Frequently asked questions.

Who administers the scheme in Uganda?
Kisiizi Orphans is administered by the community outreach team (Hope ministries) which is based at Kisiizi hospital.

Where do the children come from?
Generally the children come from the surrounding villages up to a distance of a two hour drive, or put another way a day's walk. The valley has many villages & primary schools and houses are mixed in with the cultivated land.

What will the scheme pay for?
The scheme will pay the costs of sending the child to school: We try and send a child to a good school where the standard of education is better. The costs include all fees, uniform, books and writing equipment. Goods which may also be supplied include a mattress, malaria net, blanket, lantern, soap. Healthcare is also provided. We ask, if you are able to give an initial cheque of £30 to cover the first month and these start up costs.

Can I choose the child, what about siblings?
Hope supplies a set of profiles (a photograph and limited details about the child and his or her circumstances). This is all the information that we have access to and it will be sent to you once you decide to join the scheme. It is possible for you to request a girl or boy and an age, we will try and match your requirements, but we cannot guarantee it. Many of the children are in the 10 - 15 age range. Sometimes a set of details includes siblings, but families are often split up between different relatives and HOPE may not be in contact with all the children. Polygamy is not against the law and the child of one wife will not be considered the responsibility of another.

Are the children HIV positive? What health care is being offered?
The children are not routinely tested but generally they are not HIV positive. The government is trying to introduce inoculation programmes and the child will have routine immunizations to combat normal childhood and common infectious diseases. We pay annual Healthcare insurance premiums for the children and provide anti-malaria nets.

What is life like for these children?
Many homes in this area of Uganda are still traditionally constructed from a wooden frame stuck together with mud; the roof may be made of banana leaves, although the use of corrugated iron roofs and bricks is becoming more common. Furniture is minimal perhaps only a bed. There is generally no running water or electricity (outside of the hospital compound). Cooking is done outside over charcoal. It is dark from 7.00pm - 6.30 a.m. The surrounding land is often owned by the family and is worked in order to produce food for themselves and, if they are lucky, some extra to sell. Children are expected to help in the home, collecting firewood, fetching water, and on the land. The stable diet for these people is Matoke which is steamed plantain (banana); it is bland and is a bit like mashed potatoes. Beans, peanuts and pineapples are also common. Goat may be eaten on special occasions; the intestines are served to the most honoured guests!

What is the education system?
The government provides free primary and secondary education for most children, but in reality the child cannot attend unless the family provide a uniform, books and writing equipment. In primary school classes are very large (up to a hundred) and facilities very poor. At times some families cannot afford uniform and the extras and so the children's education is interrupted until sufficient money becomes available. Where there is illness the child is often required to stay at home in order to help. Consequently a child may still be in primary education (which compares to our years 1-7) at age 16. The children are taught in English.

The day is long and much of the teaching is by rote, there being a general lack of books and equipment. Children begin school around five years old, there is no pre-school education and even parental stimulation of toddlers is rare. Children must pass P7 exams in order to progress to secondary school. At secondary schools the children often board. Children study for GCSE's (S4) and A levels (S6).

As a result of the Charity's help will the child gain sufficient levels of education such that they can then help their own community ie. because they are a qualified teacher/nurse etc at the end of the day?

Theoretically the children can achieve education to enable them to be a nurse or teacher. In reality not all will have the academic ability to achieve this. However we hope that many will achieve the basic qualification to enable some to go onto vocational courses for which we will also pay. Education of all sorts is a valuable commodity, being able to read is a richness we take for granted, being able to fill in forms etc. and to understand basic hygiene and healthcare issues are all items that add to the well being of the community.

What happens if, for family reasons, the child is not able to continue their education because they are needed to work to support others in the family?
Most children want to be in full time education. Sometimes they are forced to miss attendance because they are needed to work at home, looking after a sick relative. However by paying for the cost of schooling the charity has relieved the family of the financial burden of schooling, and this allows what little money there is to be used for other necessities. Sponsorship of a child is part of a wider support system that Hope ministries, our administrators, give to a family. If a family is struggling then every reasonable help will be offered, if a sponsored person has reached such an age that he/she must support the family then we believe that that education is not wasted even if they are 'forced' to leave the scheme. From our experience so far families do everything they can to keep a sponsored child in school and the children want to be there. We receive termly school reports on the children so we know that they are attending school and how well they are doing.

Can I write to the child, can I expect replies?
If you wish to write to your child please do so via the administrator's contact address, which will be sent to you. Letters will then be forwarded to Kisiizi. Kisiizi does not get post delivered, it has to be collected from the nearest big town, Kabale, so it is not reliable. HOPE will then deliver the letter at the next opportunity. You may receive a letter from your child along with the termly report.

May I send presents?
Unfortunately the sending of gifts is not a realistic enterprise given the postal arrangements. It would also be unfair for some children to receive more than others. Any extra money that you may like to send, for example as a Christmas gift, will be shared equally among all the children. As some of you will notice from your profiles exact birthdays are sometimes not known and are not celebrated.