WHY VOLUNTEER WITH TORO BABIES HOME
Toro Babies Home helps children and young people who are facing a variety of challenges, including poverty, disability, illness, distress, and trauma. While we are highly depending on donations to enable the nursing of the children, due to the limited funds we are not able to fill all positions that are necessary. Volunteering with children is extremely rewarding and opens doors to careers in the charity, education and social care sectors. It can also demonstrate your commitment and passion, while allowing you to positively impact young lives. By volunteering in our Toro Babies Home, you will become part of a committed team, learn valuable skills to stick on the CV and gain experience that you will never forget that will give love and care to the children.
HOW TO VOLUNTEER
TASKS & RESPONSIBILITIES
- Helping mothers with the housework and the care of the babies such as cooking for the children and staff, feeding the babies, cleaning the rooms etc.
- Supporting the education of the children
- Organizing leisure activities
- Taking children to hospital visits
- Fundraising for the organization activities
- Communication with donors
- Helping with office work such as filling children records, scanning, printing, book keeping etc.
- Other tasks depending on qualification
The timeframe for the volunteer services depends on how much the organisation sending the personnel is willing to offer. Our standard time frame accepted for volunteering at TBH is a minimum of 3 months.
- Willingness to work
- Academic qualification to work around children or with the dream to major in child development while going for further studies
- Should be 18 years and above
- Must have a certificate of good conduct
- Application with requesting letter for placement and CV with details about the background
- Sending organization must cover a medical insurance
- VISA application for G1 work permit is necessary
- Accommodation can be provided at the Toro Babies Home for up to 3 volunteers at a time
- Both the Toro Babies Home and the sending volunteer organization are required to ensure meal offerings for the volunteers
Barbara as an experienced midwife and Josef, a retired railway driver, from Switzerland supported us from February 14th to April 22nd at the Toro Babies Home. Barbara had already visited the TBH in 2015 as part of one of our internship trips.
Volunteer Report by Christin Gädker
Our Weltwärts volunteer Christin, who is supporting the Mothers at Toro Babies Home in 2021 through Caritas and the Diocese of Osnabrück/Germany, has written an interim report on her stay in Fort Portal for her parish:
The first two months in Uganda are now over and I have had time to settle in and find my place here at Toro Babies Home. Now I would like to give you a little insight into life at Toro Babies Home (TBH) and in Uganda:
You can imagine the structure of the TBH a bit like a kindergarten. There are six dormitories, or houses, each with an adjoining bathroom, a kind of dining room and a bedroom for the foster mother of the house. There are currently 52 children living here, mainly between the ages of 0 and 3, but also older children who, for example, have a physical and/or mental disability or no longer have a family. There is always a certain amount of fluctuation around 50 children, because from time to time children go back to their parents, to family members or they are adopted. But new ones also arrive when the mother dies at birth, which unfortunately happens very often, or the parents are mentally or financially unable to care for the children, or the children have been exposed to domestic violence. Unfortunately, children are also taken in here again and again who have simply been abandoned.
There are 6 foster mothers who are responsible for one house each with up to ten children of different ages all day. This means washing the babies and toddlers, preparing porridge in the morning and afternoon, feeding and dressing them, mopping and washing and hanging up the laundry by hand. Of course, comforting and changing nappies are also part of the job. In the mornings and afternoons, after nap time, a teacher looks after all the children who can already walk. The other children stay in the individual houses and are cared for by the foster mothers. The foster mothers only get one day off per week, and that only during the day, which means that they do not have a single night in which they sleep through, because the babies also have to be fed at night. Lunch and dinner are prepared for all the children in the big kitchen over the fire and usually consist of rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes or matooke (plantain) with a sauce of beans or peanuts.
The entire orphanage and also the salary of the mothers is financed by donations. Normally, the babies are fed with milk for the first six months, but if there is not enough money to buy infant milk, they are fed with porridge (maize/millet porridge). Pampers are also quite expensive, so sometimes towels and plastic bags are used instead, which of course have to be washed by hand again by the mothers.
A total of 19 women and men work at the Babies Home, and there are also many volunteers from a Spanish organisation who give the children special attention. However, they only stay for three weeks at a time.
I live in an annex of the Toro Babies Home (TBH) together with two other young women. One is responsible for the finances at TBH and the other is a paediatrician in the neighbouring hospital, which is very practical when medical help is needed at short notice.
This is just a small glimpse into life at Toro Babies Home, but I think you can imagine that there is a lot to do here. My working day starts at 07:00 in the morning and I try to relieve the mothers as much as possible by changing houses every day. Washing by hand
is still unusual for me, but with a lot of practice I hope that the laundry I do will be as clean as the ones of the foster mothers, at least after the six months. If there is still time before lunch, I sometimes help in the kitchen. I also use the free time for the babies, who often lie in bed all day because the mothers simply don't have time to give them some attention and physical contact. After the children have been fed and are in bed, I take my own lunch break and then go back to helping the foster mothers and giving the children the attention that is so important for their development. My duties also include taking the babies to the hospital for vaccinations and general check-ups, which allows the mothers to stay in the homes.
In my free time, I go to sports with my flatmate. The weekends are usually very different, more like in Germany before Corona - birthdays, film night with the flatmates and cooking together. I also like to use the time to bake cakes for the children. As a warm welcome surprise, I once even had the opportunity to visit a national park with hot springs up to 100°C, as Fort Portal is a very fertile area of Uganda with many surrounding national parks.
I feel really comfortable with the people here and the food tastes very good too. Every day I become more independent and Fort Portal with its 40,000 inhabitants almost seems like a familiar village after having spent a few days in the hustle and bustle of Kampala (capital of Uganda) for my visa.
Best regards from Fort Portal, Uganda