In 1999 we met a girl called “Maria” whose parents had separated. Her single mother owned a small salon which caught fire, leaving her with little to live from and nothing to fund Maria’s education. Mrs Robinah Ssekirime started paying Maria’s school fees. She sustained her education up to Primary 7 level, when her mother was able to reopen her salon.
In 2002 God called us to minister in the Kalagi-Mukono district. At the house we first rented in Kalagi, we found another family like Maria’s. The children had been abandoned by their father. We helped the little boys with primary education, and we offered the bigger kids clothes – it was how we could afford to help at that moment. We saw many others in need – children who had lost one or both parents, whose parents had abandoned them, or whose parents could not afford to supply even the most basic needs.
In 2003 we opened a church in Kalagi and started looking after six vulnerable children who came from the community to attend Sunday service at church. At that time the orphaned children were not studying but working digging in the gardens. We started to help these orphan children with clothing and scholastic materials. We then took a leap of faith and started paying school fees for ten children at a local government school. Through the support of our family members and others in the community, we were able to grow the number of vulnerable and needy children being sponsored to attend school.
By 2008 it was becoming more difficult to continue sponsoring government school fees. Pastor Samuel Ssekirime had a vision to start up a school and orphanage around the church premises. At the outset many school classes were held outdoors, under the shade of a mango tree and a temporary wooden shelter.
In 2009 God connected our son David to a friend called Br. Brian Stokes, who became interested in helping the Children’s Ministry. We worked hand in hand with Br. Brian Stokes to shift the school from under the mango tree to a rented premises, which we partitioned into separate classrooms. Br Stokes generously offered to assist us by raising funds in the UK to support the teachers’ salaries. “Father’s Children Nursery and Primary School” was born. In 2014, Br Brian and his church members also assisted us with fundraising to buy a separate property to house the orphans.
Over time and with the support of generous donors, we have been able to gradually construct permanent shelter for the orphans, and classroom buildings for the Nursery and Primary school around the church premises. We have bought acreage where we hope to be able to expand our school in the future. But we still have much more work to do!