Lake Bunyonyi, in Mugyera Parish, Bufundi sub-county, Kabale District, in the south western region of Uganda.
"Education is the true heritage"
Seeds of Hope Orphanage Organisation is a community based organization (CBO) and a charity project working with orphans, widows, pygmies and people with disabilities around Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda. The organization was started by Arinaitwe Titus, who identified and recognized the suffering orphans in Uganda and Africa at large. The project currently has 84 children, and is growing.
THE REASONS WHY THE SEEDS OF HOPE ORPHANAGE ORGANISATION WAS STARTED.
The organization (SHOO) was started to be the voice for the voiceless orphans after recognizing the suffering of the orphans in the communities.
Lack of food: We have tried to provide food to orphans by buying food and we have introduced a system of hiring land for cultivation in order for the orphans to produce their own food. This system involves orphans who are ten to fifteen years old.
Lack of accommodation: I have rented a house where I have managed to bring all the orphans together and provide them with accommodations and food in one place. This is mostly the double orphans; children who have lost both parents.
Lack of clothes: I have been using half of my salary to buy clothes and food for the orphans. Sometimes we receive donations from local people and tourists from outside Uganda.
Lack of education services: I have started a school under the organization Seeds of Hope Orphanage Organization called Seeds of Hope Academy where all the orphans go to school. Those who are above the classes we have at the project go to other schools but receive room and board at the project. We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. We give them scholastic materials in the neighboring schools we put them in for higher classes. We have 10 students in the secondary school, 30 in the primary school, and 34 in the nursery school. The total number is 84 orphans. We put emphasis on keeping girls in school to ensure they receive the same education as boys.
Lack of school uniform: The orphans have been lacking school uniform but now I have tried my best to provide a few uniforms and others have been donated.
Fighting for the Orphan’s land and other properties: Some relatives to the orphans have tried to take away their property. My role is to report the case to the police and then the police and judges help me with the situation. So far I have won three cases of land for the orphans and other properties.
Fighting HIV/AIDS in orphans and the entire community: This has been a very big problem to the people and I have tried to take healthy workers deep in the villages for HIV testing and counseling. Teaching people how it can be transmitted, how to avoid and how to take care of yourself when affected. We have a program called Light the World, in which we teach the community about HIV/AIDs through community gatherings, seminars, preaching, poems, and inviting healthy workers for community HIV blood testing.
Skills Training: We train children in skills such as hand work, dancing, storytelling, games and sports and above all to be God-fearing children. We have qualified and experienced teachers who follow the national curriculum. We have three qualified teachers and two non-teaching staff who do other tasks like cooking and cleaning at the project.
Our vision is to restore the lost hope for the orphans and needy children in the communities through education and fighting for their rights so that they can have a bright future.
Our mission is to provide the best educational services to orphans, promoting good hygiene, good nutrition, fighting for the orphan’s rights and to make them creative in different skills.
We are responsive to the needs of orphans.
We are committed to provide educational services.
We are committed to provide food to orphans.
We are committed to provide clothes and bedding to orphans.
We are committed to provide health services in case of illness.
We are committed to fight early marriage and early pregnancy in children.
We are committed to teach our children not to join bad groups.
We are committed to fight HIV/AIDS through educating children about HIV/AIDS and other sexual transmitted diseases.
WHAT SEEDS OF HOPE ORPHANAGE ORGANISATION (SHOO) WISHES TO ACOMPLISH WITH THIS QUARTERLY CAMPAIGN
To have our own structures/buildings.
To have our own land.
To provide food for children at school.
To participate in the millennium development goals in the area of poverty reduction.
To have school facilities like chalkboards, furniture, and utensils.
To have enough staff, teachers and cleaners.
To have uniforms for children.
To have motorized boats/dugout canoes for transportation of children across the lake.
To have staff quarters.
To have playing gear like balls, drums, etc.
To have bicycles for transportation to meetings and exams.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AT THE SCHOOL
Traditional dance by the children to entertain visitors.
Village tours i.e. trips to pygmies, blacksmiths (Abahesi) in Bukoora, Bukoora cave.
Boat trips and canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi.
Competition with other schools in sports and academic.
Making research about orphans through visiting house to house.
A Note from the director:
My name is Arinaitwe Titus, I am 25 years, married and blessed with two daughters. I was born in 1991 in a family of four children, I and three sisters. We never got a chance to grow with both of our parents and I was responsible for my young sisters because I was older than them. I joined a nearby primary school and I stayed taking a good care of my sisters. Obtaining clothes, food, soap and bedding was a serious problem on our side.
In 2007, I joined my high school and I achieved a certificate. It was too hard for me to get school fees and food for my sisters since I was not staying with them but by then they were at least older. After my high school, I chose a short course at the campus and I studied Tourism and Hospitality. I achieved my certificate and it is the one that is driving me up to now. In all, I had a dream from the beginning that once I could help my orphans up to 2015 when I started this orphanage organization. In 2014, I applied to teach in a government school in order to acquire knowledge and skills in education because I had that dream to start a school. I taught for one year and some months and then I joined Tourism again as my profession because I was in Tourism from 2012. I am very happy with the kind of work I am doing in the community and I thank everybody who has stood up to help the orphans and other people with disabilities under Seeds of Hope Orphanage Organization (SHOO).
I have a staff of 8: four teachers, one cook, one cleaner, a matron and a patron.
I am renting a house where the school is located and where the orphans stay. I am also hiring land for cultivation of food for the support of the orphans, teachers and the project. Under this organization, I have program for elders where I am planning to introduce goats to every to every house that has an elder and people with disabilities.
My core plan now is to get our own land, structures, and scholastic materials for the school and furniture for the orphans. Local churches help sometimes but the support is not permanent. There is no help from the government except when there are legal battles involving people trying to take land from the orphans.
WHAT ONE CAN DO TO HELP ORPHANS?
Provide financial support
Link us with those with financial assistances.
Donate school supplies.
Visit the school/project.
Volunteer at our school.
Tell others about us.
Donate beddings like mattresses, blankets and bed sheets.
Donate scholastic materials.
Link us with international charitable groups.
Sponsor our study tours to some parts.
Donate clothes, footwear, and mosquito nets to children.
Donate food for children.
The SEEDS OF HOPE ORPHANAGE ORGANISATION/school is located at Lake Bunyonyi, in Mugyera Parish, Bufundi sub-county, Kabale District south western region of Uganda. 30 minutes boat ride, you land at a trading centre called Buhutu and you walk for 10 minutes. The school is before you reach Mugyera primary school.
SEEDS OF HOPE ACADEMY
Seedsofhopeacademy@gmail.com . TEL: +256777926484