AidChild’s Café & Gallery
Kayabwe (Equator), Uganda
There are approximately 130,000 children under the age of 14 living with HIV in Uganda. These HIV-positive children and youth in Uganda are in need of the support, medical care, and education that enables them to live long, healthy lives—and to transition from “vulnerable” to powerful. In 2002, AidChild was chosen by USAID, the Uganda Ministry of Health, and the CDC as a model for pediatric HIV/AIDS care for the continent. Through this model, AidChild has served thousands of children. In 2017, the organization established two more centres with the goal of creating new models of leadership development and education, fostering an HIV-free generation. The AidChild Leadership Institute (A.L.I.) provides tutoring, leadership coaching, job-skills training, language development, music education, nutrition and wellness support to 55 interns at a time. AidChild’s Human Development Centre (H.D.C.) is a creation of the organization’s senior interns at A.L.I., offering psychosocial support and innovative pedagogy in early childhood education for 30 babies and children daily.
As much as 70% of the A.L.I. budget is covered by the businesses under their corporate label, including AidChild’s Café and Gallery, located where a highway crossed the equator line in Kayabwe, Uganda. Planeterra has partnered with A.L.I. and has given them a grant to upgrade their kitchen, which struggles to meet the needs of the busy café. A grant has also been provided to provide training to the nine staff members working at the café and gallery.
G Adventures now brings travellers to have a meal at AidChild’s Café and Gallery, supporting the charity’s sustainable business so that more funds can be channeled towards A.L.I.’s important new models of care.
Born to a mother living-with-AIDS in the early 1990s in East Africa, in early adolescence, Rogers was referred to A.L.I. Uganda for treatment and care. The staff welcomed him, offering not only the lifesaving medical treatment he needed, but also the embrace of a family and home. And he was soon adopted by A.L.I.’s founder, Dr. Nathaniel Dunigan. Now, Rogers is a graduate of the School of Business at Makerere University (one of Africa’s Top Five Universities), and the recipient of multiple awards and distinctions. Now, Rogers is an A.L.I. alum, and is working for the organization full-time. A.L.I. also has graduates and students in the fields of education, medicine, pharmacy, fine arts, cosmetology, and engineering.