Frequently asked questions
What are Biojemmss’ objectives?
Biojemmss believes in children and young people; in their potential and in their right to a safe and nurturing environment. This can only be achieved when they are helped solely for their welfare, rather than for financial gain. Biojemmss strives for excellence, and always puts children first. It is guided by Christian values, aspiring to reflect Christ’s call for justice, hope and love.
Biojemmss works with partner organisations, the community, local government and families to provide assistance to at-risk children to rescue or prevent them from experiencing abuse. It operates with a focus on long-term and sustainable change, and employs family and community strategies to reduce the risk of children to abuse and exploitation.
Our wider aims when working with at-risk children to prevent child abuse are:
- To nurture and care for them in parental absence
- To attend to their basic requirements, including medical, nutritional and educational needs
- To organise and implement activities that promote their physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth
- To organise and implement activities that encourage their biblical understanding and spiritual development
- To manage the homes and community-based projects in a godly and biblical manner
- To liaise and coordinate with other individuals, agencies, organisations and churches to provide holistic support and care for at-risk children
- To play a part in setting a standard of care for children, promoting their rights
- To set a standard of management, advancing a model of accountability and transparency
What are our values?
- CHILD-CENTRED: We put children first in everything we do
- UNASHAMEDLY CHRISTIAN: We believe in the transformative and restorative love of God
- SERVANT-LED: We seek collaboration and partnership with the people and organisations of Uganda, respecting their diverse cultures
- UNIQUE: We will remain true to our roots and history
- RESPONSIBLE: We will exercise the highest levels of integrity, professionalism and accountability in our work
- ADAPTABLE: We embrace learning and positive change
- FUTURE FOCUSED: We will promote an organisation that is self-sustainable
What are our main ministries?
We run a family home in Rukungiri and a transition home in Kampala, supporting children and young people as they live in safety, gain an education and prepare for adulthood. We run children’s camps each year, and are involved in community-based and preventative initiatives, such as prison ministry in these areas. We are continuing to strengthen and expand this work. We are also currently setting up a community ‘village’ in the vicinity of Rukungiri that will offer temporary accommodation to at-risk children as well as offering a range of other community services.
What sort of children do you work with?
We work with children we believe are at risk. This may include children who are:
- Abused or neglected
- Living in conflict with the law
- Heading up their households
- Abandoned or in need of alternative family care (due to parental incarceration, for example)
- Living in terrible labour conditions
- Living on the streets
- Affected by armed conflict or natural disasters
- Living in hard-to-reach areas
- Affected by disability or HIV/AIDS
Why are so many children in Uganda at risk?
One of the main contributing factors is poverty, which limits the options for families and makes them vulnerable to different forms of exploitation, including child labour and trafficking. Child abandonment and children being orphaned through HIV and other diseases is also common due to the poor standard and expense of health care and education. As in other countries, children are also at risk from domestic violence, familial abuse and family breakdown.
Uganda does not have a social welfare system. Therefore, without support networks, children can end up living on the streets. Some are taken into care, but many individuals and institutions based in Uganda are not effectively monitored, which places the children at further risk.
Is Biojemmss an Elim initiative?
Until recently, Biojemmss operated in a partnership (umbrella) agreement with Elim Missions, UK. We recently registered as an independent charitable organisation, although we remain an Elim Global Partner and an approved Elim charity.
Is Biojemmss a business or a charity?
Biojemmss is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation.
Where does your funding come from?
Most of our funding comes from the UK, with occasional donations from local Ugandans. Supporters can give one-off gifts or set up a Direct Debit to provide ongoing help for the mission via our donate button.
We also encourage supporters to raise money through fundraising events and hold special appeals, such as our Christmas voucher appeal, which raises money for our children’s camps. We take donations from events and presentations, and from collection boxes in local shops.
If I give to Biojemmss, what will my money be spent on?
All the donations we receive are used to benefit the children in our care and families in the local community. Our two existing Biojemmss homes require ongoing day-to-day running costs, and we are currently working on setting up a new community ‘village’ in Entebbe, which will also require ongoing funding. We run a children’s Bible camp every year, and we run special fundraising events for these, but we also rely on donations to ensure that we have everything we need to bless local children in Rukungiri.
In everything we do, we strive to be completely transparent, particularly in the way we handle money. We are extremely grateful to those who give to Biojemmss financially and are committed to using any funds we receive with integrity. We have a structure in place to ensure that funds cannot be misappropriated, and our board of trustees oversees our spending, so we are accountable for every penny spent.
What is unique about Biojemmss?
We asked our staff and beneficiaries what they thought of Biojemmss and here are some of their thoughts:
- A real family not an institution
- A place of second chances
- Raising leaders
- Comfort zone
- Child empowerment
- Focused on the child
We support residential Biojemmss members through university and beyond, which sets us apart from many other children’s charities operating in Uganda. We pride ourselves on the ‘family feel’ we offer, with many of our graduates going on to work for or volunteer with Biojemmss. We also provide holistic care to those who are under our residential provision.
Our development plans are also designed to meet a critical need within the current provision for children at risk, especially in the areas of research and the provision of short-term crisis care for children with the view to them returning home.