Founded in 2008 by Nicola Sansom, Helen Bolton, and Mike Asiya, SALVE strives to make life better for street children in Jinja, a bustling tourist town, 3 hours from the capital Kampala and the source of the Nile river.
From May 2023, AARVEN have partnered with this wonderful charity. Whenever you buy any of our Ugandan products online or in store 2% of the full price will be given to the S.A.L.V.E International.
In 2008, Nicola and Helen were working as teachers in Jinja and Mike was a trainedcouncillor who was fully aware of the precarious position many street kids find themselvesin. The passion of these 3 individuals with very little financial backing led to their firstHalfway Home and since then through organic growth, they have purchased a small pieceof land half an hour out of Jinja and created a sanctuary for children to thrive in, learn how tobe children and allow them the time to heal, and in some cases support them as they come off the drugs they havebecome addicted to on the streets.
Retiring after 10 years, Mike handed the baton over toAlfred Ochaya who is now the Country Director and whom spent time with us up on theS.A.L.V.E hilltop showing us around. Nicola who has a Clore Social Leadership Fellowshipspecialising in Homelessness is now the CEO and Helen whose career is now in publishingremains a committed board member.
There are separate drop in centres in Jinja for boys and girls where the children can get more counselling and plan how to get off the streets. The centres offer a variety of activities including counselling, art, drama, dance, music, life skills and career guidance as well as a place to wash, discuss medical issues and have a good meal.
Upon visiting S.A.L.V.E, our co-founder, Bee, said; "My trip to S.A.L.V.E.'s hilltop sanctuary with its glorious green views of the rolling Ugandan countryside was tinged with sadness.I attended a lesson with the children who vary in ages and it was so heart warming to see them all contributing to the lesson and becoming involved – especially when we did the funky chicken dance!There was laughter and joy and a sense of unity.It was only afterwards when I met one of the nurses, that the reality set in.Esther Ruth Kisame explained that most of the children who are addicted to glue and mafutahave also been subjected to prostitution from a very young age.The work that this small charity does is so paramount to the survival of these children.Giving them a space to be free from their troubles, be nurtured and supported, learn life skills and gain general knowledge in such beautiful surroundings is a little drop in the ocean but can be the main game changer for some of them."
You can read more about our visit to S.A.L.V.E International here.