Trust for Africa's Orphans

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Jan 16 2015

Fundraising volunteer needed to transform lives

Trust for Africa’s Orphans (TAO) operates on a minimal budget in the UK so that every possible pound goes to support orphans, vulnerable children and impoverished communities in northern Uganda.

These children have futures because their communities can now make a living from agriculture thanks to TAO's support.

These children have futures because their communities can now make a living from agriculture thanks to TAO’s support.

You will transform lives if you are willing to give your time voluntarily and have the fundraising skills to help us attract new funding from institutional donors, trusts, companies or high net worth individuals. You can mostly work from home and in your own time.

Interested? Find out more about this Volunteer Role.

Sep 13 2014

TAO’s 2013 Annual Report celebrates 20 great years

Trust for Africa’s Orphans’ TAO Annual Report 2013 demonstrates the great success of the approach TAO has developed over its 20 years of working in Uganda.

African orphans

TAO’s work keeps orphans and vulnerable children in their communities – well fed, healthy and able to attend school.

Approved at TAO’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at Uganda House on 10 September, the Annual Report celebrates TAO’s work in Lira, Apac and Oyam Districts, which independent evaluations described as a ‘“Hugely innovative” market-access project [and] a “great success”’, generating excellent return on donors’ investment (May 2014 announcement).

Particularly exciting, says Chairman Iain Knapman, is TAO’s current project in the Pader District of northern Uganda, funded by Comic Relief and due to be completed in early 2015.

“Our Pader project applies the innovative and highly effective approach we developed in Lira to assist smallholder farmers to gain access to commercial markets. As this is our first project in Pader, we are also working intensively to build the farmers’ agricultural skills, especially in addressing the impacts of climate change and the environmental degradation caused by the decades of conflict in the area.”

TAO’s Annual Report also provides details about its most recently begun project, which is in Kole and Dokolo Districts. Funded by The Baring/Ellerman Foundations, this project involves an in-depth process to build communities’ respect for the land rights and other rights of women, children and other groups of vulnerable people. It is due to be completed in mid-2016.

The Kole and Dokolo project involves very sensitive work with communities still suffering a great deal from the impact of the conflict in northern Uganda. TAO is working in partnership with FAPAD, which is highly skilled in mediation and building community relations. TAO is also drawing on its experience in the Lira project, where setting up farmer groups had the great benefit of creating much-needed improvement in gender and community relations.

Iain Knapman said:

“We are very excited about both our current projects. We would, however, very much like to extend our work and are seeking further funding to do so. Word has spread of the success of our projects in Lira and Pader, and many communities have asked us to train them in agriculture and environmental management skills and help them set up farmer cooperatives.

“With our partner organisations – TAO-Uganda and Kulika Uganda – both now experienced in running such projects, we are particularly keen to build on our land rights work in Kole and Dokolo Districts. We would welcome interest from potential donors!”

At the AGM, Iain thanked all TAO’s donor, staff and Trustees. As always, Coordinator Joy Mugisha has very effectively managed all the day to day challenges, supported this year by TAO’s new Finance Officer & Projects Assistant, Merium Khan. Iain expressed his appreciation to all his fellow Trustees and announced the sad retirement of Nick Hetherington after 12 years with TAO.

Iain also thanked the current fundraising challenges, including Joy Mugisha’s fun-run, Trustee Robyn Cox’s 21x21mile walk and 11 and 10 year old sisters’ busking – kids doing it for kids.

Download the TAO Annual Report 2013.


Joy Mugisha completes her first ever competitive run; Robyn Cox sets off on her 21×21 mile walk for TAO’s 21st; and 11 year old Darcey and 10 year old Erin Snape busk in Oxford for TAO.

Aug 10 2014

Kids #doit4orphans – busking for TAO

Two talented sisters performed a brilliant busking session for Trust for Africa’s Orphans in Oxford yesterday.

Busking for TAO

From right to left: Darcey (11), Erin (10), Leanne (Mum) & a passing pastor being one of the first to support them.

11 year old Darcey Snape on violin and 10 year old Erin Snape on ‘cello had learnt an impressively large popular repertoire, on top of their classical music training, to play for over half an hour. Staying professional in the face of the wind trying to whip away their music and chilling their fingers, the girls delighted passers-by and raised £51 for TAO.

As they counted the takings afterwards Darcey said they were very happy to donate the money to a charity supporting children in much greater need than themselves. It was “very cool” to be involved, said Erin.

The performance was cheered on and photographed by our Trustee, Robyn Cox, who said:

“I was bowled over. Darcey and Erin performed fantastically, playing a really impressive range of pieces.

“On behalf of TAO I thank them hugely – and their mother, Leanne Kelly, who arranged all the music, rehearsed the girls, and arranged the busking licence and everything else.”

Jul 11 2014

Robyn’s ’21 Challenge’ supports our 21 campaign

Robyn walks for TAO

Trustee Robyn Cox plans to walk 21×21 miles in 2100 hours, from 21 July in support of TAO’s 21 campaign.

Trustee Robyn Cox says:

“I came up with the ‘all things 21’ campaign, so figured I should adopt the same theme for my own way to #doit4orphans!

“That’s why I’m walking 21×21 miles in 2100 hours, starting on 21 July.”

This means Robyn will walk 441 miles in 12.5 weeks, which is an average of just over 35 miles a week. Even more challenging, she is going to blog about something interesting each day she adds to her tally – promising an update at least every 21 miles and at least 21 photos along the way.

Her progress can be followed at Robyn’s 21 Challenge and she can be supported through Robyn’s Virgin Money Giving page.

Robyn adds:

“I hope to raise at least £1,021 from my Challenge. But I also hope to inspire others to come up with their own way to support TAO and get supported by their own friends, family and community. Anyone interested can find fundraising inspiration on our #doit4orphans page.”

Jul 02 2014

Joy runs for orphans – please sponsor her!

Running for orphans

Running for orphans

Trust for Africa’s Orphans (TAO) Coordinator, Joy Mugisha, is truly giving her all for orphans. She is currently training hard for her first ever race, the 5k Innovation Sports Race at Wimbledon Common, on Sunday 20th July.

Her aim is to raise at least £3,000 as part of TAO’s 21st Birthday Campaign – Joy’s way to #doit4orphans. Please spur her on her way by giving through her fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving.

Joy says:

“The training is really tough – it is the thought of helping more households in northern Uganda that is spurring me on. The people there have suffered so much through the conflict with the Lord’s Resistance Army – I want to do everything I can to help them.

“I am hugely grateful to everyone who is supporting me.”

Joy has done much more than run to help orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda, where she grew up. Joy set up TAO 21 years ago when asked to help raise money for work being done in Uganda by partner organisations. For years she worked entirely voluntarily until she had established the charity.

Iain Knapman, Chairman of TAO, says:

“TAO wouldn’t exist without Joy’s great dedication and ingenuity. On behalf of all the Trustees I thank her enormously and wish her a very good run.”

Find out more about the Innovation Sports Wimbledon Common Race on 20 July.