The Adoptive Families Association (AFA) of Uganda in partnership with Child’s i Foundation will be hosting a gathering for prospective and adoptive families and all those interested in learning more about adoption on Saturday 9th March 2019 at Lugogo Baptist Church from 10:00-12:00 pm.
The AFA which was launched on November 10th 2018 is a diverse community of families from all over Uganda and around the world who have adopted or are interested in adoption in Uganda. The AFA is made up of families, prospective parents, single parents and more. The AFA offers a safe space to ask adoption-related questions, connect with like-minded people and offers encouragement to those on their adoption journey. At any stage of adoption, the AFA strives to offer the support both prospective and adoptive parents need.
You are welcome to join and learn more about the adoption process in Uganda, meet other adoptive families, sit down with experts and most importantly make friends and join the AFA community.
For more information call +256766110304, email [email protected] or send us a message on Facebook.
Kampala, Uganda: On Saturday, November 10, The Adoptive Families Association of Uganda will host their first gathering for adoptive families. The Association is pleased to invite any family interested in learning more about adoption or who’ve already completed the process of adoption to join this informal celebration of friends and family.The program will include a brief introduction of the Association and its goals for the next year. This is the first organization of its kind in Uganda. Members are thrilled to encourage a thriving peer support network for adopted children and their families; as well as to better understand and assess institutional care in Uganda and help improve the quality and re-purpose the nature of services offered by residential child-care organizations through the support of adoption and fostering of abandoned children.
About the Adoptive Families Association of Uganda: The new association seeks to help all stakeholders understand the process of adoption in Uganda following best practices; to normalise adoption, encouraging other families to adopt, and advocate for abandoned children; to combat myths and misconceptions about adoption in Uganda and Greater East Africa; and to create a supportive network for adoptive families and prospective adoptive parents and their children. The Association is in the process of obtaining legal status and will be a not for profit, charitable organization.
According to Child’s i Foundation’s Country Director, Fred Mukholi, many Ugandans would love to adopt a child and give them a loving family to belong to, but they still lack guidance and information on how to do this. We are excited about the Adoptive Families’ Association because it presents a uniting platform for like-minded people. “We believe the Association will enable its members to share ideas and advocate collectively for the benefit of vulnerable children in Uganda who do not have a chance to grow up in loving and safe families”, Fred notes.
The brief morning program will take place at the Child’s i Foundation office in Muyenga.
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 protected] 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 [email protected] . We look forward to hearing from you.
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 protected]
We bring the very first behind-the-scenes video of the Ugandans Adopt campaign through the eyes of our Communications Officer. For the first time since the campaign began in 2011, we are giving our supporters an exclusive to see first hand the effort that goes into making this incredible campaign.
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.
In this video, NTV’s Rukh-Shana Namuyimba an adoptive mother, TV star and Ugandans Adopt ambassador talks about her adoption experience and why more Ugandans should consider opening their hearts and homes to Ugandan children .
Below we bring you the final part of Rukh-shana’s interview in which she discusses becoming a parent and how it has changed her life . In this part she also gives tips to Ugandan Prospective and adoptive parents.
How is your adoption experience so far? Has the experience been a good one?
Rukh-shana: It’s been an amazing journey – not just for me and my little girl, but my family too. I have absolutely no regrets. Would we do it again? Absolutely.
How has becoming a parent changed you?
Rukh-shana: I don’t recognize myself anymore. I am more patient and tolerant, and even my family has noticed that I’m less stressed. I guess knowing that there is this little person counting on you to keep it together really helps you keep your head. And she keeps me smiling, so I am feeling – and hopefully looking -younger.
What are some of the changes you have made?
Rukh-shana: Most were minor lifestyle-related choices, but the major one was connected to my career as a Corporate Relations Practitioner. It’s a profession with irregular working hours, so when I became a mum, I knew I needed to prioritize, and that meant making more time for bonding with my daughter. I swapped full-time formal employment for a more flexible option that gave me more time with her and it has been rewarding in many ways.
What have you learned most in this process?
Rukh-shana: I have learned that sometimes we think we are changing someone’s life, when actually we are changing our own lives too. We become better people and often growing into our own purpose and destiny without even knowing it. There is no greater reward than that.
What would you like to share with other adoptive parents?
Rukh-shana: Kudos to you for opening up your hearts and homes to the little ones. Never forget that children are a gift from God. Even when times are tough, stay committed to nurturing them the best way you know and God will honor you.
What would you like to tell Ugandan families or individuals who are thinking of adopting?
Rukh-shana: If you have fears, concerns or anxieties, get information, educate yourself and stop putting it off. There is a child in some home just waiting for you to welcome them into yours. I believe it’s one of the greatest acts of sacrifice, but also the most rewarding.
Finally, what are your last words to every Ugandan individual or family reading this article?
Rukh-shana: Some children come from mummy’s womb and others come from mummy’s heart. And you don’t need to be wealthy to adopt a child; all you need is a big enough heart. If you are reading this, you already want to make a difference. You can’t keep every child out of institution, but saving just one makes a huge difference to that child’s life.
To find out more on how you can adopt or become an adoptive parent like Rukh-shana, please send an email to [email protected] or call Aidah 0776110304
While Rukh-shana is a familiar face on the Weekend Edition news on NTV Uganda, she is also a doting Mum who is very passionate about her country Uganda . We recently caught up with her to talk about what makes her tick , motherhood and why she joined the Ugandans Adopt Campaign. In part 1 of the interview Rukh-shana discusses the Ugandans Adopt Campaign and her adoption journey.
Who is Rukh-shana?
Rukh-shana: She is a normal young woman who believes life is to be lived with passionate purpose and purposeful passion. Every day presents opportunities to do just that, and she grabs them with both hands.
What is the Ugandans Adopt campaign?
Rukh-shana: Ugandans Adopt is a multi-media Campaign supported by the Government of Uganda under the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social development. The campaign aims to find Ugandan families and individuals willing and capable of giving Ugandan children a future by opening their homes and heart through adoption. The Ugandans Adopt team also offers guidance, support and resources before, during and after the adoption process. This is done through constant updates on Facebook, twitter and the Ugandans Adopt website. In addition to organizing pre and post adoption training sessions, they organize regular coffee mornings and social events for prospective and adoptive parents, most of which I have attended.
Why did you join the Ugandans Adopt Campaign/cause?
Rukh-shana: I joined the cause because I strongly believe that Ugandans can provide loving families and homes for Ugandan children who are forced to spend their lives in institutions. We can’t continue to sit back and watch Western families come and take our children away. These children could very well be our nieces and nephews.
What does adoption mean to you?
Rukh-shana: To me, adoption simply means giving a child of no blood relation a chance at the life I had, with a decent home, a loving family and an identity. What’s more, it’s about the chance to belong, to grow into his or her destiny, and the chance to truly live.
How did you come to adopt a wonderful little girl?
When I was in my twenties, I knew I always wanted to adopt a baby, even though I plan on having birth children. But I didn’t know much about the processes, and wrongly believed I needed to be rich to afford it. Over three years ago, I watched a talk show which was part of the Ugandans Adopt campaign on adoption and it helped demystify the issue for me. I started by finding out as much as I could about adoption and eventually took the plunge. The rest is history, and I have never looked back.
What advice/tips would you give to other people who are thinking of adopting a child?
Rukh-shana: I think many people know they want to adopt, but find it hard to turn their dreams into action. If you are considering adoption, you need to get enough information for you to feel ready to open your heart and home to a new member of the family. It’s a challenging step, so it is important that you are prepared: once you take the plunge, there is no turning back.