Kampala: The transition home
Biojemmss has a second family property in Kampala for our older young people who have completed their A-levels and need to be in the city for university or employment opportunities. Its function is to help older members of the Biojemmss family successfully transition into adulthood and independence.
Biojemmss believes adoption is permanent and that the children who join our family remain part of it for life. The transition to adulthood is a vulnerable time for any young person, but more so for a child who has been in care in Uganda.
With high levels of poverty and youth unemployment, many young people remain with their families into their late 20s or until they get married. Family connections and wealth are often the only protections against exploitation and poverty. Those without these advantages are more likely to end up homeless or to enter a life of crime.
At the Kampala property, our young people are able to make steps towards independence – such as further studies or first jobs – within a safe and stable environment. They are given greater responsibility and reduced supervision, and those in further education often work while they study or during their gap years. Biojemmss has seen many of its family members make successful transitions into independent living.
The residents of our Kampala provision have already completed a minimum of A-levels with the support of Biojemmss, and are either undertaking higher educational courses, completing placements, or are in their first few years of employment. We continue to cover all their costs from fees to transport, encouraging them and actively supporting them as they undertake volunteering opportunities alongside their studies to earn supplementary income, improve their work skills, and increase their employability status on graduation.
Some of our current residents are completing studies in business management, accountancy, IT, social work and laboratory technician work, and are doing well in their chosen areas. Some of the organisations they have volunteered with include Red Cross and local health facilities.
Youth Bible ministry
We are continuing with our Bible studies and fellowship times, and wherever we possible meet with the members to talk about their faith. Many of our students also take advantage of the university’s Scripture Union meetings, as well as attending overnight prayer sessions at the local church. Biojemmss has also had opportunities to undertake Alpha courses and Bible studies with young people in the community.
Our members in Kampala are all over the age of 18 and have an increased level of independence. However, we have a social worker on site to support them, especially with life choices and challenges. The social worker also provides additional support to help finetune some of their independence skills, such as time management, cooking and self-care skills. Biojemmss also supports members to learn to drive and obtain their licence, a vital skill as they move in to the world of work.
Kampala is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa. Being in the capital gives our young people greater employment opportunities, access to dance groups and church events, and exposure to different experiences and cultures.