Africare, a small NI based Christian charity, has been working in Uganda for many years now, firstly with the Besaniya Children’s Home. While helping Ugandan hospitals with medical equipment, we saw the huge problems faced by disabled children in a culture where disability may be regarded as a curse, a child may be hidden away or even killed, or terrible suffering caused by the efforts of the witchdoctors or traditional healers. This led to us starting ‘Cherub’ at the Besaniya Children’s Home, a work which quickly gained an enviable reputation, with children brought from all over Uganda and beyond. We had access to excellent surgical services through partner organisations, and a wide range of orthopaedic and plastic surgery cases were dealt with. This was life changing for the children and their families.
The work outgrew Cherub, and we faced a number of problems there. In February 2009 all the staff moved out to rented premises at Kalagi, and quickly got work under way there. However, conditions were cramped, so recognising the potential of the work we bought five acres of land at Kabembe and built a completely new unit there in a very short time, initially with 20 inpatient beds, now extended to 32. All staff live on site, and the aim is to create a family atmosphere where people of all backgrounds feel welcome. The atmosphere at Acheru is testament to the success of this aim. Children and relatives who were previously ostracised suddenly find that they belong. But there are so many more children we want to reach, and we now place a lot of emphasis on working in northern Uganda, where there has been such deprivation. We presently visit the area to run clinics, but hope the next step will be to place workers there.
Since starting Cherub in 2001, thousands of children have been treated. The conditions we have seen are such that it is hard to imagine the suffering endured by the children. What we need to focus on now is the child we haven’t found yet. Condemned to a life of pain and suffering, crawling around in the dirt, while we have the capacity to transform their lives. Please help us to reach more of these children.
You can find out more from the two books written by Africare director Brian Dorman.
'The Tree, the Boat and the Broken Leg' tells the story of Africare’s work in Uganda, and the establishment of Cherub.
'The Road to Kabembe' tells of how circumstances changed and, after all options were explored, the work was renamed ‘Acheru’, and a new, completely independent, unit was built at Kabembe.
These books are available from Africare at £10.00 each including UK postage.

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  Africare is a registered charity, HMRC Charity No – XN 76448
NI Charity Registration No – NIC101141