Brick by Brick - Loaf by Loaf
This is a story about two people at opposite ends of the world, Canada and Uganda, who had a dream to build a home for children. We would like to call the orphan an “angel” and the word orphanage, a “home”. Children from the poorest parts of the world without family, feel badly when they are called “orphans”….so Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels was the name we called our dream.
My name is Barbara Giraud and I am a grandma. This translates to “Jaaja” in Lusoga and our dream was named in my honor. I work solely alone in Canada with a 26-year-old young man Edwin who lives in Jinja, Uganda. Edwin took care of children at Agape Children’s Home before we met.
We felt there had to be a way to take children from the garbage dumps and put them into a home; to have them attend school and learn to be productive citizens of their country, Uganda. How could we ever do this…. a 70 year old woman and a 26 year old boy? If your dream is strong enough, you can do anything and we proved this to be a fact. In June 2010 I started baking banana bread and nine months later with 1,500 loaves baked, our Home of Angels started to take shape.
Global Television filmed our story in February 2011 and the viewers started contacting us with donations and offers of baking the bread. Consequently we were able to finish the children’s home and start the main house. The dairy community in our area donated enough money for an 8’ wall to be constructed to enclose the entire compound. The sale of a purebred cow named “Faithful” provided all the water on our premises, this being the largest gift we could have ever received, as water is the most valuable commodity in Uganda. Because of this cow, we are also pumping 5000 liters/hour and are able to share with the community around us.
Fast forwarding to 2016, we have been blessed to house 26 children. An acre of land was donated for a farming project and to date we have 500 layers. We intend to use the chickens and eggs for the children and the poor in the community. We are raising 18 goats to provide milk and meat and a garden has been planted with many vegetables to help us cut costs.
Uganda has a population of 39 million people, where 1 in 3 is an orphaned child. The infant mortality rate is 65 infants under one year old in a year per 1000 live births. The Ugandan health care is staggering with 4 doctors/28nurses per 100,000 people.