Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions, please contact us

General FAQs

Who is Paul?

Simply put, Paul is the inspiration behind our organization. His story is very similar to many other Karamojong children living in abject poverty in Uganda. Paul just happened to be the first one to steal our Founder’s heart, opening her eyes to the harsh reality of daily life for Karamojong people. Paul demonstrated that these people, and especially these children, are worth fighting for. Learn more…

Where did PFP get its name from?

Heidi wanted to truly find peace for Paul, the first child she helped in Uganda. Read the full story here.

Why should I help children in Uganda when there are people in need here?

We live in an amazing time and place where our basic necessities are readily available, and a lot of our discretionary spending is on luxuries. A small contribution can literally save the life of a child and bring them out of poverty by providing an education. Check out this video
that summarizes child mortality and birth rates in the developing world.
This non-profit in Tanzania nicely summarizes how education impacts poverty.

Can I safely mail packages to Uganda?

The flat items we recommend sending, such as photos, cards and letters, are safe to send. Take caution otherwise, as parcels appearing to be of value could be stolen in transit.

Why does it take so long for mailed letters/gifts to reach Uganda?

It is 9,000 miles from Oregon to Uganda! While our postal system is streamlined, this is not the case in Uganda and sometimes letters get held up at a sorting/distribution facility for weeks, even months.

Where can I buy PFP merchandise, or Ugandan-made products?

Are PFP financial reports made available to financial supporters?

Yes. The annual tax form 990, required by the IRS is made available on our Accountability page.

What level of accountability/transparency is available regarding PFP finances?

Our tax forms are made available for the public. They are posted for all to see on our Accountability page.

How is the success of PFP measured?

While some long term measurements won’t be visible for a few years, in the short term, we can see that our children perform exceptionally well in school relative to their peers. Eventually, we’ll be able to see the effects of our hard work as the children start graduating from University and continuing onto their own paths.

How are decisions made within PFP?

The Board of Directors governs the organization and makes financial decisions. The Ugandan team runs the homes. CLICK HERE

Is PFP looking for any other type of support, besides financial?

Yes. We are always in need of volunteers and members. Get in touch if you have a specific skill set you think may be helpful, or if you find yourself with extra time on your hands that you would like to volunteer towards our cause. CLICK HERE.

How do schools operate in Uganda?

Check out this great article.

Do you have a question that you don’t see here?

Sponsorship FAQs

How many boys/girls are there?

Check out the children’s profiles for the current numbers and additions. PFP Children

How do you choose which children you assist?

We developed a set of guidelines for our caretakers to follow when searching for a child in need. More info…

Are all sponsored children orphans?

No, some of the children have one parent that is alive. However, these parents are not able to provide basic necessities for their children and choose to enroll their child in our program.

Can I write to or email my sponsored child?

Yes, we encourage writing letters and sending photos to your child. Email is not encouraged.

Can I send my child a gift?

We encourage sending cards, letters, photos, etc throughout the year. The other opportunity for gift-giving is a backpack, collected once every other year and delivered to your child. It is typically filled with such items as school supplies, shoes, clothing, and gifts, depending on the theme set for that year. The theme and backpack checklist ensure that all children receive approximately the same amount of items.

How often do I/we exchange correspondence with the sponsored child/children?

You can send a letter as often as you’d like. Each child writes to their sponsors at least three times per year or more, depending on how often you write to them.

Can I visit my sponsored child?

Yes, we encourage sponsors to visit their child in Uganda. To schedule a visit and request additional info, send an email to hope@peaceforpaulfoundation.org

What makes PFP stand out among other similar organizations?

We work with kids beginning nursery school and support them through University. We assist and support their journey towards becoming truly functioning members of their community, during and long after they have left our program. Learn more…

How much does it cost to sponsor a child through PFP?

The cost is $125 per month for a single sponsor and $65 per month for a half sponsor. There is an additional cost of $125 for the first month if the child is new to the program. This covers the cost of a mattress, clothing, supplies, and a full medical evaluation including treatment.

How is the cost determined?

Other programs find multiple sponsors per child, which typically cost around $1 per day. With Peace for Paul, you are one of up to two sponsors for that particular child and your sponsorship covers the cost of all necessities. We strive to provide as much for our children as we possibly can, offering much more than does the average orphanage or foster home.

How does my sponsored child benefit from my monthly donation?

The monthly sponsorship covers the costs of basic necessities, such as housing, clothing, food, medical/dental care, immunizations, and education.

Is my sponsorship/donation tax-deductible?

Yes, at the end of the year a letter is sent to every person who has made a donation over $100 detailing the total donation amount for the year.

Does each child have only one sponsor?

Most of the children have only one sponsor. There is an option for shared sponsorship, although there are typically no more than two sponsors per child.

What’s expected of me/us with a sponsorship?

– Your timely financial support is extremely important in keeping your child in the program and enabling us to provide all necessities for them.
– It is ideal for you to start and maintain a relationship with your child, through letter writing and sending photos. In many cases, they come to think of you as their family.
– While it’s not expected, we encourage you to visit your child.
– Annual backpacks are coordinated every other year (boys and girls alternate). It is a fun way for sponsors to get involved.

Are all sponsors EXPECTED to visit Africa?

No, sponsors are not expected to visit Africa, but it is encouraged to gain a better understanding of the culture, our program, and your sponsored child.

Is the care provided culturally-sensitive?

Yes. Each child’s care is provided by Ugandan caretakers and the homes are managed by a Ugandan general manager. The US/Canada-based Board of Directors makes decisions on funding and programs, while day to day operations are directed by Ugandans.

Can I specify the gender/age of the child I sponsor?

We bring in children based on need and space available in our homes. Children in need of a sponsorship can be found HERE.

How much of each child’s individual story does PFP know or share with sponsors?

We try to obtain as much information as possible prior to bringing a child into the home. This is not always possible as we are dependent on relatives, foster parents or neighbors to provide this information, which may not always be accurate. To read each child’s story, see our profile page.

What happens if my finances change after I commit to sponsorship?

We understand that occasionally this may happen, and we will find a replacement, but we do need to be able to plan for it. As much notice as possible is best.

Volunteer FAQs

What are the best times of year to volunteer?

When the kids are home from school during holidays. Generally this will fall in the months of January, April, August, and December.

How do I get there?

The only international airport in Uganda is located in Entebbe, near the capital of Kampala. There are direct flights from Egypt, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Flights are easily booked on Orbitz or other travel sites, and purchasing the optional travel protection is advised. It is also possible to enter the country via direct bus from Nairobi, Kenya or Kigali, Rwanda.

Where are the homes located?

The homes are located in the village of Mbikko which is about a ten minute ride from the main city, Jinja. There are approximately 490,000 people that live in Jinja and its accompanied villages. Due to its expansive area, the preferred method of transport is boda-bodas (motorcycle taxis). An average rate is about 50 cents – $3 US anywhere around town. Ask locals for the most current fair prices to your destinations.

Where do volunteers stay?

Each home has a dedicated volunteer room with space for three volunteers each. Volunteers are also able to stay at various hostels and hotels in Jinja, where fellow travelers can be met. For longer duration stays of one month or more, another option is rental of a room in a shared home.

What does a typical day in the PFP house look like?

A day in the Peace for Paul house follows a general schedule with a variety of educational and physical activities. The kids are usually awake and cleaning by 7am. You do not need to get up at this time and the children will not disturb you. In the morning, they scrub the floors, wash clothes, pick up toys and prepare breakfast. A light breakfast is then served. Subsequently, dishes and clothes are washed. An activity will follow breakfast, such as reading for an hour, an outing in town, football at a nearby field, class for the supplemental education program, or a volunteer-prepared activity. We try to keep the children busy on school holidays so daily activities are planned.

Lunch is served around 1pm. Preparation for a meal starts at least one hour, and up to three hours before mealtime. This may include going to the market, chopping, cleaning, and preparing the stove. The children work in groups of three and will all cook on an alternating schedule. Volunteers are always welcome to participate in cooking with the kids, but it is never required. After lunch, there is a lesson or sports program. This is followed by a snack, usually fruit, served at approximately 5pm.

Dinner is served after sunset, around 8pm as later mealtimes in the evening are customary in Uganda. The outdoor kitchen is then cleaned and the doors are shut for the night. A movie or an indoor game follows. A couple nights per week electricity is not available, but with the help of a generator this is no longer a problem. Be warned a bright headlamp is VERY useful. The children go to sleep around 10pm.

Is the area safe?

Travel in town alone is safe. We have never had any volunteers report problems or feel threatened. That being said, it is advised not to go out at night alone. If out at night, a bright flashlight is advised as there are few street lights. We suggest you move with some of our older children, expats, or locals until you are comfortable navigating the area, people, and prices.

What/where is Masese?

Masese is the local slum where most of the children from our home once lived. People live in mud huts, share outdoor bathrooms with hundreds of others and struggle to find work. Most people primarily speak their tribal language of Karamojong. A formal education is difficult to access and a luxury that most children and adults will never experience. Most are suffering from malnutrition or easily treatable diseases. Their access to medical care is very limited and doctors are used in only the most serious circumstances. You have the opportunity to visit Masese with the children, although there is no obligation. They return once each school holiday to visit friends and family members still residing there. This is an optional visit, however it’s highly recommended. Take note that there are no proper bathrooms for use. There is a quote that sums up our desire to return to this place and have more people experience it.

“Once one has been to these challenging terrible places they are always strangely drawn back because there is nothing that can compare to seeing the raw reality of the basic human need for survival. It disgusts and inspires.”
– Dan Elgon

What will I be doing as a volunteer with PFP?

Volunteers are encouraged to share their talents and skills with our kids. As a volunteer in the home, you will be asked to participate in the different programs available to the kids while they are on holiday. The programs vary depending on the time of year, but may include the following: career workshop, “Around the World” (sharing where you live and where you have traveled), sex education, sports programs, art, reading time, English games and practice, nutrition, health, safety, and first aid. In addition to the programs we have in place, we encourage volunteers to share something new with the children. In the past we have had juggling, face painting, dancing, arts and crafts, and yoga. What would you like to share with the kids? We welcome any new and fun ideas!!

Are there any health care-related volunteer opportunities?

Yes! We work closely with a local doctor who runs his own clinic and helps people in the villages through community outreach programs and education. Additionally, he runs a mental health fellowship and is always looking for people interested in working with him.

What rules and regulations apply to volunteers?

Are there any travel warnings for Uganda?

What vaccinations do I need to visit?

Ugandan customs will require proof of receiving a yellow fever vaccination. See your local travel clinic for professional advice on antimalarial medications and any other appropriate vaccines.

Volunteer Packet

What is the weather like?

Uganda has a tropical climate. Located on the equator, the temperature varies little throughout the year and from day to night. The average temperature is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (20-28 degrees Celsius). It is generally rainy with two dry seasons from December to February and June to August.

When rain falls, it is usually a downpour lasting minutes to hours. The accumulation of water often slows commerce in the city. Roads can be flooded and undrivable. Riding a boda-boda in these conditions is not advised; one cannot see holes on the flooded blacktop roads and dirt roads turn into thick muddy clay that is nearly impossible to move through. Most drivers will not drive at this time. Always be prepared with a light rain coat.

As mentioned, you will be on or near the equator while in the country. This means a lot of direct sunlight. The blazing hot African sun you have heard about is not a myth. Always carry and wear sunscreen (along with bug spray).

What type of clothing should I wear?

Understanding the climate is helpful in figuring out what to pack. As previously mentioned, a light raincoat is a necessity.

A conservative wardrobe is advised. It is common to see men in dress pants and long-sleeved, button-up shirts. To avoid unwanted comments or stares, women are advised to wear shorts and dresses to the knee. Exposed upper legs are taboo and will likely illicit unwanted responses.

How do I pay for things in Uganda?

The currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). The exchange rate fluctuates daily but has been steady at about 2,500-3,000 UGX to $1 USD. Current rates and exchanges for other currencies can be found at www.xe.com. We recommend bringing two Visa debit cards from different banks or accounts, if possible. Visa is accepted at most ATMs, Mastercard is limited, and American Express is rarely accepted.

We suggest bringing US currency from 2006 or newer for emergencies. There are ATMs outside the customs area at Entebbe airport that will dispense Ugandan currency.

What languages are spoken in Uganda?

There are over 40 different languages and dialects spoken in Uganda, but the national languages are English and Swahili. Most people can speak English. We have never had any insurmountable difficulties with the language barrier.

Most of the children at our home speak English with the exception of some new additions. When the children and locals speak among each other, they often use local languages, the most common being Luganda and Lusoga. Even though you can easily get by with English, it is polite to learn a few local phrases. Ugandans will be very impressed with your efforts and are much more willing to help you. Our children will be happy to teach you!