The Nzirambi Orphan Talent Development Centre (NOTDEC) was started by Dorothy Nzirambi nearly 30 years ago when she took in an abandoned baby whose mother had died during childbirth. She was living in a grass-thatched home at the time, with little means to care for the child. She worked in administration at a nearby hospital and, with the help of doctors and nursing mothers who donated their breast milk, the orphaned baby flourished. Word spread that Dorothy couldd accept orphaned children – and that was the humble beginning. In 1996, she had 15 children in her small home. Today, more than 100 children are supported by the orphanage.
New Home for the Kids
Within a few years, the number of orphaned children continued to climb and Dorothy and the children outgrew their home. With the support of NOTDEC UK, the children moved into a new home with four small buildings on 30 acres of farmland. Today, more than 100 orphaned and vulnerable children are connected to this family-run centre. The children range in age from newborns and up. Many lost their mothers in childbirth and their fathers could not, or would not, care for them. Some kids are there because their mothers died of AIDS. Others because their mothers suffer severe mental health.
Reintegrating Children with Families
The Nzirambi orphanage is a loving, safe place for orphaned children to grow. There are House Mothers and many brothers and sisters. But the intention of the orphanage was never to become an institution. Recently, it started to reintegrate children with their families. Often, there is extended family willing to care for the child if they are given support (such as the cost of formula).
Today, when babies are brought to the orphanage, the first course of action is to work with a social worker to identify family. There has been success with many of these babies being reintegrated and cared for in their communities.
That said, not all children have family that can be identified. Some have been completely abandoned. Others try to return home, but for various reasons, can’t stay. NOTDEC provides a safe, nurturing environment for these kids.
The Nzirambi Education Fund
The Nzirambi Education Fund in Canada works to ensure that children at the orphanage can go to school. School helps give these children opportunities to break the cycle of poverty.
We are supporting the next generation of smart, productive and well-educated Ugandans contributing to the future of their country. Donate here
The orphanage is primarily funded by NOTDEC UK. In addition to fundraising for bricks and mortar, NOTDEC UK runs a sponsorship program to pay for food, shelter, medicine and education fees. In Canada, we raise funds to support children through higher levels of education.
While your financial support is greatly appreciated, read more on why we don’t recommend visiting the Nzirambi Orphanage in Uganda (or any other orphanage, for that matter).
Photos by Johan Hallberg-Campbell