In 2019 Noah's Ark Children's Ministry Uganda (NACMU) celebrarated its 20th birthday.
Founded by Piet and Pita Buitendijk as a non-denominational Christian organization originally as a home for abandoned, abused and unwanted children, it has since expanded and its remit now supports Uganda's most vulnerable children and the poverty stricken community in the immediate vicinity of the compound.
At the moment the NACMU runs a children's home, a nursery, primary and secondary school, a medical clinic and carries many more social and medical outreach programs in the surrounding community here in Central Uganda.
Over the years Noah's Ark has impacted the lives of thousands of children and adults. More than 190 children currently call Noah's Ark home and more than 350 students are enrolled in our schools. Our medical clinic has helped countless others in the surrounding community.
Peter and Pita with a small selection of the children
In 1999, Piet and Pita started by providing a safe home for abandoned and abused children in their Kampala rental home. Soon the number of children needing safety and care was so large that the building became too small so in 2006 Piet, Pita and their children found a new home in Mukono District with plenty of space to grow. 13 years later we are still here.
Left: The rental home in Kampala. Center and right: the Children's Home under construction
When we moved to our current location we founded the New Horizon School. At the time it was only a Primary School with a nursery and lower elementary classes but today New Horizon Schools offer the full range of education from Nursery School through to Secondary Vocational School. Butthis school is not only for the children from our home. The classrooms are filled with hundreds of children from the surrounding community, many coming from the poorest families. None of these families can afford school fees but these children are able to attend our schools thanks to our sponsorship program. Last year we had the first group of students graduating from Secondary School.
Soon we realized that medical care was also an essential part of serving the children and the community so we founded a Medical Clinic. Our medical clinic serves children, students and staff living on our compound as well as members from the community. The main focus of our clinic are mothers, children and malnutrition but we offer general, high-quality health care at affordable rates.
As the youngest children grew older, 'family units' were built so we could give them an as normal as possible family life. Very soon our oldest children will reach an age where they will stand on their own to feet.
Over the years hundreds of unwanted, abandoned or abused children have found a loving place in our children's home where they receive the love, care and attention every child deserves. We've also been able to successfully resettle hundreds of children back with their own families or with adoptive parents within Uganda.
An areal view of Noah's Ark's compound
Our mission and our work will not stop. Day after day we are working for a better future for our children, our students and for Uganda. We will continue to provide children in need with safety, love and a home if necessary. We hope our children will one day start healthy families of their own and break the cycle of poverty, carelessness and abuse.
For our New Horizon graduates, our ambition for them is to go out into the world and for them to be job creators.
We welcome you to become a part of our work. Find out how you can help.