Through this project we support the education of a group of vulnerable children who are living under the care of our Trusted Advisor, Sr Theresa Abigaba. They live together in purpose-built accommodation on the grounds of Good Shepherd Special School in Fort Portal, Western Uganda. Many of these children have lost their parents to AIDS or Malaria which continues to still take thousands of lives every year in Uganda. Others have been abused and have moved there to seek refuge, whilst some have been abandoned due to their disabilities. All of their stories are truly heart-breaking.
This project was initiated in 2015 when we became aware that Sr Theresa had ‘taken in’ a number of vulnerable children from surrounding villages in desperate need of a safe home. We saw pictures of their living accommodation at the school and were very keen to build something more fit for purpose for these children. In 2016 our charity (in partnership with charity ‘Helping Uganda Schools’) built new living accommodation in order to improve their quality of life. The house is called St Gabriel’s House in acknowledgement of the support provided by St Gabriel’s RC High in Bury to BAO over the last 2 decades and is a wonderful space providing a safe home for the children under the care of this project.
Currently there are 15 children living at St Gabriel’s House who are supported by this project. The primary school children attend The Good Shepherd School (where they live) and the secondary children are studying at a nearby High School. Once children complete their studies, they enter a ‘Transition 1-2 years’ where we continue to send funds to support them and help them enter the world of work, after which point, we would expect for them to move out of St Gabriel’s house and become financially independent. As children complete their education and transition out of the house, we have been able to move new children into the project.
Our main objective is to provide a safe home for these children under Sr Theresa’s care and give them the best chance to improve their lives through education.