Together with numerous friends and supporters, social worker Remmie and her friend Barbara, who worked as a nurse, founded the Purpose Uganda BabiesHome in March 2009. For Remmie, it was a dream come true, although it did much earlier than she planned. She had seen so many abandoned and neglected children in her life and always wanted to help. Remmie was planning to eventually open up her own orphanage. The unexpected request of a woman suffering from aids, who asked Remmie to take care of her baby, marked the beginning of the Babies Home Project, which eventually led to the Purpose Uganda Babies Home (PUBAH). In cooperation with Barbara, she opened her house and heart for abandoned and orphaned children.
In May 2009, four young German women spent between six months and a year as volunteers in Entebbe (Uganda) and met Remmie during their stay. They spend a lot of time at the orphanage and fell in love with the children and the project itself. As the family grew quickly, the project needed a bigger house. Health care and basic needs of the babies had to be financed and the women agreed that they wanted to support Remmie and her project beyond their stay in Uganda. Back in Germany, they founded a support group, which eventually grew into the German organization Abaana Uganda e.V.. The charity so far has gained more and more enthusiastic supporters over the years in Uganda, Germany and beyond.
Nowadays a lot has changed in PUBAH: Barbara became a mother and left the Babies Home for personal reasons and Remmie herself also now has two wonderful daughters. However, Remmie is still the director of the Babies Home. She got herself some help by hiring a home manager, who is managing the day-to-day activities, so she is not present every single day.
Since August 2010, PUBAH is registered as an Ugandan NGO.
The main intention of Purpose Uganda Babies Home is to provide abandoned and orphaned children with a (temporary) home. Most of the children living at the Babies Home were in bad health due to their neglectful family situations. The first priority is to improve their health status and ensure their future well-being by giving them the love and affection they usually had been deprived of before. Once the basic needs of the children are secured, they are able to enter pre-school or, in case of the older children, attend primary school. For both options PUBAH secures financial support.
Nevertheless, an orphanage is never a sufficient alternative to a real family. PUBAH is therefore trying to reintegrate children into their families. A qualified social worker looks for suitable family members to take care of them.
PUBAH would not operate at all without their wonderful staff of aunties, who take care of the children and perform all kinds of housework-related duties. Security is provided by two guards. The Babies Home is managed by a home manager and Remmie, who is the director. A social worker is organising community outreach projects and takes care of the administrative work. A number of volunteers, both from Uganda and abroad, are helping out from time to time.
Currently, PUBAH is exclusively funded by donations. The goal of the project is to become self-sufficient by creating a number of income generating properties. We are constantly seeking for ways to reduce monthly spending by using big rain water tanks, financing part of the rent by income generated through a guesthouse and by using energy friendly stoves for cooking. After having received a large donation by a German organization, a parcel of land was bought in October 2013, which is meant to provide a future home for the children.
School fees are very high in Uganda and don’t necessarily ensure a good education, which is why PUBAH opened its own pre-school at the end of 2012. Since February 2013, children attending the Pre-School are taught by private teaching staff. It was also decided that the school should be opened to the community. In May 2013, children mainly from the direct neighbourhood in Bunono entered Purpose Uganda Pre-School. Their fees will allow the Pre-School to become financially independent and to ensure a high quality education.
Tenants in Uganda are very poorly protected by existing property and renting laws. Insecurities regarding rental prices, as well as eviction notices are therefore high. PUBAH is currently located on a rented property and is looking to relocate to a self-owned property. A first step towards that goal was made in October 2013, when a parcel of land (3,5 acres) was bought with the financial assistance of German donors. Currently, the land is used to grow vegetables and fruits. The vision is to start building a house on the land and to further expand farming activities and buying livestock. Any produce will be first used for consumption at Purpose Uganda BabiesHome and any remaining products will be sold for profit.
In 2010, PUBAH started renting another building on the neighbouring compound, which is used as a guesthouse by both short-term visitors and long-term volunteers. The guesthouse is an income generating activity, because only two people staying at the guesthouse already ensure that the monthly rent of the whole project is met.