Let’s support iFamile Emu Children’s Center in Uganda!

Today we want you to meet Akol Benyamen Jayjay. Akol is the founder and the director of iFamile Emu Children’s Center – an initiative started in the Bukedea district that works towards a transformed world for vulnerable children and families in Uganda. He will tell us about the organization, its story, its mission, and when we fall in love with all that, we will learn how to support them.

iFamile Emu Children’s Center, Uganda

The story of iFamile Emu Children’s Center

Teaching children has been my ministry since childhood until now in my church. Children’s ministry is my heart and passion, I love and enjoy it as my calling. I strongly believe that raising children in the fear of the Lord is the most sacred thing anyone can ever do. “For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.

I remember when I was joining my secondary school, my father called all of us (His Children) who were home at that time and asked us what we really wanted to become in the future. Everyone had his/her own answer like I want to become a doctor, teacher, pilot, president, and when it was my turn, I said: “I  want to start an organization that will support orphans and vulnerable children”. Upon hearing this, my dad was astonished and said, “That’s a good idea to do”. 

As time went by and I finished my studies, it took me time to find a job that could pay me well enough to start my vision because I wanted to work so hard so I could get money to start a children’s center. I remember there was this company I came across that seemed to take people abroad for work and the pay was really so good. So I agreed and said to myself, after two years in this job, I will have raised enough money to start! But after 5 months of processing the visa and finding the money they asked for, it did not work out and I just knew that God had another plan in mind AND HE JUST WANTED ME TO START even when I had absolutely nothing. I remember when I kept hearing these words for a week “What are you waiting for? You can start and the right support will find you on the way”.

iFamile Emu Children’s Center, Uganda

The beginning

I then started putting my vision on paper and when it came to getting the name, I remember writing about 26 different names and it took me about two days to decide. I asked the Holy Spirit to guide me and at last, I was convinced that “iFamile Emu Children’s Center” was the right one because iFamile Emu means “One Family” in Luganda (it’s the most language used in Uganda), and this time even my spirit was at peace with it. My whole idea behind this name was to bring up the children as members of one family despite coming from different backgrounds. And also bring together friends with common interest for children in unity, love and kindness making sure all children are protected, healthy, happy, dressed, fed, educated and above all transforming their way of life to be able to grow up as future responsible, innovative, and morally upright citizens. I also derived it from a children’s game where a number of children hold hands to make a circle as one of the children is inside the formed circle. On the other hand, another is outside the circle but the ones holding hands will make sure they protect the one inside the circle from being caught by the pursuer. Most importantly, God, Himself is a friend of children and this ministry is His very own heart. For He is a friend to the friendless, hope to the hopeless, father to the fatherless, and joy to the joyless. 

This is how I started this ministry iFamile Emu and thereafter, I started reaching out to my friends asking them to join me so we could form a committee and the iFECC Team, and thankfully I was so encouraged by their positive response towards this. On May 5th, 2018, we had our first meeting and after about three meetings for working on the constitution, I registered it as a Community Based Organization on the 26th of June 2018. Then, through a friend who connected me to a village where no organization had reached, we visited that village for a community needs assessment. I can actually say, I saw vulnerable families I had never met before, and surely it was God who directed us there.

Initiatives and projects from then on

Upon our report, we agreed to go back to the village with our iFECC Kind Cover Program (KCP) where we took clothes for over 50 children and soap and salt for over 30 families. This was entirely contributed by the members and friends of iFECC. It was our first activity that brought a smile to many faces and indeed those smiles were priceless to me. This among some other success stories has taken place in the first four months after our registration. And like I said, I started this ministry without any funds though, along the way, I got a job that pays me enough to sustain myself and also be able to contribute financially towards the organization’s activities together with the support of the members and iFamile Emu Children’s Center. 

And now we are sponsoring six children in school this year. The more donation we receive, the more children we shall enroll in school and as iFECC, we believe that educating a poor child is the most meritorious charity and kindness. Our work plan has been laid out and we’re believing God for the appropriate resources along the way.

The purpose

The main purpose behind the existence of the organization is our deep feeling of pity, sympathy, and concern towards those in need, millions of vulnerable children around the world suffering from cases of abuse, neglect, violence, child labor, those on the streets without shelter, and poor education among many others which persuaded and motivated us to work towards a transformed world for vulnerable children.

The existence of iFamile Emu Children’s Center is a result of the deep love and passion God has placed in the heart of children. I am deeply moved, touched, and hurt when I see millions of children around the society suffering most especially in Uganda where I come from.  

I keep seeing children everyday street, others in child labor, some abused and abandoned by their very own families, others with no access to basic education, others with one or no clothes at all, others exposed to the world of pornography, some other children, especially girls, are given away for child marriages, others orphaned, some children with little or no access to health care, others suffer as a result of hunger and poverty. 

The fact is they don’t deserve such a world but rather a beautiful world, the one which exists in their pure imaginations, a push towards their dreams and hope towards a transformed world for all children. This is possible! Your kind support however small can bring a smile to a beautiful face and hope for a brighter and happier future for these children. “Be kind, for to be kind is of God.” 

iFamile Emu Children’s Center, Uganda

Programs

Kind Cover Program

We created the KIND COVER PROGRAM as one where outreaches will be carried out in the most vulnerable communities with relief items like clothes for the naked, food for the hungry, soap, mattresses, health kits, pads, other items. This program in Kadoa was the first of many to come. 

After our first community needs assessment in Kadoa, on May 5, 2018, we carried out our KCP where we reached out to the same community with the most pressing basic items at the time for both children and their families. We were able to give out clothes to over a hundred children, soap, and salt to over 35 families. We believe this nature of outreach is not sustainable but offers relief to those suffering in different ways in the short run and that’s a really necessary step to show our kindness to humanity, most especially to the poor. 

Education

In iFECC, we believe that educating a poor child is the most meritorious charity and kindness. As a new CBO (community-based organization) which has been entirely dependent on the contributions, support, and donations of its members and friends.  

We were able to sponsor our first six children under our iFECC sponsorship program this year and we intend to increase the number of children as more sponsors come on board. We were also able to provide scholastic materials to our school-going beneficiaries. 

However, our goal under the education program is to build a school in the most vulnerable communities so as to provide accessibility of basic quality education to the poor children in deep communities.

iFamile Emu Children’s Center, Uganda

Children with disability

Our objective under this is to ensure that all children with disabilities have their needs identified in order to support their progress and continued good physical and mental wellbeing. 

Currently, we identified a four-year-old girl called Rose whose legs were brutally burnt by wild bush fire. The lower part of her right leg seemed to be growing backward. We, therefore, solicited support from an organization called Persons with Special Alibies (PESA) where we met with a doctor who said her leg can be corrected by surgery. 

They are to cover all major costs of the surgical procedure such as surgery costs, accommodation, and food apart from other small costs like transport to the hospital and the upkeep of the caretaker as the procedure may take quite a lot of time, at least three months. Therefore we will need support in terms of the other expenses listed above. The surgery will be done in about a month.

Livelihood

In iFECC, we believe that the development of the country depends on that of its villages/communities starting on vulnerable families. We also believe that when families are able to sustain themselves the lives of children are better and more stable. Therefore iFECC intends to support such families in the form of groups/SACCOs which will be managed by themselves as beneficiaries. We also intend to empower them through business training and workshops.  

Currently, we have a family we are empowering which was headed by a 13-year-old girl who would go find manual work to raise the money for the family’s daily food. Her failure to raise the money would mean no food for the family. Her mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis and for two months, she was not taking her medicine. 

This made her condition so bad and hence she was vulnerable to do anything for the family. Her dad is mentally ill. iFECC picked up the family with support from kind friends, shifted the family to the town close to the health facility. Thankfully the mother’s health has improved greatly. The girl has gone back to school and she is doing great. 

iFamile Emu Children’s Center, Uganda

How to support iFamile Emu Children’s Center

Volunteer

There are many different ways for you to reach communities under iFamile Emu Children’s Center cover. You may wish to identify what you or your organization is passionate about or you may volunteer for a specific program that’s already underway.

For instance, are you are interested in addressing education and clothing practices? Are you a group of students at an institute, with food as your focus? Maybe you’re a nursing organization interested in reducing the transmission of HIV & AIDS from mother to child. Regardless of your charitable goals, iFamile Emu is engaged in a wide range of program areas and one of them is the right program for you.

Fundraise

No group is too large or too small to host a successful fundraiser. Here are some examples. 

Community: Churches, mosques, and synagogues; youth groups and neighborhood organizations; civic groups, professional organizations, and police/firefighter organizations; and many, many more. 

Scholastic: Sports teams, student government, fraternities, and sororities, theater clubs, language clubs, band/choir/glee clubs, cheerleaders, debate teams, science clubs – even grade school classes are not too young. 

Friends and Family: Quilting circles, book clubs, family reunions, marathon training groups, exercise groups, and special occasions (in lieu of wedding gifts or funeral flowers as birthday gifts or to mark other occasions).

Donate

iFamile Emu’s coverage is among the deepest of any organization working in eastern Uganda particularly in Kadoa village, Kidongole Sub County, Bukedea District. Ninety percent of iFamile Emu Children’s Center’s staff is African and with their on-the-ground approach, the center maintains an unparalleled knowledge of the region, its challenges, and opportunities. By donating your contributions without restrictions, you allow the center to use your support where it is most needed.

Contact iFamile Emu Children‘s Center Office of Development: 

AKOL BENYAMEN JAYJAY 

Telephone: +256787433573/ +256714405306 

Monday – Wednesday – Friday, 9:00 am. – 5:00 pm. ET 

ifamileemu@gmail.com | Facebook page

iFamile Emu Children’s Center, Uganda

Thank you for reading Akol’s story and learning about the work of iFamile Emy Children’s Center. A huge THANK YOU for your support, it means a lot!

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