Project #2202

Rebuilding the lives of street children in Uganda

by Retrak America
Fred came to Retrak through our soccer program
Fred came to Retrak through our soccer program

#GivingTuesday has finally arrived! This is an exciting opportunity for Retrak, because Microsoft is giving a 100% match to any gift that you make to Retrak through GlobalGiving, up to $500!

Please donate soon, as matching funds may run out quickly. By donating to Retrak today, you can double the impact that Retrak makes with children living on the streets of Africa, helping them return to a loving home and family.

Your donation will help children like Ayana, a young Ethiopian girl who was sent by her aunt to a life of domestic servitude when she was 5 years old. In exchange for food and shelter, Ayana spent her days scrubbing floors, washing clothes and preparing meals for a family. When she was 14 years old, her employer beat her and forced her out onto the streets. Fortunately for Ayana, Retrak heard of her situation and stepped in to help. Ayana was reintegrated with her family and is living in a stable, loving and supportive home. You can read more about Ayana here.

Fred is another child who was helped by Retrak. Retrak’s outreach workers in Kampala, Uganda, met Fred for the first time during a regular soccer training session. Activities like these, held near the streets where the children live, provide a chance to get to know the children and for them to understand what Retrak can offer. Over the course of the following week, Fred joined in with soccer and other games, as well as getting good meals and attending the education and life-skills classes at the drop-in center. By the end of the week, Retrak’s outreach worker had learned that Fred had been on the streets for some time. Since he hated getting dirty and sleeping outside, he mopped the floor in a video hall every evening so that he could sleep inside. He had run away from home after his parents divorced and his father wouldn’t care for him.

After 5 months of counseling and preparation at the halfway home, Fred was able to return to live with his mother. He’s now settled at home and is back in school. You can read more of Fred’s story here.

On behalf of Ayana and Fred, and the thousands of vulnerable children that Retrak works with every year, thank you again for supporting us in our vital work in Africa. Please make a #GivingTuesday donation today!

Ayana came to work in Addis when she was only 5
Ayana came to work in Addis when she was only 5


David at Retrak
David at Retrak's Drop-In Center

Meet David. David entered a life of hardship at an early age when his parents separated and later died. He went to live with an uncle who tried to force him to be a witchcraft shrine attendant rather than go to school. Instead, David went onto the streets of Kampala, Uganda. 

In desperation , David turned to a church for help and from there he was referred to Retrak. David entered Retrak's foster care program and while he found it difficult at the start, he eventually settled into a loving home where he felt safe and happy. This allowed him to rejoin the community where he became an influential leader of those around him, especially other children.

Later, Retrak made sure that David was able to take his ‘O’ level qualifications, which opened his eyes to the world of academics that he previously had no means of accessing. He developed a great passion for learning and gained a place at a vocational institute where he could continue his studies. His determination helped him to obtain an internship at a 5-star hotel in Kampala as an electrician.  By May of 2014, at the end of his internship, David's excellent work was recognzed and he was hired by the hotel - a miraculous opportunity given his difficut background.
For twenty years, Retrak has been changing the lives of street children like David, something that we would not be able to do without the support of our donors. Thank you for helping us in our work.
David's employer, the Sheraton in Kampala


Why is this boy smiling? Because today, starting at 12:00pm (noon) EST, Microsoft YouthSpark will match 100% of any donation that’s made to Retrak through GlobalGiving!

Please help Retrak take advantage of this remarkable opportunity by making your donation today. Your contribution will help children like Fred, who was born HIV-positive. He was just 9 years old when his mother died of AIDS. Two years later his father deserted him and Fred followed some boys from his village to Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Fred says, “I had no strength to scavenge for food or to work. The public rejected and mistreated me. HIV/AIDS was threatening to take my life. ‘Where is my daddy?’ I kept asking myself.”

Then came what Fred calls “a miracle day”.  On the streets, Fred met Elvis, a Retrak social worker, who brought him to our drop-in center and later to our transitional home. Eventually Fred was placed with a foster family. Fred says, “Retrak gave me a second chance to live a new life. I was loved, cared for, treated, fed, clothed and housed. I left the transition home to go to live with my foster family, and finally I had an answer to the question, Where is my daddy? I had a new family. My past troubles were behind me. I had a new song and a big dream. Thank you!”

Fred’s story has a happy ending thanks to donors like you. You can create more happy endings by making another donation today, while the Microsoft YouthSpark 100% match is in effect.

Microsoft’s match will begin at 12:00pm today, and please… make your donation soon! Funds are limited and may run out quickly.

Smiling in Uganda
Smiling in Uganda
Smiling in Malawi
Smiling in Malawi
Smiling in Ethiopia
Smiling in Ethiopia



Retrak and Microsoft are teaming up to make your donation go even further! Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 16, starting at 12:00 EST, Microsoft will provide a 50% match to any donation that you give to Retrak. If you give $100, Retrak will recieve $150. A gift of $50 will become $75. Microsoft will match any gift that you give to any of Retrak's programs in Africa. 

And if that's not enough, Microsoft will also match 100% of the first three months of any recurring donation that you sign up for! 

Your gift to Retrak tomorrow will help children like Zergaw, a boy who was found sad, weary and confused outside of the bus station in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He had been on the streets for three weeks, having left his isolated village to try to find work to help support his sisters and widowed mother. Retrak staff helped reunite Zergaw with his mother, who burst into tears of joy upon seeing him again. Then they worked with Zergaw's mother to help her establish an income-generating business, and with Zergaw's school so that he could return to class.

When Retrak returned a few months later, it was clear that the business was doing well. The whole family was better fed and looking healthy and all the children were back in school. Zergaw's mother said, "I am very happy and so grateful for what Retrak has done for me and for my son!"

Thank you for your past support of Retrak's programs in Africa. Please help us continue to help these children by participating in Microsoft's Matching Program tomorrow. Matching starts at noon EST. Please make your donation early, as funds will run out quickly!


Brian Banks is a student who is traveling throughout Africa this summer and visiting a number of GlobalGiving projects. On May 13th he visited "Provide education to AIDS orphans in rural Uganda." When asked what he would tell his friends about this project, Brian said: “Incredible: You need to see this!"

“I am different because of Tigers Club,” so said Richard, a former street child and Tigers Club beneficiary. When Richard, first came to Tigers Club for a shower he was living on the streets of Kampala. Today Richard has graduated high school (at the top of his class and with honors) and is hoping to attend university, all because of the work of Tigers Club. Not only did Tigers Club pay his school fees and provide him with a place to live, but Richard told us that Tigers Club’s medical facilities actually saved his life. Richard is one of over 1,000 street boys who have had their lives changed by Tigers Club.

Today we had the opportunity to visit the Tigers Clubhouse and meet with Dinah, the interim director. We learned that Tigers Club takes a holistic approach to meeting the needs of street children. They operate a resource center where boys can drop in for a shower, to wash clothes, get medical treatment or for a hot meal. The organization also offers long-term care, focusing on the individual needs of each boy. All boys are resettled, placed in foster care, or provided housing and reintegrated into the formal education system. Finally, Tigers Club works to equip older boys with marketable skills through vocational training that will enable them to live an independent and productive life.

As we sit writing this on a balcony overlooking a Kampala street, flooded with young street children begging for a bite to eat, the severity of the street children problem is clear. At the age of five we were not allowed to cross the street alone and yet, here, leagues of children of the same age now live on the street, alone. As we see children, each brimming with potential, begging at car windows, we realize the importance of Tigers Club in Kampala; it stands as a beacon of hope for children that the world has otherwise forgotten.

To learn more about this project, and how you can help, visit


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Organization Information

Retrak America

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website: https:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Joan Townsend
US Country Director
Washington, DC United States
$68,372 raised of $100,000 goal
406 donations
$31,628 to go
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