Kinship care works – both in the UK and in Uganda! (Photos)

 In Helen Moody, Kinship Care, Nigel Priestley

Kinship Care Week celebrates the willingness of family and friends to step in when the parents can’t care for their child. It isn’t just in the UK where kinship carers take responsibility for children. Ridley & Hall are proud of their long association with the work of Meltham Mustard Seed Project based in Kyema, near Masindi in NW Uganda. This project has stopped children going into orphanages and enabled them to be brought up by foster carers, many of whom are kinship carers.

The project began when the late John Bakanoba MBE who lived in Meltham began to help the village he had grown up in, with the Kyema Water project. Its aim was to sink a bore hole to give fresh water to the village as the nearest water was 4 miles away and that was contaminated. Money was raised, a bore hole sunk and in 1992 the fresh water flowed into the pump. Subsequently a Community Hall, a multi- purpose building for the village and electricity was also supplied. Nigel Priestley Senior Partner at Ridley & Hall laid the foundation stone of a nursery which now has over 150 students

The Meltham Mustard Seed Project was formed with a dedicated committee in both Meltham and Kyema Uganda after a visit to a local orphanage where the orphans were being cared for by a young girl. The conditions were extremely poor.  

In 2018 across the world there is a movement to take children from orphanages and either place them within their extended family or in foster care. This project was ahead of its time. Suitable foster parents, often relatives, were found in Kyema. Meltham people pledged to give money regularly to support the children in a family environment. Food, clothing, education, medical and social care were provided. Initially 15 children were sponsored from birth to 16 years. Since 2002 Mustard Seed has extended support to all children until the end of further education. Many of the children received their first education at the nursery.

Many children have passed through the project and some are now putting money back to support over 35 children still in foster care.

Nigel Priestley, John Royle, Emma Pearmaine, Sarah Young, Abbie Priestley and Sam Hirst from Ridley & Hall have all visited Kyema and the nursery over the years. They have helped decorate as well as bringing gifts!

In November 2018 Laura Milburn one of Ridley & Hall’s Child Care’s Team will continue the link – she will be visiting and taking much needed paper pencils and crayons to Kyema Nursery.

Commenting Nigel Priestley said “Kinship care works – both in the UK and in Uganda!”

UgandaRidley & Hall UgandaUganda - Emma & JohnUganda Nigel


kinship care week