With around 44 deaths per one thousand babies, Uganda has the HIGHEST under-five mortality rate in East Africa (the UK’s rate is around 4.5). Deadly malaria is rife. Highly infectious diseases, such as typhoid, diarrhoea, pneumonia, and HIV/AIDS, are often passed from the mother to infant, and can be fatal to the parents too, leaving their children as orphans.
More than one million displaced refugees live in Uganda. Of these, more than two thirds are babies and children. More than ten percent of these vulnerable children are unaccompanied, torn from their homes and loved ones to face extreme poverty, malnutrition, and virulent disease.
Orphaned CHILDREN growing up in poverty are especially vulnerable to PHYSICAL and SEXUAL ABUSE – even death – and are often forced into early marriage, or child labour, usually missing out on vital education.
The Moyo Babies’ Home (for ages 0-6) and the Redeemer Children’s Home (6-18), run by the Sacred Heart Sisters in Moyo, northern Uganda, provide a lifeline for children facing tragic circumstances. The Sisters do their best to feed, clothe, house, and educate these DESPERATE orphaned children. They also work to provide essential life skills. With NO government support, they rely on the kindness of individuals, such as YOU to give the children a chance in life. IRT funds 100% of the running costs of the Homes.
IRT has helped the Homes to establish two small-scale farms, with pigs, poultry, cattle and a small dairy. They also produce a variety of crops, including maize, soya and millet. The Sisters are doing their best to achieve a high level of food self-sufficiency in order to defray running costs, but they cannot continue to do this without YOUR help,
Covid travel restrictions have disrupted the deliveries of foodstuffs and other vital goods. The Sisters are trying to cope as best they can – relying on the farms as far as possible, but prices in the markets have soared:
(Prices in pounds sterling)
In northern Uganda, only 30% of children who enter primary school go on to complete their primary school education. The Homes are able to ensure that 100% of the children in their care receive a full education right through to the end of secondary school.
As they come close to their time to leave the Homes, the children are prepared with a choice of vocational courses. Some qualify as nurses and midwives; others as agricultural business managers, mechanics and lab technicians. This amazing programme can only be sustained with YOUR support.
Most of the children at the homes have experienced some truly horrific trauma before arriving at the homes. Here are the stories of just a few of these children:
Fleeing the conflict in South Sudan, Rebecca and her mother were living in a refugee camp in northern Uganda. Reports were received that Rebecca was at HIGH risk. Her mother had SEVERE mental health problems. She BEAT Rebecca, would STAND on her, and even threatened her with a knife.
Rebecca was also SEVERELY undernourished. Local authorities stepped in and, at 8 months, Rebecca was brought to the Moyo Babies’ Home. Initially UNDERWEIGHT and TERRIFIED of people, Rebecca has now attained a healthy weight, her appetite has returned to normal, and she is learning to play.
In March 2020, Diana’s mother gave birth in the bush while foraging for food. All alone, she tragically bled to death. A villager heard Diana crying and arrived just in time to save the new born baby from a wild pig. The local Parish Priest arranged for Diana to be admitted to the Moyo Babies’ Home.
She is now almost a year old, is thriving and is already able to stand. Without YOUR support, the Sisters would not have been able to provide a home for Diana.
Faustine and his Sister, Gloria, were taken into the Homes when their mother persistently deserted them. Mentally unstable, she would wander away from home and sleep under trees in the bush. One day, she could not be found and local authorities brought both children to the Homes.
“The selfless work of the Sacred Heart Sisters will NEVER stop. But NOW especially, this relies more than ever on YOUR support! The challenges faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mean supply chains have been disrupted, affecting food, medicines and hygiene products. All have rocketed in price. YOUR help is VITAL in ensuring the children have access to these ESSENTIALS. You will have seen some of the desperately tragic circumstances affecting the children who enter the Homes. It is NOT their fault. But there are many more like them, and we want to continue to offer them love, safety, security and a REAL chance for the future. YOU can help lay the foundations for a better future and give these children HOPE! Thank you!” Steven Smith MBE