Esther and Mariska visiting Mama Jane in 2022

We travelled to Uganda on October 12th to visit Mama Jane again. Our main goal was to show our continuing love and support. Since Agnes passed away in 2021, Mama Jane faced major challenges: keep the home running smoothly and take care of all the children. In addition, the long Covid lockdown makes everything extra difficult for 2 years. The schools were closed and the income of the kindergarten fell away.

Agnes' son Seith took over the day-to-day management after she passed. With the help of the loyal staff, who supports him unconditionally. Also the board and trustees remained and form a stable factor. As a great addition, the grown-ups of Mama Jane now form an advisory group.

Organisatie-tekening Mama Jane

Feeling welcome at Mama Jane
We arrived at the so well-known home at Gabula Road. It felt like coming home, but at the same time everything was different. We really missed Agnes at the door and behind her desk in the office, making jokes and using her clear language. Now Seith was there in her chair, comfortable and smiling, giving us a warm welcome. He assisted his mother for years of course, but always somehow in the back. Now everything comes down to him. A huge responsibility. Our visit was expected so a delicious lunch was served; passion juice, fruit, spaghetti and chapati. Made by Harriet and Fatuma in the well-known orange flowery pans. Some things never change.

“The old broom knows every corner, and a new broom sweeps well”

How is Mama Jane doing now?
We were impressed by good and relaxed atmosphere at Mama Jane. This was reflected in many big and small things. A very nice example is the weekly meeting that the staff and children have together every Saturday. In it they openly discuss what went well and what ideas there are to make things even better. Super fun and educational for everyone.

Seith is present at Mama Jane every day. In the evening Christina, his younger sister, comes home to Mama Jane. She also grew up in the home and now stays in the rooms of her mother Agnes. Nice, and at the same time strange, to meet and talk to Tina there. About losing Agnes, and how Tina's life has changed because of this. She works in a hospice during the day and also takes over another important task of her mother: helping in the church of Fatima.

The future and the challenges
In the past there were sometimes up to 70 children living in Mama Jane. Now there are about 20 interns. Mama Jane supports 52 children through family support. These children live in a family, often with (distant) relatives. Mama Jane helps the families pay school fees and living expenses. A great responsibility, which comes with many complicated questions. Like: how do you know if the child is safe? How much and for how long do you support the families? And do you only pay school fees for 1 child or do you extend it to the whole family (family empowerment)? How do you monitor the well-being of the child? How often do you visit and how do you handle those visits? And so on..

We had good conversations with Seith. He has many ideas and speaks openly about the challenges. In addition to dealing with family support, they are working hard to upgrade the computer room with more computers and internet. For Mama Jane's kids, to learn computer skills, and to get an income out of teaching people outside of MJ.

The need for a good car and getting the solar panels working again are clear wishes coming out of our talks. The car to visit all the children in the villages. The batteries of the solar panels need to be replaced. Seith makes a cost estimate with experts for both wishes.

The week was much, much too short. We took a lot of pictures, made a drawing of how Mama Jane is organised and visited the graves of Agnes and Patrick. We also saw Annet and Peter, who both grew up in Mama Jane. Super nice reunion and they are doing well. Annet showed us the school where she teaches and the house she is building with her husband. She is very proud of what she achieves and so are we. Peter can start a computer class with the laptops he received from Mariska and earn some income from home with it.

We really enjoyed Uganda, the beautiful people and all the colors and smells. The best thing was to see how well Mama Jane is doing and how strong they are managing together after the loss of Agnes. That gives a lot of confidence in the future.

Pictures made during our visit

Mama Jane Children Care Centre

Vulnerable children deserve a promising future

Mama Jane was founded in the 1980s. During this turbulent times hundreds of thousands of people died during the reign of Obote and Amin. Many children became orphans. They were taken in by Jane, to whom the orphanage is named.

Due to civil wars, HIV and poverty, Mama Jane's existence remains highly needed to take care of children.

Our contactdetails

Please feel free to contact us

In The Netherlands:
Mama Jane Foundation: info@mamajane.nl

In Ugunda:
Mama Jane Children Care Center
Gabula Road Lot No. 22, PO Box Box 1185, Jinja, Uganda
T: +256-772630819