Keziya Children’s Home, Gulu, Uganda

In Gulu, a city in northern Uganda , rebels have terrorized the land for twenty years, killing, raping, pillaging and burning.  They kidnapped many children, murdered their families and forced them into their army.  Some of these children escaped, but have no place to go and no means of support. Other orphaned children wander the countryside looking for help because parents died of AIDS, malaria, dysentery, or other diseases. The Reverend Otto Naptali, an Anglican clergyman and a Ugandan, was moved to do something about the pitiful plight of the countless orphans.  He and his wife, Filder, began by taking children into their modest house in Gulu.  When the number reached eleven, they were forced to turn down requests from the desperate  children who came to their door daily.  They decided to ask family and friends to form a group to start the Keziya Children’s Home (KCH).  Pooling their meager resources, the group has been able to care for forty more children by constructing thatched mud huts on vacant land and housing the children there with some adult supervision.  The children are so grateful for a daily meal and shelter.  They are really excited about the opportunity to go to school; education is greatly valued in Uganda .  Since It costs money to attend school, it is a privilege.  Rev. Otto and his Board feel it is a necessity for their children to learn and become productive citizens.

In 2005, Shared Blessings undertook a sponsorship program for KCH in Gulu.Presently, over forty children are being sponsored.  A goat project has begun and there are hopes that this fledging business will generate income for the orphanage. There is also the beginning of a bee project for selling honey and a poultry project with chickens and turkeys to provide eggs and dinners for the children. Several representatives from the Shared Blessings Board have visited the Keziya Orphanage Home in Gulu. Everyone has been impressed by the strong and courageous spirit of Rev. Otto and his wife, who operate in the midst of dire need and devastating daily life conditions. They are working so hard to help others around them, even while they themselves have so little.   Otto and Filder moved out of their modest house to live in a mud hut so they can be closer to some of the children they care for.  Meanwhile, Shared Blessings has constructed a building that will hold about 30 children.

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Some of the children still live in temporary shelters like the one pictured at left.  The muddy line running through the center of the thatched huts is actually a latrine.

n 2017, Rev. Otto, due to age and health, passed the job of director to his daughter, Florence Amony.  Florence has always played an important part in the life of Keziya.  She is a widow who has been a school teacher for many years.  Now she has given up that employment to be at Keziya full time.  The children love her because she is wise, strong compassionate and full of fun.