While we have made every effort to provide the best education possible to all of our children, some came to us in their teenage years and were not able to catch up, having no previous schooling to speak of. These are the children who need to learn a different set of skills, and quickly. They started learning sewing, jewelry-making, baking, cheese-making, secretarial work, food service, and housekeeping. Over the years we have developed a network of small businesses – all located within our compound – to provide our older kids with vocational training and to teach them how to manage personal finances once wages are earned. Several of our kids (now in their 20s) have saved up enough money through in-house businesses to move out, rent their own apartments, and begin building their lives as adults.
Unfortunately, without a solid education and vocational training, our children have very little hope for a comfortable future in Uganda. Unemployment is rampant, and Uganda has one of the fastest growing populations in Africa (which has the world’s fastest growing population). The outlook is not good.However, with vocational training received through our in-house businesses (IT department, Bobo’s Coffee, Pizza Night, Craft businesses, farming) and through partnerships with other organizations and professionals (electricians, solar, biogas, veterinary work, inns and restaurants), our kids can go on to lead happy, comfortable, prosperous lives – and they can teach their friends and loved ones how to do the same. In order to break the cycle of poverty that is largely responsible for the millions of orphaned children, we must teach our children skills that they can then pass on to their children.
Our goal is for each child to grow up with all the necessary skills and opportunities to support themselves completely, and even to employ others. With vocational training, education, a support system, and adequate resources, our children will be exemplary, hardworking, taxpaying and productive members of the Ugandan society.
To appreciate and fully understand the value of hard work, saving, and giving back to the community, our older children are learning to operate their own businesses. They are sharing responsibilities, working together, and earning a fair wage. We are showing them the value of honesty, integrity, and respect. They are building strong relationships within the community – with local business owners, customers, and future employers
This is a small restaurant we operate every Tuesday and Thursday night. We sell the best pizzas in town, and people from all over the world join us for good food, fun, and to learn about Malayaka House. Our customers are comprised of UN workers, American military, doctors, volunteers, flight attendants and pilots, and local Ugandans. Our older girls and boys run the entire business, from mozzarella cheese making, food sourcing, pizza baking, serving, customer service, clean-up, and accounting.
Several of our older girls create beautiful crafts that are then sold to customers around the world. They make bed covers, bags, wallets, necklaces, and even sandals. Pizza Night is a great venue for selling crafts. We also send them home with volunteers, to be sold in the USA, Spain and Germany.
For years, Hakim, our oldest boy, has been in charge of our small farm. Along with several of our other children, he has been busy raising chickens, rabbits, goats, and other animals. At the beginning of 2015 we started developing an organic farm and garden that includes raising chickens and a fish hatchery. The farm is an excellent vocational training project for several of our older kids who have taken an immense interest in its operation. Hakim, Big Cheche, Bobo, and several of our older boys have turned this project into their own. Organic permaculture farming and animal husbandry skills are highly marketable in Uganda. So, in addition to having fun, our kids are learning valuable skills that will serve them for a lifetime.
Our guest house is an income producing accommodation for volunteers and other visitors. Some of our older girls and boys are responsible for the organization and management of the guest house. These responsibilities teach them hospitality, management, and organizational skills.