda speakers there is a language barrier with many of the children, most of the staff are completely fluent in English and are happy to help in any way possible I'm not quite convinced, persuade me If you are a flexible individual with an open mind we think you'll enjoy working with RUHU.
Commit to a vision - Learn something new - Explore a career - Have fun - Explore faith - Share your skills - Make new friends - Get to know a community - Develop leadership skills - Be an agent of change
If you have the desire and interest in volunteering with Raising Up Hope, please complete this Volunteer Application. We hope that RUHU is the place for you!
When most people think of Raising Up Hope for Uganda, they instinctively think of our orphanage in Bulenga. Indeed, this is our priority. Looking after the orphanage children comes first. However, we are also growing and engaging in a number of other activities. To learn more, click one of the tabs on the right.
Though we can tell neglected children; "God loves you," we understand that this may not make sense until we show them God's love with a hot meal, change of clothes, safe place of sleep, a listening ear and a warm hand on a trembling shoulder. Above all we offer the chance of a constructive future through education and training.
The first thing to say about it is that it is home, our children don't call it an orphanage, we don't encourage it and they don't' want to. Owing to the phenomenal generosity of a supporter, we are able to provide beds for 43 young people who otherwise have nowhere else to go.
Some of the children in our care are AIDS orphans, many are "Street children", others abandoned and abused. Each is faced with many challenges. Poverty, illiteracy, abuse from their family, poor health and other emotional scars are some of the most common problems.
What we do:
We house them, we remove them from the imminent danger they face. We provide two meals a day, every day, meet their medical needs, provide teaching through our volunteers, take them on days out, provide opportunities for them to learn sport, craft, music and develop their gifts. But most of all we love them. All of this is perceived as of little value by the child if they don't believe themselves to be special and treasured by us. These children know that we are looking after them, that they are part of our family, no holidays, no days off, they know they can trust us.
What about when the children are at school?
Whilst our children with sponsorship attend school, we open up the centre to some of the needy children in the area. Approximately another 40 children who have homes, but not necessarily in the best environment have been accepted into our day-care program. They go to lessons, as they would in school and are taught in life-issues that we hope will protect them and their families.
Would you like to do more?
It's our prayer that we are able to provide an education and three meals a day to all of our children. Sadly, resources don't always allow this. Its inspiring to see the change in our children, and is something that visiting volunteers frequently comment on. Our dream is that the children will begin to hear a voice swell within them-the voice of self-esteem. It tells them something they may never have heard or felt before - that they belong - that they matter just enough to have their spirits revived, their hunger satisfied and their minds challenged. A rewarding way to give is to sponsor a child. Child sponsorship allows a child to attend school and also provides for his or her needs at home (food, medical care, etc.). If you would like to sponsor a child living at Bulenga Children’s Home, please send an email to our child-sponsorship partner at
, or visit their website at http://beautifulresponse.org/get-involved/sponsor-a-child.
Raising Up Hope for Uganda is an organization passionate about meeting the needs of the Bulenga community. Many children spend the day roaming the streets with nothing to do, which can result in illicit behavior like theft, violence, smoking, and unhealthy sexual behavior.
The reason for this is that they are past the enrollment-age for primary school but have not had the opportunity for an education due to a lack of financial resources in their families. The illiteracy rates remain high in Uganda because many children’s families cannot afford the extra expenses of going to school, like uniforms, scholastic materials and lunch.
Therefore, RUHU has decided to hear the cries of the community by opening up a Day Care & Schooling Center so community children can have the opportunity to receive a free elementary education with two meals a day.
Currently there are almost 60 children that attend on a daily basis. Classes range from Baby Class to P4. Teacher Sharon is the main teacher, with international volunteers teaching as well. Our mission is to empower the children of our community so they can empower the community at large.
The Safe House was established in the summer of 2011 under the umbrella of Raising Up Hope for Uganda. It was set up to help stop the increasing number of street children on the streets of Kampala by providing children with accommodation, food, clothing and other basic needs. It was named "The Safe House" because it is a safe place where children can stay to help keep them out of trouble and away from the high risk of being addicted to drugs and other dangerous things. The Safe House is situated in Bulenga, not far from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. It is currently accommodating 21 former street children. The children at The Safe House are happy and very appreciative that they have a place to sleep and eat food.
Our slum outreach was formalized in 2008. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Patrick visits the slums areas of Kampala. The young people in these slums have almost nothing. They sleep on the streets and eat from discarded refuse. Many of them sniff fuel in order to mask their hunger. Many of the children who live at Bulenga Children’s Home and The Safe House come from these areas. Over the past several years we've been able to build an ever-improving relationship with the communities that we visit.
When we visit the slums, we do our best to:
- Provide food and water
- Disinfect open wounds
- Teach basic healthcare
- Provide healthcare necessities (i.e. toothbrushes)
- Bring a football for some communal sports
We are excited to announce that we have purchased 4 acres of beautiful and lush land in Uganda where we will establish a family centered “Village of Hope”. Our vision is to develop this property into a place that brings love, hope and a better tomorrow for the surrounding community. The property is situated 20 miles outside of the capital city of Kampala, the largest city in Uganda, in the district of Mpigi. Through this family centered village, we will bring hope to the hopeless in a region of well over 1 million people. The potential uses for the land are numerous. Part of the land will be farmed, to provide food for the children that we are caring for. The children will also have an opportunity to learn farming techniques as well as how to properly care for the land. Other parts of the land will be used to build new children’s cottages (houses) for more orphans, a medical clinic, a vocational training center, a guest house and recreational areas for the children. This Village of Hope is not just an island of hope. The purpose is also to reach into the local community to encourage the children and adults to work together making their entire region a better place to live. The first phase of the village will include building a guest house and multiple children’s cottages. This guest house will become a temporary home to both long term and short term volunteers. We are experiencing a tremendous interest from individuals all over the world who have a desire to serve with Raising Up Hope for Uganda in Uganda, some for many months or years at a time. Physical provision for the children is desperately needed and we will continue to provide those resources. However, hands on love and training from people who can physically pour out the love of Jesus to the people of Uganda will make an even bigger impact in their lives in the long run. This base will help accommodate those individuals with a heart to serve the people of Uganda in partnership with Raising Up Hope for Uganda. Also in this phase, we plan to build numerous children’s cottages that will become homes to many more abandoned and orphaned children. These cottages will house mostly street children overseen by a local “mama”. These “mama’s” will be able to care for the needs of the children as well as helping to train them in tasks that pertain to everyday life. Our heart for the children is to grow up in a family-like community where they will experience provision and love.
Paper Beads products are not just for fun!!!
"Purchasing these beads will help support and empower destitute street children to have a home off the streets of Kampala."
These beads are a part of somebody's life. Life in Beads tries to see that as many children as possible that are living on the streets will get a chance at a home and better life. These children can earn a meager living by making paper bead necklaces and bracelets which we sell here on this site.
So, if you want to help and would like to own some of these hand made bead products, all you have to do is buy from us. All proceeds go to the Street Children Project of Raising Up Hope - House of Hope. You can help to make a huge difference in the life a street child. You have the power to help a child to survive and maybe get off the street.
These beautiful necklaces, made from recycled paper, are hand-made by former street children in Kampala, Uganda. These children have been rescued from the streets and are now living in a home called House of Hope, which was started by a ministry called Raising Up Hope, which is a children's home for orphans in Uganda. The House of Hope provides shelter and food for the street children so that they can be kept away from drugs and other dangerous and deadly things that come along with living on the streets. The Safe House is a rented house, and they pay for the monthly rent by selling these necklaces.
To purchase necklaces, please visit our Etsy shop, managed by our American partner Beautiful Response, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeautifulResponse?ref=search_shop_redirect . Thank you.
The month of October has gone off with a bang here at Raising Up Hope Uganda as we have received four new awesome volunteers from around the world. They are all unique and excited to be working with us! As well, our director Patrick recently returned from a visit in the UNITED STATES! He returned with loads of energy and wanted to dive right back into RUHU projects and be with the children. Now this month has truly brought quite a bit of change that we are so excited to share with you all...
First of all we had to postpone our daycare program (community kids) as we started some much needed repairs. I am pleased to say the boys home where the daycare is held, is starting to look much nicer. We also are in the process of working with a team of interns who will be adding artwork to the walls. I am thinking the kids are going to be quite surprised when they return soon.
We also have been continuing our work with the Village of Hope, our community within a community. This area is full of witchcraft and child sacrifice and we are hoping in the coming weeks/months to start some outreach projects and really pray for this area that badly needs Jesus! We currently have two houses built WOOHOO but both need to be finished before we can start moving in children. We desire for the Village of Hope to be a place of transformation, love and HOPE! God is doing awesome things here and the place is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!
We took our four volunteers into the slums for the first time and they were pretty speechless by what they saw. The slums/street children can be one of the saddest projects to be a part of but it is so vital to know where OUR kids are coming from. At first the volunteers were hesitant but we ended the day with shouts of praise! We sang songs, cooked food, prayed, bandaged wounds, and just poured out love on these precious children. The sad reality is street kids are so broken that they simply don’t even know how to deal with the trauma they face. Most resort to sniffing fuel as a way to deal with their sad situation. We pray for God to take care of these children and that someday they may all be rescued but for now we take in who we can and we build as many relationships as possible.
Now to some AMAZING news, we have a new little one! One of our safe home girls had a precious baby boy a few weeks ago, named Jordan. Both mommy and baby are doing great and everyone has really come around both of them to teach, support, and love. We welcome each life as a gift from God and are blessed to have Jordan join our RUHU family.
We want to say thank you all for your support, prayers and love as God builds this ministry. Lives are be transformed and children are being healed and we praise God for that. As always with a ministry comes a great cost, especially given all the needed repairs and building projects we currently have. If you feel God is leading you to partner with this ministry to better the lives of HIS children, please donate through our Giving Page.
With any comments or questions, feel free to contact:
Patrick Ssenyonjo -- Founder and Director
William Bukenya -- Business Manager
Beautiful Response -- Our American Partners