St. Stephen Children's Centre
St. Stephen Children’s Centre is a grassroots organization established in 2005 by Ben J Ssesmwogerere in the rural area of Makondo Parish in southwestern Uganda. Through care, practical assistance, capacity building, and sustainable development efforts, we are a small group of people who works to teach, support, empower, and improve the living conditions of the vulnerable members of this rural area, regardless of their gender, religion, or tribal affiliation. Our staff is extremely dedicated and passionate about the work that we do, and includes a Board of Directors, a parents committee, teachers, and non-teaching staff. We also have extraordinary partners all over the world who help to support us. We are registered as a Community-Based Organization (Non-Governmental Organization) in the Lwengo District of Uganda [registration number CD/LDLG 1488].
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another - Charles Dickens
Ben J Ssemwogerere is the Director and founder of St. Stephen Children's Centre. He was an orphan growing up in rural Uganda with limited resources for education and other basic needs. With sponsorship support, he was able to complete two college diplomas and opened a medicine shop in his village. He completed an agricultural internship in the Netherlands (having never before left Uganda), and returned to start a non-government organization in his village. Ben recently completed his Bachelor's of Science in agriculture.
He not only improved his own quality of life through the support of his sponsors and his own strength, resourcefulness, and resilience but he is now, with the help of his family and the staff of St. Stephen Children's Centre, also improving the quality of life of HUNDREDS of people in his village. Ben is proof that sponsorship support and education can create an enormous difference in the life of not just one person, but of an entire community.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone
across the waters to create many ripples - Mother Teresa
Working with Ben over the last 15 years has been an honor. Through his tireless, selfless commitment to his community he has produced a safe, loving and productive environment for children and women. He is the kind of individual that we should all aspire to be. I am so very proud to call him my friend.
"Namala" Rena Leidenius, Canada
If you want to be happy, practice compassion - Dalai Lama
Group effort reduces the work load and multiplies the results. We at St. Stephen's, we cooperate and work together in one unit of direction using creative approaches towards different issues and challenges faced with our work - for example, working with very minimal resources to bring up children morally and holistically. With our directors we develop simple practical solutions or alternatives towards the challenges and make sure that our target objectives are achieved.
Through capacity building trainings organized to us as staff by our superiors, we are able to deliver and provide a service to the best of our knowledge with minimal resources and as a way also to contribute to a better world for us all for today and the future. We have come to believe that with hard work, determination, persistence, consultation, patience, cooperation and other aspects, a lot of great achievements can be made.
St. Stephen Children's Centre teachers and staff
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you - Dan Rather
It's really very satisfying to see that something we are contributing to allows for real success in the lives of orphaned and needy children. They are the leaders of tomorrow. We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.
St. Stephen Children's Centre Board of Directors
Our society requires ordinary people with extraordinary determination. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. As Barack Obama said: "We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek". We are happy for the long lasting difference since 2005 in our community and we are happy to have worked and been a part of this endeavor.
Praxeda Nanyondo, Chairperson of St. Stephen Children's Centre Parents Committee
We are the ones we've been waiting for.
We are the change that we seek - Barack Obama
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Makondo, Uganda, Africa