Dormitories for orphans

In 2022, severe flooding affected many orphans in the village… but thanks to our generous donors, we have been able to complete first a boys dormitory, followed by a girls dormitory.

Akiikih (center) with the children who in 2022 had lost their homes.

Many many thanks for everyone who has supported and keeps supporting these programs!


Background:

From October 19 through November 16, 2022, three cycles of heavy storms came from over Lake Edward and caused a lot of havoc at Rwenshama. Several huts collapsed due to the heavy wind. To make matters worse, the heavy rain made the river swell, and heavy flooding entered the lower parts of the village in the middle of the night. Akiikih and his team had to rescue some children. Akiikih (founder of BACHO) took 11 of the children to his own small home to provide them a place to sleep. Another 6 children are sleeping temporarily at a home that is currently still under construction and was meant to be for another family (and is at a higher elevation).

A lot of the huts got irreversible damage. While some of them already collapsed, others at the verge of collapsing. Even if the walls of the hut weren’t damaged, many of the children lost all their personal belongings, such as clothing, school materials, food materials, as they were swept away by the water or damaged irreversibly.

The few public toilets in the village also had severe damage. The flooding is causing now major contamination of the water with urine and feces, with high risk for cholera and other diseases.

We are appealing to your generosity to help this community, which has a lot of orphans and children living with HIV.

We decided to approach the challenges in several phases:

Phase 1:  Immediate supplies:  Completed thanks to the generosity of our donors! Yay!

  • Our first needs were to give the children proper clothing, shoes, and other personal items (simple bedding materials etc). To help the children most severely affected with personal items, we estimate approximately $100 per child, so that would be $1,700 for 17 children. Thanks to a fundraising campaign on social media, this goal has been met!

Phase 2: Boys dormitory + community toilets: Completed thanks to the generosity of our donors! Yay!

  • Phase 2 focused on housing for the orphans:
    • Dormitory. Earlier this year, thanks a generous donor, BACHO was able to purchase the headquarters it was previously renting; when the owner suddenly died, the family wanted to sell it. This infrastructure is fortunately also at a higher elevation in the village and thus, not affected by the recent floods. These headquarters are a half-finished tourist lodge with only a few rooms that were completed. However, one large room in the lodge, which was supposed to be like a meeting room or dining hall, was unfinished, as it had dirt floor, unfinished walls and no windows or doors. We decided it would make sense to convert this room into a dormitory, so that many of the orphans who lost their hut can sleep there. The cost for this construction was $3,500.
    • Furniture. The dormitory needs furniture. The total cost for 10 sets of bunk beds, tables and chairs is $2,000.
    • In December 2022, the dormitory was completed! As the capacity was limited, we had to make the hard decision and give priority to the boys to occupy this new dormitory. Scroll below to see pictures and clips of the boys dormitory.
  • Toilets: We needed to build toilets for the community. The price for an ecological sanitation latrine (which has both a toilet and an adjacent washing room) is $2,000 per unit. We built 3 units for the village, for a total cost of $,6000.

Phase 3: Girls dormitory with kitchen and toilets/washrooms (including for boys dormitory): fundraising completed and construction in progress!

  • Girls Dormitory: Currently 24  girls are still staying with Akiikih and his family in their small hut. We want to build a girls dormitory on the same property that currently has the boys dormitory. This  is also at high enough elevation to be safe from flooding. The building will also have a kitchen, and separate boys and girls showers and toilets. The need for the boys showers/toilets is because the boys dormitory does not have such facilities at all. The toilets will be connected to a septic tank and soaking pit.
    The estimate for this construction is approximately $83,000. We have recently reached this goal! 
  • We are grateful for the 1,000 Canadian dollars grant that we received in April 2023 from the love and hope foundation (Canada) towards the toilets/washrooms.

This is our design of the girls dormitory. Click on individual pictures to see an enlarged version. Scroll further down this page to see pics of the ongoing construction.

Phase 4: Water well for access to clean water: target goal of $10,500.

Currently, there is no access to clean water at the BACHO headquarters or anywhere nearby. The community members go to the nearby river or to some ponds nearby to fetch water. In addition to the water not being very clean, fetching water that way also carries risks. Wildlife also hangs out at the river. While buffalos and hippos can usually be spotted from a distance and avoided, the water has also crocodiles. In September 2022, a male youth, Tyson, was attacked by a crocodile while fetching water and barely escaped with his life. Even though we were able to save him by rushing him to a hospital, his wounds are still affecting him.

We want to build a shallow well (15 meters deep) with an electrical pump that is driven by solar energy, and a water storage tank (10,000 liter) that will distribute water to the dormitories, but that will also have taps so that the community members who live in the vicinity of the BACHO headquarters can also come fetch water here. The estimate for this is approximately $10,500. We have reached this goal!

Phase 5: Basic furniture and supplies for girls dormitory: target goal of $20,000 – Fundraising completed!

Similar to the boys dormitory, the girls dormitory will also need some basic furniture. Based on the currently projected 24 girls who will live there, we will need 12 bunkbeds with matressess, bed sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, 24 chairs and 8 tables. In addition, we will need kitchen supplies (including several stoves, pots/pans, dishes, utensils) and also bathroom supplies. Note that the kitchen and bathrooms will serve both the girls and the boys dormitories.  The total estimate is approximately $20,000, or basically $666 per girl. As of November 2023, thanks to a generous donation by an anonymous sponsor, we reached this goal! Furniture is currently being made and installed.

Any donation makes a difference!

Phase 6: Floor tiles for the dormitory

The girls dormitory currently has a concrete floor. We hope to eventually install tiles, as that will be easier to keep clean and free from dust. The estimated cost to put tiles on the full floor of the dormitory is approximately $15,000.

You can make an online donation using the button below, which leads you to a new secure webpage. Or you can click also on this link: www.givebutter.com/BACHO.
At one of the donation steps, the form will ask you to leave a tip for Givebutter, but you are free do give a tip or use the menu to select zero tip.

For for other ways of making a contribution that avoid any fees at all, such as a check, go to our donation page.


Pictures of the completed girls dormitory, which was inaugurated in December 2024 (click on individual pic for enlarged version)

Some pictures of the ongoing construction of the girls dormitory (click on individual picture to see enlarged version)

 


Here below, you can scroll to see pictures and clips of these children, and of the aftermath of the storm that affected this village so much in October and November of 2022.

November 2022: Despite the extreme hardship, Akiikih does his best to hide the tears by giving the children hope by keeping them busy with music and arts.
Akiikih (eating) with some of the girls currently staying with his family at their house.
The exterior of the room that has become the boys dormitory

 

Construction work in full progress to make the boys dormitory room
The completed  boys dormitory

The gallery below shows the boys currently living at the boys dormitory (click on individual picture to see an enlarged version)

The community toilets that have also adjacent washing room(click on individual pics for enlarged version)


Here you can see the aftermath of the storm. Click on individual pictures to see enlarged versions. Please scroll further down to see some videos, including testimonials by some of the kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *