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Supporting Vulnerable Children: Sanyu Babies' Home in Kampala, Uganda

Photography by Mala Vadgama, mkvphotography

**Sensitive topics: Child Abandonment**

In every country in the world, there are charities, organisations or groups dedicated to supporting vulnerable local community members. When I planned my visit to Uganda, I felt a strong pull to contribute in some way to one of these charities in the country where my father spent his formative years. My heart was particularly drawn to the welfare of children, as their innocence, welfare and vulnerability resonate deeply with me.

Reuniting Babies with Caregivers

Sanyu Babies’ Home, a Christian charity in Kampala, Uganda, was opened in 1929 by Milnes Winfred Walker. They care for up to 50 babies and toddlers, aged 1 day to 4 years; many left abandoned due to families not being able to look after them.

The home aims to provide a nurturing environment with care, non-judgement and reintegrate children into their families or find them new homes. Despite facing ongoing complex child abandonment struggles, the staff remain dedicated to giving these children a loving stable environment. They focus on bringing joy to everyone involved, ensuring each child feels loved and has a place to call home.

When my father, cousin, and I visited in September 2023, we were warmly welcomed by the delightful staff and volunteers. They graciously guided us through their facilities, where we had the privilege of meeting the adorable children under their care. Despite facing various physical and mental health challenges, these children were enveloped in an atmosphere of boundless compassion and genuine joy. One particularly jubilant toddler even dashed towards me, eagerly seeking to be lifted up. It was evident that each child felt cherished and revelled in the simple pleasures of playtime.

A significant portion of the staff were local volunteers, although the charity also extended its arms to national and international helpers. For those coming from afar, dedicated premises are provided, ensuring accommodation during their time of volunteering service.

What the Babies' Need

Before our visit, I reached out to Sanyu Babies' Home to explore ways to support their noble cause. Recognising the difficulties they encountered in accessing sterilizing tablets in Uganda, we took along over 300 tablets from the UK thanks to family and friends' donations. The home graciously provided me with a list of items they deemed valuable, which guided our contributions.

In addition to taking sterilising tablets and other essentials, we made a monetary donation which effectively covered the home's electricity expenses for a full year. By alleviating this financial burden, they can allocate other donations towards enriching the lives of the children with toys, books, and other necessities. The staff told us that electricity constituted one of their most substantial costs, particularly due to the extensive laundry needs and other operational expenses.

Please see my blog post regarding conscious travel tips which outline tips when considering donating abroad:

Gallery of Images

Craft Shopping!

The home also boasts a delightful craft shop on-site, offering handcrafted treasures that not only support local artists and craftspeople but also contribute directly to the welfare of the babies' home—an art and local endeavour that I'm deeply passionate about supporting.

May the precious babies at the home receive the care and attention they deserve, and may they soon find loving and stable homes. In the bustling city of Kampala, I am grateful for the presence of such a sanctuary, providing a happy home for abandoned children in need of nurturing and care.

To Find Out More about Sanyu Babies' Home, Please Visit their website:



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