Taking a Step of Faith
Rafiki Africa Ministries is a non-profit based out of Texas. Rafiki Africa Ministries was founded by Joseph and Sara Kiwanuka in 2009 to fill the need of providing a safe home for children that have been abandoned and abused. In Swahili, a language of East Africa, Rafiki means “friend”.
Sara Hamilton Kiwanuka originally came from Texas. She began traveling to Uganda on medical mission trips when she was 21 years old. Joseph Kiwanuka primarily grew up in Western Uganda. He has always had a heart for children and missions. Joseph and Sara met in Uganda while serving at different ministries and were married in 2010. They felt God leading them to start a home for abandoned, abused, and orphaned children. Rafiki’s doors opened in January of 2010. Joseph and Sara took a step of faith by renting a home in Namugongo, Uganda. The small, 3-bedroom home started with only 2 staff members and 4 children. After only a year, the ministry had outgrown the first rental home. A new and larger rental home was found in 2011.
Since then, the ministry has continued to grow to care for many children. This has resulted in more staff being hired. We have a strong team that care for the needs of the children and families that we empower. Our goal is to show these children the hope and love of our Heavenly Father. The Children’s Home provides the love of Jesus, access to education, quality medical care, nutritional food and clean water, as well as shelter in a family-style home for these beautiful children. The Children’s Home primarily serves as a transitional, emergency care home. We desire for each child to grow up in a loving family where they are cared for by parents, relatives, and the community.
Rafiki Africa Ministries works closely with the police and probation and social welfare officers (PSWO) of Uganda to protect children. The home at any given time has between 20 to 25 children of all different ages. The number of children is always fluctuating as new children are brought into the home for a temporary time period. Some children remain in the home for years as family members are traced. Other children are able to be reunited quickly and spend a short-time in the transitional home. While we love these children to the best of our ability while they are in our care, our heart’s desire is for each of our children to have a family. We fully believe that an orphanage is no place for a child to grow up, and our social workers are diligently working on exit plans for each child.
In 2014, Rafiki began to focus on family tracing and reintegration. This has been an exciting time as children that were separated from their family have been reunited. The children are then supported in their families; which allows the entire family to benefit from the child sponsorship program.
In 2015, Rafiki purchased 6 acres of land in Kakiri village, Wakiso District. This land will be the future home of the Children’s Home and many community outreach projects. Rafiki continues to rent a home as we wait until finances are provided for building on the land. We have grown so much and are busting at the seams in our current rental property. We cannot wait until we are able to move to our permanent home in the Kakiri Village.
There are over 3 million orphaned children living in Uganda. Many of these children are orphaned by poverty, war, disease, and malnutrition. At Rafiki, the children are spiritually mentored and loved as they grow up. As these children grow older, the hope is for them to become responsible Christians and productive Ugandan citizens. Rafiki Africa Ministries is designed to not only help meet the needs of orphaned and suffering children in Uganda, but transform their lives.
Rafiki Africa Ministries is a 501©3 non-profit organization in the state of Texas. Rafiki Africa Ministries is a registered NGO and Approved Children’s Home by the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development.