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Humanism in action: transforming the lives of orphans and vulnerable children through love and compassion

By Baluku Shafik Siriwayo

Shafik is a sixteen-year-old student at Isaac Newton High School, a humanist school in Kateera, near Masaka, which is supported by the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust. He is also the Director of the Bahasi Help Orphans Family Foundation in Bundibugyo, Uganda. In this article, he explains the mission of the foundation.

Editor's Note: Advice and support is provided to Shafik by his father Irumba Juma Siriwayo, who is

Managing Director of Katumba Parents Humanist Nursery and Primary School, Co-Director of New Hope Humanist Schools, and a Board Member of the Coalition for Humanist Schools in Uganda. Juma wrote about the Katumba School in our October 2023 edition.

Introduction to Bahasi Help Orphans Family Foundation (BAHOFFO)

In a world often overshadowed by self-interest and individual pursuits, there exists a beacon of hope—a secular community dedicated to shaping lives through empathy and compassion. Founded on the principles of love and kindness, our organisation is committed to transforming the lives of orphans and vulnerable children, ensuring that every child is valued, supported, and given the opportunity to thrive.


Our vision is simple yet profound: to create a secular community where empathy and compassion form the cornerstone of our actions. We believe that by embracing these values, we can create a world where every child is seen, heard, and cherished.


Our mission is clear: to transform the lives of orphans and vulnerable children through love and compassion. We strive to provide support, guidance, and resources to those in need, empowering them to overcome adversity and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities.


At the heart of our organisation are our core values, which guide everything we do:

  • Every child's life is precious, and their needs are our top priority.

  • Orphans and families are at the centre of our work, and we strive to support them in every way possible.

  • We believe in the power of partnership, working closely with communities and organisations to achieve our goals.

  • Excellence is our standard, and we are committed to delivering the highest quality of care and support.

  • Integrity is non-negotiable, and we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards in all our interactions.

  • Building relationships is key to our success, as we seek to connect with orphans, families, and professionals alike with kindness and compassion.


Our objectives are multifaceted, reflecting our commitment to holistic support and empowerment:

  • Raise funds and resources to support the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children.

  • Provide direct assistance to children in need, including financial support, education, and essential resources.

  • Offer relief and assistance to those affected by natural disasters and emergencies.

  • Promote self-reliance and sustainable development among impoverished communities.

  • Address the root causes of poverty and inequality, particularly as they relate to child survival and development.

  • Rescue children from exploitative situations, such as child labour and street living, and provide them with access to education and a better quality of life.

Categories of children in need of assistance

  • Those who have enrolled in primary school but lack the resources to complete their studies.

  • Children who have successfully completed primary education but lack the means to pursue secondary school.

  • Youths who have passed their senior four (O level) examinations but are unable to progress to higher education without financial support.

  • Graduates of high school who aspire to attend college or university but lack the necessary resources to do so.


We humbly appeal to compassionate individuals and organisations to join us in our mission. Your support and generosity can make a tangible difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children:

  • Sponsor an orphan at any stage of their educational journey, from primary school to university.

  • Contribute towards school fees, uniforms, and educational materials, ensuring that every child has access to quality education.

  • Help us expand our reach by registering our organisation as a charity in Europe, America, and beyond, or by fundraising on our behalf.


In a world often characterised by inequality and injustice, our organisation stands as a beacon of hope—a testament to the transformative power of compassion and love. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children, empowering them to overcome adversity and build a brighter future for themselves and their communities. Join us in our mission to create a world where every child is valued, supported, and given the opportunity to thrive.

To donate or support

Please contact us:

Tel: +256 706942333

Further information: What causes children to be orphaned in Uganda?

The main causes of children being orphaned in Uganda are multifaceted and often interconnected, reflecting the complex socio-economic and health challenges faced by the country. Some of the primary causes include:

  • HIV/AIDS: Uganda has been significantly affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, resulting in the loss of parents and caregivers. Children may lose one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses, leaving them orphaned and vulnerable.

  • Poverty: Widespread poverty in Uganda can contribute to children being orphaned, as families struggle to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, and healthcare. Economic hardships may lead to parents being unable to provide for their children or seek medical treatment when necessary.

  • Conflict and Violence: Uganda has experienced periods of conflict and violence, including civil wars and armed conflicts in regions such as Northern Uganda. These conflicts can result in displacement, loss of life, and the separation of families, leaving children orphaned or abandoned.

  • Disease and Illness: Apart from HIV/AIDS, other diseases and illnesses, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and maternal complications during childbirth, can contribute to parental death and child orphanhood. Inadequate access to healthcare services exacerbates the impact of these health challenges.

  • Gender Inequality: Gender disparities in Uganda may also contribute to children being orphaned, particularly in cases where women are disproportionately affected by poverty, HIV/AIDS, and lack of education. The death of a female caregiver can leave children without parental support or protection.

  • Child Abandonment: Some children in Uganda may be orphaned as a result of abandonment, often due to social stigma, poverty, or inability to care for the child. Abandoned children may end up in orphanages or on the streets, facing further risks and vulnerabilities.

  • Disability and Illness: Children with disabilities or chronic illnesses may be at higher risk of orphanhood if their caregivers are unable to provide adequate care or support due to social, economic, or health-related challenges.

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