Who is Suubi Africa?
We are a small but passionate charity working to change the lives of every child we touch in Uganda. We have 2 teams - one based in the UK and one in Uganda. The majority of our fundraising is done in the UK and every penny we receive goes to help the children. There are 8 trustees, 7 of which are based in the UK but who go over to Uganda regularly.
The charity was formed in 2008 with a dream to build a home for 6 abandoned children. Since we first began this journey there have been many challenges and our vision has changed but what we have achieved over these last 10 years is nothing short of a miracle. Our original plan was to move our family out of the city of Kampala, to buy some land and build a house in a rural area so they had a better quality of life. We achieved this when we moved our family into Elvet House in December 2012.
Our plan was to begin raising money to build a second home to adopt another set of needy children. This plan however had to be put on hold when we started to look at where we were and the community we had moved into. The community is very poor. There is little or no access to health care or education. There was nothing for children to do and no joy, life or hope in their eyes. It became clear that we had to do something to help improve the lives of the children and other members of the community that we were now a part of.
So over the next 3 years, we did just that. In 2013 we started our first community outreach program called The Saturday Club. We invited children from the community to come onto our land to play and to be fed a proper meal. We had budgeted for around 50 children. We installed some playground equipment and within a few months we were getting over 200 children coming. We could not turn them away. Many of these children came from further communities and walked for miles to reach us, often carrying a younger sibling. In an area where there was nothing for children to do or go or play with, this was like going to Disneyland for them! So we appealed for more funds and were very grateful to the Rotary Clubs of Durham who agreed to sponsor the Saturday Club. We soon found that the playground equipment that we had was not holding up very well with over 200 children, so we bought more! More recently, Jeremiah has built some other items such as a climbing frame and monkey bars and he cleared an area of land and built football goalposts and netball posts so the children can play team games as well.
This remains our main outreach program but we also hold Messy Church every Sunday and run adult classes such as English, a ladies sewing class, health & hygiene workshops and hope to be able to offer more in the future. We have become the hub of the village and want to help these people in any way we can.
In December 2015, we opened Suubi Africa Children's Medical Center. Access to healthcare is very limited and most of the children suffer from things that could be simply treated. We had an opportunity to convert a small derelict building, so we took it. It has 2 rooms and we have a local fully qualified nurse who works 7 days a week. We can treat children from 0-5 years old. We hope to be able to build a bigger medical center in the future and therefore be able to treat older children.
In February 2016, we opened the doors to Suubi Africa Primary School. Over the last 2 years we have been completing the school sections at a time. The need for good education is so great that we simply completed and opened sections as and when the funds allowed. We currently have 116 children attending the school from nursery up to Primary 4. In the summer of 2018 we built a new dining hall for the school. As well as being used for the children to have their meals, this will be of great use when we run classes, workshops and put on community events.
So, we have built a community - Suubi Africa Village. It consists of Elvet House (home to our 10 adopted children), Suubi Africa Children's Medical Center, Suubi Africa Primary School, the Saturday Club, Messy Church, a Community Building, a Playground, a Farm and a dining room/community hall. We are in the process of finalising plans to build another home and we hope to begin the build before the end of the year.