NGOs in Jinja, Uganda

[ 1 ] January 31, 2012 |

This will blow your mind.  Uganda has about 32 million people.  18.3 million (57%) are children under 18 years old.   10.2 million (32%) are children under 10 years old.  There are 2.7 million orphans (8.5%) in Uganda right now.  That means about 1 out of every 10 people in Uganda is an orphan, 1 in 7 children under 18 are orphans, and about 1 in 4 small children under 10 are orphans.  That’s right, about 25% of small children in Uganda are orphans.

It’s nearly impossible to come to a country like Uganda and not be compelled to do something.  Every bit of your humanity yearns to want to help, to do something, anything to help the most vulnerable members of society, children.  With that in mind, we had the opportunity to visit a few organization in Jinja that are doing some amazing work with children, both finding them homes and nourishing them back to health.  Our two favorites were Amani Baby Cottage on the south side of Jinja and Serving His Children in the neighboring village of Masese.

Amani Baby Cottage (

After a few days hanging around Surjio’s and befriending the staff, we quickly learned that Sujio’s wife Dianna was the director/founder of Amani Baby Cottage, an orphanage for children ages birth to five.  Started in 2003, the orphanage is situated half a block down the road from Surjio’s and at the bequest of Dianna we decided to pay it a visit.  Having found homes for over 250 children since they opened their doors, not enough can be said about the amazing work the people of Amani are doing.  The baby cottage is run by several local Ugandan women as well as a few Mzungu volunteers from around the globe.  When we arrived, one of the volunteers, a young 20 something year old girl from Tennessee, greeted us and showed us around the compound.  Amani was taking care of around 50 adoptable children at the time of our visit and can house up to 60.  Split almost evenly between boys and girls, the girls occupied the upstairs of the complex while the boys were downstairs.  After spending the better part of a day with the folks at Amani, feeding the babies, playing with little dudes, having the tiniest two year old of the bunch ask you your name then try for the next 10 min to repeat it just as you said it is enough to turn anyone’s heart into mush. The pictures speak for themselves.

Amani Baby Cottage

Amani Baby Cottage

The Boys at Amani

Alison Holding One of the Babies

One of the Newborns

Cutest Boy Ever

Baby Looking for a Home

Playing with the Babies

Lots of Diapers to Wash

Serving His Children (

Over the past year, we have been following the blog of Renee Bach, a 22-year-old woman from Virginia who started a malnutrition clinic in the village of Masese just east of Jinja. We emailed ahead to ask if we could stop by for a visit and they graciously welcomed us. With Renee back in the states visiting family and fundraising, we were greeted by Danielle Acito, the Assistant Director of their operation in Africa.  Danielle joyfully gave us the grand tour of their facilities, walking us through everything that they do there and how it has evolved over time to meet the ever-changing situation on the ground. It was remarkable to see firsthand what a tremendous difference can be made by the initiative of one.  I think her heart is the size of a giraffe’s (they have the largest heart of all land mammals).

Danielle Acito Showing Us Around the SHC Facilities

Photo Wall of all the Children They've Helped

One of the Current Residents of SHC

Family at Serving His Children

The "ICU" at the SHC House

One of the Bedrooms at SHC House

SHC House Kitchen

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Category: Blog, Destinations, Featured Posts, Pat's Blog, Uganda

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    Hey, you two! Thanks for this post as a reminder of the needs in Uganda. I actually borrowed your info at the beginning of your post to share on facebook and wherever else I can get people’s attention! Love you, miss you, praying for you!

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