Little Praise was found abandoned in Mulago, a Kampala suburb in February 2015, at one-and-a-half months and placed into emergency care. After our social workers tried in vain to trace her family, she was approved for adoption in August. Luckily for Praise, there was a loving heart waiting to receive her. Her adoptive mother had been undergoing assessment and was approved to adopt by the Government Adoption Panel on the same day! After a successful bonding arrangement with her new family, it was all joy and excitement as the sweet angel finally went home in December 2015! We found a loving family for little Praise and we will for many more, with your help!
Can you provide a loving home for an abandoned child? Contact us today. call +256 (0)776110304 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We believe Ugandan children deserve Ugandan families.
Little George was picked off the streets of Kampala, Uganda after he was found abandoned by his mother. He was homeless, cold and hopeless. After nearly 3 years of unsuccessful tracing of relatives and looking for an adoptive parent thereafter, we were finally able to place George in a loving family hailing from Gulu in Northern Uganda and will continue to monitor his progress as he bonds with his new family. This is George’s journey.
Adopting a child is a life-long commitment that raises many questions in the mind, especially for someone that is considering doing it. We are delighted to have a real-life adoptive mother attempt to provide answers to some of these questions from her personal experience.
Nearly three years ago, Ugandan celebrity TV personality Rukh Shana Namuyimba took the first step towards realizing her dream of adopting a child. She was overwhelmed with joy and fulfillment when she finally held her daughter Laura for the very first time, then only four months old. Rukh Shana has confessed that becoming a parent is her greatest achievement in life so far, and her life is evidently transformed daily as she watches her little angel grow. In this video, Rukh Shana answers common questions on the adoption process to give an insight into what it takes.
You too can transform your life and more importantly, that of a Ugandan child today by opening your heart and home to them. Contact us on email email@example.com or call +256 (0)776110304
GABA COMMUNITY CHURCH ANSWERS THE CALL TO PLACE CHILDREN IN FAMILIES.
Why we place children in Families.
We’ve always known that children thrive in a loving family, be that with their own relatives, traced, resettled and supported by our social workers, or with a new adoptive family. At Ugandans Adopt , we’re ambitious, and we believe family care is all a child should ever know. Through the love of a parent, a child learns to form bonds and healthy attachments. The amazing thing is that if a child learns this with a foster carer, this bond can be passed on to a mother or father when reunited, or to an adoptive parent. What’s important is that the child hasn’t missed out on learning this, which can happen as the result of time spend in institutional care during the formative months and years.
Gaba Community Church
We’ve just launched an exciting partnership with Gaba Community Church in Uganda. This partnership is a result of the Pastors’ Conference that we co-organised with Gaba Community Church, CARNAC , and Lifeline Children’s Service on February 19th 2015.
As a result the church community have made a commitment to foster abandoned children while we trace for their families. The children will experience the love of a family, as well as the community support of the extended family of the church.
On Sunday 28th June , the church organised a Children’s Sunday themed ‘Children in families’ to encourage the congregation to open their hearts and their homes. Pastor Peter Kasirivu the Senior pastor at Gaba Community Church, a part of African Renewal Ministries and a strong advocate of children in loving families asked his congregation: “Some of you are the fathers these children need, some of you are the mothers these children need. Are you willing to open your home to life?”
He later explained his commitment to family care for children:
“As a Christian, I know I was adopted by God. Because I was helped, I want to help. Institutions cannot provide what a family can. There are thousands of children who need help, so I hope that my congregation open up. But I also hope that other churches see what we have done, that they may also up. I believe what we have done here can be done by many churches. I feel like we can be an example, a catalyst for what can be done amongst other church bodies in the country of Uganda. I really believe that with the families we have in this country, there is no reason why a child should be on the street.”
One lady in the congregation was very moved by the call to action and said that she often cares for
children within the church community on an ad hoc basis, and sees fostering as an extension of the way that the church community already works: “The children I have been looking after have parents who can afford to care for them, I am definitely happy to foster a child who has no family”.
At the end of the service, the congregation was encouraged to visit the information point which they did in big numbers. A number of families and individuals filled out Expressions of interest forms to either foster or adopt the children from Loving Hearts’ Babies Home, a home run by the church.
We are proud of the great start to our pilot partnership with Gaba Community Church. We look forward to partnering with more Ugandan churches. If you or your church is interested in having us present or partnering with us on a similar project please call us on 0776110304 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to hearing from you.
WHY WE SHOULD ALL FOSTER UGANDA’S ABANDONED CHILDREN.
At her home in the suburbs of Wakiso, Doreen Kyomugisha cuddles and rocks four months old Anita who is making innocent baby noises without a care in the world. Before long, she is asleep and is taken to bed. 8 months old Peter wakes up almost immediately, “that is their sleeping sequence,” Kyomugisha says while emerging from the bedroom with him. Peter is a very bubbly baby who doesn’t cry for all the time I am there.
The social worker who I go with to Kyomugisha’s home is surprised that Peter no longer cries, “he used to cry a lot, I’m surprised he is calm now,” she quips.
Looking at these two babies, you could think they are Kyomugisha’s children, until you hear their plight, a plight no one would want to have.
Anita’s mother left her at a witch doctor’s home, she came on a boda boda, entered the house and asked for 5,000/= to pay the boda boda cyclist, the witch doctor’s daughter who was home told her she didn’t have money, Anita’s mum then asked to leave Anita with her for a short time so that she could go to her friend who lived in the neighbourhood and get money to pay. She told the same story to the cyclist, Anita’s mother never returned. Peter was left at a verandah in Wakiso at 10:00p.m in the night. Peter is believed to have been five days old because his umbilical cord hadn’t fallen off yet.
Whereas the babies thrived health wise when they were brought, they were not coping up socially, Peter would throw a lot of tantrums while Anita was too withdrawn. Kyomugisha took them on under the short term foster care programme that was being piloted at Ugandans Adopt.
Short term foster care
For years Ugandans have Many abandoned babies end up in institutional care and orphanages which are potentially harmful to the mental and physical development of such children.
According to UNICEF statistics, as many as eight million children are spending their precious and irreplaceable childhood in institutions. In most cases, the children are receive food, clothes, a cot or bed, an education and a roof over their heads but they never get the love, support and sense of identity that only a loving family can give. Family life is critical to a child’s healthy development. Without it, children suffer great harm and are deeply damaged.
According to Immaculate Atwine Byaruhanga, a Transitional Care Manager, short term foster care or emergency foster care is where abandoned children are placed with loving families who provide temporary care in a real home and family. “The organization continues providing for the child’s basic needs like education and health, all one has to do is provide a home and love for the child, so that they don’t have delayed milestones,” she adds.
While a child is being cared for in this way, social workers will try and trace their relatives and reunite the child with their family, if those attempts are unsuccessful, a child can go on to be placed permanently with loving Ugandan adoptive parents. Whatever the outcome, whether resettlement or adoption, in the meantime the child will have been loved, supported and nurtured in a real family. The child will have started to form secure attachments which they can continue to develop when placed with a permanent family.
Where as Long-term foster care is when neither family resettlement nor adoption are a viable option, long-term fostering gives a child the chance to grow up loved in a family until they reach the age of 18. In some cases, children have family but, due to child protection issues, cannot be resettled with them. In this instance, the next best option is finding an alternative family to bring them up as their own
According to James Kaboggoza Ssembatya, the Assistant Commissioner of Children’s Affairs at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development the concept of Short Term Foster Care ensures children are not subjected to institutional care. This enables the child the child to grow up in a family setting. ”It also provides an opportunity for foster parents considering adoption to stay with a child and see if they are compatible”, he adds.
Could you provide a loving home?
Ugandans Adopt is piloting a short term foster care programme. Though abandoned, these children deserve to grow up in a family setting, rather than be raised in an institution without a family. Short term foster care makes a significant and lasting difference to a child’s health and happiness, giving them the best possible start in life and a happy yet healthy future.
You can give an abandoned child the love and care they need until a loving family is found for them. If you have room in your heart and home to provide an abandoned baby with a loving family, Ugandans Adopt would love to hear from you.Ugandans Adopt is calling upon all Ugandan families and individuals who are able and willing to care for abandoned Ugandan children for short term foster care to reach them.
Who can foster?
Almost any adult over 21 can apply to be a Foster Carer, but as with any career, some people will be more suited than others. You do not need any formal qualifications to become a Foster Carer. However, you do need skills and experience that will enable you to meet the needs of a child. You can apply to foster regardless of your marital or residential status. Your suitability will be independently assessed and vetted by a Government panel.
Below is a video that sheds light on Short Term Foster Care
We asked Rukh-Shana, adoptive mother and Ugandans Adopt heroine, to give us an update on her adoption journey. In her own words, she tells us how Twinkletoes is keeping her on her toes:
KEEPING UP WITH MY TWINKLETOES-RUKH-SHANA
The date is 30th March 2015. It’s 10:30am and I should be dashing for my morning cup of tea but I am stuck at my desk neck deep in routine stuff attempting to pull together a report that should have been submitted the night before. Even as I am propped up behind my desk, my mind racing a mile a minute with all the things I need to get done before the new month, my mind wanders off to a happy place. It is my little girl’s birthday today and we had a tantrum-free morning, can’t quite recall what that felt like, so I am delighted with her. My mind wanders further off to what seems like a distant time. A time when I prided myself in being nimble and swift on my feet, a busy body with never a dull moment in my life, always colliding with time…then came Twinkletoes, and in the blink of an eye I was a snail dragging my shell on the race track of life alongside this toddler who was suddenly in an insane rush to go places; to see the big beautiful world through her twinkling eyes. I have since then been trying to keep up with my Twinkletoes.
And speaking of the world, my rather controlled world has never been the same since she flung the doors wide open and came waltzing in. Twinkletoes was just four months when we met on that beautiful Monday evening. Well I think it was a Monday because on a Friday I dressed up for my big day with the adoption panel-all butterflies in my belly and with knees of jelly. My prayer was simple that morning, “Lord may Your will be done!” I still muse at just how our plans can take a twist for the better. Now, when I set on out on my adoption journey in 2012, I had it all figured out. She had to be between 8 and 12months old – young enough to bond quite easily and old enough to fit it into my crazy work schedule. My life needed to maintain a semblance of sane balance as I knew it…I suppose I was simply being ME – in control. But in came Twinkletoes, a sparkly sunshine, a voluble wind turning my structured world sweetly topsy-turvy. One moment I was grounded and the next, I was knocked off- balance falling flat on my face in a fit of joy with outbursts of tears and the momentary tittering on the brink of insanity.
Three years on, ours has been a beautiful journey of watching her grow from this shy, thumb- sucking child to a very persuasive, independent and absolutely crazy thumb-sucking toddler who decided at the age of two that she mostly preferred to wear little dresses instead of the shorts and tees her over bearing mother had filled her closet with. Yes, I was a tom boy after all and I didn’t quite have the luxury of defiantly pouting at my mother if she suggested I wear some hand-me-down boyish shorts. So I was quite taken aback when my Twinkletoes proved to be tenacious in getting what she wanted. My mother says I may not have been a tenacious tot but I most definitely turned out to be as tenacious as they come later in life so I should cut Twinkle some slack. So for the most part I have cut her some slack, perhaps too much, and as a result she does mostly get what she wants. I suppose she has found a soft spot and is quite intent on milking it for what it’s worth.
Speaking of soft spots Ma Petite, as I sometimes refer to her has a soft spot for hurting people. I have watched as she has, through the years, blossomed into an expressive and caring little girl especially around other children; quick to offer hugs if that is what it takes to make someone else feel better.
This morning, as I reflect on the year gone by, my heart swells with pride at the little milestones of awesomeness we have reached together. The day we went shopping for nursery schools and when we finally settled for her current school she was a fit of delight. Every day till the first day of term we fought over her insistence that she wear her uniform at home and carry her little rucksack to the door as I left for work. This would almost always end with a tantrum that quietened down with me promising she would start school the next day (yes I lied but what do you do with a tenacious 2 plus year old who will not take ‘wait a little longer’ for an answer?) …and when we finally showed up on the first day of school, I was a weeping mess and she was only too delighted to mix and mingle with the other little kids. Then came the first time she randomly said, “I love you mummy”. We had just had a ‘fight’ so that totally threw me off balance and I could not hold back the tears, her response was a shocker: “Mummy you’re kwaying (read crying) for nothing.” That was the beginning of my transformation into a crying mummy.
I have since shed a tear or two during her first swimming lesson; her first mumbled prayer with a resounding AMEN; her first Sunday school session; her first attempt at brushing her own teeth; her first bicycle ride. But the most treasured of our milestones is her learning my full name, probably from watching TV and her daddy’s name. She still cannot say her daddy’s without almost biting her tongue but whenever she does it is with such a sweetness like nothing else really matters in her little world. And perhaps nothing really does to my Twinkletoes and many like her. Nothing really matters but that they have unconditional love and a family to call their own.
To wrap up this heart warming story, Rukh-Shana talks about her adoption experience and why more Ugandans should consider opening their hearts and homes to Ugandan children in the video below:
Could you be the next Rukh-shana? We would love to hear from yo. Call us on 0776110304/0776110316 or send us an email @ email@example.com
Recently James a special boy from Ekisa Ministries went home to love and a family, thanks to the hard work of the Ekisa Team and his mother’s unrelenting love. Ekisa Ministries provides those living with disabilities in Jinja, a place of understanding and assists them in their physical, mental, and spiritual growth. In Luganda, the local language of Uganda, Ekisa means “Grace.” Emily Ekisa Ministries’s Founder and Director tells us the story below in her own words:
I remember the day we brought James to Ekisa. He was a shy, quiet little boy clearly in need of care. Over the months, we saw James come out of his shell and transform to the feisty, spunky boy he is today. During this time, Rosemary, one of our care takers at Ekisa, was by his side the whole time. She expressed interest in taking on James as her own son, and of course we were excited.
We started to prepare to bring the case to the Adoption Panel , while Rosemary fell more and more in love with James everyday. Rosemary has a minor physical disability, and has spent much of her free time working on the community level to empower people living with special needs in Uganda. It was a natural step for her to decide to adopt James.
Rosemary went to Panel in April 2014, and was approved to proceed in her adoption of James. In August 2014, James officially went to live with Rosemary! We are so thankful for Rosemary’s heart and her willingness to open her heart and home to James. We pray she may inspire more families to come forward and adopt children with special needs!
Why the Post Placement support service?
In the past, Ugandan families looked after children from within their kinship network and sometimes these children were ‘adopted’. In other circumstances, people took on the care of non-kin children and made these their own. These children were also referred to as ‘adopted’.
As such, there are a good number of Ugandan families who have ‘adopted’ and yet the children have grown up believing they are biological children of their families. Telling a child they are adopted has majorly been considered a taboo, something one cannot and is not permitted to disclose leave alone talk about. More people are becoming aware of formal adoption and many people will or have already started considering the need to tell their child their adoption story or the story could be accidentally be let out by someone else. However, they lack the ‘knowhow’ to do this. This is where the post placement support service comes in.
In addition once a family adopts according to Ugandan law, the family is closely monitored and supported during the 3 years of fostering before adoption. During this period, a family has regular contact with their social worker and placing child care agency. However, we realized that there is a gap in support and service provision after the 3 years period has elapsed. Families will have often felt isolated, abandoned and unsupported. This is likely to create opportunities for placements to break down causing significant emotional damage for both the child and family involved. What is the Post placement Support Service/Center about?
On behalf of the Government of Uganda (Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development) through the Ugandans Adopt campaign, The Post Placement Support Service is an initiative by Families For Children (an umbrella of over 150 Ugandan NGOs working with vulnerable children) and Child’s i Foundation through Ugandans Adopt .It is going to be jointly facilitated Staff members of these two child welfare organizations and the Ugandans Adopt team. Its activities will be reported to the Ministry of Gender Labour Social Development. The Post placement support Service / Center will begin operations in August 2014
Where we are right now.
In April and May we held discussions about the service and had meeting with our partners. In June 2014 we had a number of trainings of key staff on specialist areas of support. This month we will have a Workshop with MoGLSD to create awareness and then the service will be launched in August 2014
Through this service we aim to provide ongoing free support and become a ‘one stop shop’ for both fostering and adoptive families and their children in areas of need such as;
What next the child is finally home
What support to expect from their social workers
What support to expect from the probation service
Where to go for: counseling, behavioral management, emotional health issues, legal support
Family does not get the social work service they deserve or don’t get along with their social workers
They are worried about their child
Where to get training
The service will empower foster and adoptive families with the right information to manage their situation(s).
Who is the service for?
A national country wide service
Adoptive Parents- local and international
Relatives/friends of adopters
What services are being offered?
Support with adoption order application
Support with care orders
Support finding a good trusted specialist – Lawyer, child psychologist etc
Support with Probation Office issues
Independent social work support
Telling a child they are adopted
Telling families and friends about an adoption
Life story work and memory book/box
Sign posting to Counseling for adoptees
Sign posting to Counseling for Adoptive Parents
Parenting skills support
Behavioral management guidance for parents
Link for any issues relating to adoption and fostering
A helping hand to navigate the adoption and fostering process
The support when agency social work support comes to an end after fostering period
Resource centre for information; books; journals?, testimonies, surveys, research etc.
How do I access this service?
On the Ugandans Adopt campaign website and Face book page.
Recently Pastor Mark Kigozi a renowned motivational speaker and TV presenter with NBS TV visited us to express his interest in adopting from us. Below we bring you the real life story of Pastor Mark who together with his wife Maureen have three children, two of whom are adopted.
In 1998, I fell in love with the most wonderful lady, Maureen. I had just made up my mind to follow my dream to become a Youth Pastor at Kampala Pentecostal Church, now Watoto Church. Maureen was the Youth Choir Leader and I was Youth Head, so working together gave us the time to build a solid relationship. It was a great courtship and we were married on 1st May 1999.
Little did we know it would be a long time until we could have a child. After four years of waiting, Maureen suggested we adopt a child. After all, there was no reason why we could not give a child the opportunity of having a place to call home and parents of its own. We were already opening our home to many teenagers who found comfort with us. Our lives were an open book. They spent nights tagging along on mission trips and ministry. We also did our best to be there for them when they needed a listening ear or helping hand.
Yet these teenagers only came to us for what they missed out at home and eventually had to go back. Yet there were many children out there who were rejected, and we knew we could give them a loving home. Our adoption journey saw us visit a number of orphanages until we zeroed in on Sanyu Babies Home.
The choice of picking the first child fell upon me. I had always longed to have a little girl and so Maureen preferred that I make the final decision. Something drew me to a little baby girl, just three months of age, asleep in the hands of one of the caretakers. Before long she was in our care and we gave her the name Melissa, Kirabo Miracle Kigozi – Kirabo meaning” gift”. It was a delight to see her grow up and call us Daddy and Mummy. She is now 10 years of age.
When Melissa turned two, she decided that she needed a sibling and this time we wanted a boy. Since chemistry works better with opposites, it was Maureen’s turn to make the final decision. She said she had dreamt about this boy and seen his face.
We went back to Sanyu Babies Home and met the little boys there. After interacting with the little ones, Maureen asked the person in charge if there was any other boy in their care. And there was one little boy playing by himself in the play room. Maureen asked to meet him and it was love at first sight!He was six months old and handsome. We went home with him after a few days and we named him Maxwell. Maxwell is now eight years old and is in P3. Our two children are a source of joy and fulfillment to us; above all, they are such good friends.
About a year and eight months ago, God blessed us with a daughter, Melody. She was an unexpected gift that we received with gratitude. Her siblings, Maxwell and Melissa, had been praying for her and the love her to bits. She is our third born, so we are now a complete family of three!
Our children are all gifts from God and we treat them in order of advent. Many couples fear to adopt due to stigma from society. But we see adoption as a miracle from God and a ministry to children and God. Sometimes we wonder what would have become of our lovely children if we did not have them in our family!
What if each family opened up their hearts and adopted a child? Wouldn’t that solve the problem of parentless and street children in our country? Wouldn’t that be pleasing to God and to the nation? Wouldn’t that be the answer for a rejected, parentless child crying on their own and asking why others have families and they don’t?
If you are considering adopting like Pastor Mark or fostering a child, we are very happy to answer any further questions that you may have. Please call Aidah on +25676110304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and updates, like our Facebook page and follow us on twitter.
To watch Pastor Mark and Maureen’s adoption story, click on the video below:
We talked to Maureen Orogot, a senior Adoption Practitioner, about adoption assessments. Maureen, who has worked in adoption for over three years, explains why thorough assessments represent a critical part of the adoption process.
What is a pre-adoption assessment?
Every prospective adoptive parent has to go through a formal assessment process. It is a crucial step in the ten steps of adoption. The Social Worker assigned to a prospective adoptive parent is responsible for the assessment, including a home study. They visit the parent at home to discuss and explore why they want to adopt, the kind of child you would best be able to care for, and your overall suitability. References are followed up and checks are made as part of the assessment process.
What does the assessment process involve?
The process involves the assigned Social Worker meeting with and interviewing the prospective adoptive parent. It also involves observation, monitoring and evaluation on the Social Worker’s part. This is the perfect chance for the two parties to get to know and understand each other. It is a great opportunity to build rapport and trust.
Are other parties /friends/family members consulted during the assessment?
All parties ‘who will be directly involved in the upbringing of the child are consulted and interviewed at this point. This may include immediate and distant family, family or personal friends, neighbors, local council leaders, chairpersons, children in the home. Anyone else who will have contact with the child is also interviewed during the assessment.
Why is it important to thoroughly assess prospective adoptive parents?
We carry out thorough assessments to mitigate any child protection risks. They are also important for getting to know the family the child is going into. A strong support network is vital and crucial in the child’s life given that most of these children have suffered loss and rejection. As a result, experiencing rejection or abandonment again could prove traumatic and harmful to the child.
How do you ensure that an assessment is not biased or incorrect?
During the assessments, confidentiality is very important – not just for the parents, but also for the children’s safety. We also carry out second-opinion assessments to avoid any bias or incorrect information. These second opinions, which include follow-up interviews, are done by an independent social worker. This Social Worker evaluates the actions of the assigned social worker and writes a report. During the second-opinion evaluation, the emphasis is on honesty and truth. This stage usually represents the first time that the parent meets the independent social worker. These reports are presented before the Adoption Panel.
What is the role of the probation Officer in the assessment process? Are there costs incurred in relation to the Probation Officer’s involvement in the assessment process.
We work together with the Probation Officers who also carry out independent family assessments. The involvement of the area Probation Office is vital in the assessment process. To assess the family’s ability to adopt a child, the area Probation Officer carries out an independent assessment of the family, including their history, home structure and support system.
The Probation Officer then generates an independent report on the capability of the family to adopt a child. Depending on the Probation Officer, there may also be some costs involved in carrying this assessment. In some cases, the family has to facilitate the probation officer to carry out the assessment. The facilitation will go towards covering transport and /or other costs incurred during the assessment process.
An as Adoption Practitioner, why do you emphasize thorough assessments?
Assessments prepare the prospective parent(s) for the adoption process – both psychologically and physically. Together with their social workers, parents work through any issues that may be standing in the way of their adoption process. In most cases, it is the perfect opportunity for us to counsel and encourage parents who might want to adopt, but are either still grieving or going through a hard time. It helps them to support the child when the placement eventually happens.
We are also responsible for ensuring the child is being placed in a safe place by identifying and limiting any child protection risks, establishing how we can best support the child during and after the placement and getting to know the family. At the end of the day, the child is our number one priority and everything we do is in the best interest of the child.
For more information on adoption, please call us on 0776110304 or send an email to email@example.com