“Yaaka” in Luganda, describes the flash that occurs from the ignition of a fire. Yaaka Afrika works to light this fire and shine hope into the hearts of the desperate and needy in Uganda through providing child sponsorship and education, basic provision and love.
How it Began
The organization was started by a group of people who wanted to see God move in a war-torn region of Northern Uganda and is supported entirely by volunteers.
Since 2009, Yaaka Afrika has sent over a dozen mission teams, sponsored over 1,000 students, developed multiple internships, training programs and opportunities. They strongly believe in investing in the local Ugandan community by hiring and working with indigenous staff and teachers and using local supplies.
Toggo International Children’s Centre opened in 2009. It has already been recognized as the top school in the district. The Centre is home to a nursery, primary, secondary school and a newly opened technical and vocational high school.
As they state on their website, “Education is power and power is change. By educating the people of Uganda, we are able to invest in the future and present economical, political and well-being of the people of Uganda.”
Yaaka Afrika has been using REACH for over two years to run their sponsorship program that provides basic food, medical needs and education to the approximately 1,400 children they serve.
The program also helps to pay the salary of the local teachers, support the ongoing building projects needed for expansion and pay housing for the children in most need.
Yaaka Afrika uses sponsorship types to customize each child’s listing. Each sponsorship page includes the children’s recent test scores, a brief biography of their family history and circumstances and a current health status. They also list age, gender, grade and include a priority level for sponsorship.
About the Area
Surrounding the Centre are boys and girls dorms that house children of the most need, who would otherwise live in unsafe situations. There’s also a teacher dorm to host teachers throughout the year. All dorm areas are fenced for safety.
There’s an upper and lower pitch – large clearings of land – that serve as soccer fields and multi-purpose areas for children to play and explore. There’s also a car sitting in a nearby field used to help train mechanics, an outward sign of just one element of vocational training available at the technical school.
A water pump serves as a primary place that neighbors and school kids alike can obtain clean water. Prior to the pump being installed, locals obtained water from a nearby swamp hole under a canopy of trees with bugs flying around.
Now, you’ll see children fill up their cans with clean water and carry them on their head or by hand back to school or home.
Yaaka Afrika desires to continue to grow and expand, serving more local children and providing more jobs for the local community.
To learn more about Yaaka Afrika, visit: yaakaafrika.org.