Targeted, personal, and sustainable development for two of Uganda's poorest orphan communities.
What do we do?
We support sustainable economic and social development for two rural communities in a remote region of northern Uganda that is unsupported by major aid agencies. In particular, we work with sixty-three child-led families, comprised of 193 orphans who were left destitute by war. Our development programme provides shelter and emergency aid as required, however our long-term focus is on the development of agricultural, educational, economic, and social infrastructure with the aim of creating self-sufficient communities. Our goal is to push beyond simple subsistence to the relative flourishing of these communities, providing choices that otherwise would not have been available for generations.
Where do we do it?
We work in Akobi and Padibe, in the Kitgum region of Northern Uganda. It is near the South Sudanese border, in a region that was devastated by the twenty year LRA civil war. It is one of the country's most destitute regions and has been subject to extreme famine, drought, and war. Infrastructure is very limited: most families still live in mud huts and the region has no paved roads, electricity network, or running water. It is a twelve hour drive from Kampala and the remoteness of the region makes it very difficult to bring in supplies.
How much do we spend?
Because this is a passion project for a small number of dedicated Manx volunteers, we have extremely low administration costs, normally well below 5%. These are primarily for bank charges and communications. We do not pay any salaries and volunteers pay their own travel and expense costs.
Our Manx trustees keep an extremely careful eye on all spending, and we keep thorough and transparent financial records. This is particularly important for us, operating as we do in a country that is considered at very high risk of financial crime. Invoices and receipts are collected for all spending and detailed photos and records are kept of progress on work.
Development funds are spent carefully in the local community. Projects are overseen in person by the Manx trustees, who visit the region at least once a year for several weeks to verify progress and quality. Our local volunteers are extremely committed and also do not draw a salary from the charity.
One of our trustees has been working in northern Uganda since 2005 in the areas of accounting and construction, ensuring that we have a sound understanding of the local economy and proper prices for materials and labour. Every pound spent is put to good use!
Spending Breakdown (%)
Spending over time (GBP)
Why do we do it?
The charity began and remains a personal, human response to the tragic consequences of the LRA civil war. One of our trustees was working in the region towards the end of the war, saw the results of the massacres and camps, and knew something had to be done. The programme is targeted enough that it remains a charity focused on individuals: our trustees know the orphans by name. Our trustees are Christians and our work is supported heavily by the Island's Christian community. However, we are not aligned with any particular denomination or church group.
Who does it?
DO! Developing Orphans is an Isle of Man registered charity run entirely by the Manx volunteers below. Our trustees visit the communities we support in person at least twice per year and we are supported 'on the ground' by local community leader and project director John Calvin, who has been with us since the beginning, and his staff.