Our founders Olivia, Corrie and Sam share the story of Kids Club Kampala
In 2007, Olivia Barker White and Corrie Fraser spend seven months in Uganda, working with a group of students in local schools, churches and communities. It was there that they met Sam Wambayo, who was the visionary behind setting up Kids Club Kampala.
“Our friend, translator and member of our team, Sam, shared his story of a difficult childhood and the vision he had for all children to grow up knowing they are loved and having hope for the future."
"Sam encouraged us to hold kids’ clubs in the slums in town, in order to reach those children who couldn't afford to go to school or who did not attend a church. Over the next few months we all fell in love with the country, the people and, most of all, the children.”
"The stigma attached to these children in the slums was shocking. People avoided the slums and warned against the dirt and disease, claiming that the children would steal from anyone who went there. Charities were reluctant to work in the slums because of the difficult and dangerous conditions, and as a result, the slum children would never have the same opportunities as other children in the world. There was no one willing to stand up for them, and fight on their behalf.
We struggled to understand the attitudes when looking into the eyes of these smiling children, who just wanted to play and have fun, who just wanted someone to hold a skipping rope for them while they jumped and, who just needed someone to say, “I believe you are special, gifted and worth a huge amount in this world.”
“Without a doubt, the most rewarding thing is seeing children and communities whose lives are being changed for the better by Kids Club Kampala. This is what keeps us going, this is what inspires us and gives us the passion and determination to succeed.”
Olivia, Sam and Corrie decided to take matters into their own hands. They recruited volunteers, registered as a charity both in Uganda and in the UK and started fundraising. What started as a small project in one slum has grown to support over 300,000 individuals across Uganda. Our Kids Clubs are still at the heart of what we do, but we now also provide access to education, community safeguarding, vocational training, feeding programmes, foster care and more.
We are passionate about being locally led, and have a fantastic team of over 50 staff and volunteers planning and delivering our programmes in Uganda. We are community driven, listen to our beneficiaries ideas and needs, and work closely with local leaders.