Family fundraising for Ugandan charity through Sidmouth FolkWeek

Gideon's Trust's Hannah Vicarage and Jo Williams

Gideon's Trust's Hannah Vicarage and Jo Williams - Credit: Archant

A family working to raise money for their charity that cares for HIV and AIDS orphans in Uganda have set up shop in Sidmouth Prayer Room this week.

Ellie Burgin, eight, and her sister Mille, six, had their hands painted with henna at a fundraiser f

Ellie Burgin, eight, and her sister Mille, six, had their hands painted with henna at a fundraiser for Gideon's Trust at Sidmouth Prayer Room - Credit: Archant

Gideon’s Trust, named after one of the villagers who lost most of his siblings to the virus, has built an orphanage and installed a water supply, and now wants to build a proper school.

Founders David and Jo Williams and their daughter Hannah Vicarage have been selling Ugandan crafts in the Holmdale venue in the hope of raising £1,000 for the project.

Harcombe Fields resident Hannah said: “Our last project was to raise £5,000 for the water pipe. I went out in February and it’s all up and running – it’s amazing to see.

“This time we’re raising money to put walls and floors on the classroom for years one and two.

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“The thing that struck me most when I visited was how warm, friendly and wonderful people were. They all support each other. I got invited into the community. Everyone just pitches in together.

“They have nothing, no food, but the joy they have and the love for each other is amazing. I think I left my heart out there.

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“I hope to go back out there soon to build walls and floors for the school. I’d like to get electricity as well – but we have to go one step at a time!

“We’re trying to make the village self-sustaining.”

HIV and AIDS are rife in Uganda and Hannah said the first step is education about safe sex. Gideon Mubiru’s dad fathered 43 children to several different woman but only Gideon and two of his siblings survived.

“The charity started in our living room in 2007,” said Jo. “Gideon came over with a children’s choir and I just felt compelled to help him. Now we enable 40-plus children to go to school and we provide a home for them.”

The family has been in the prayer room throughout FolkWeek and will be there until today (Friday) or tomorrow.

Visit to learn more about the charity.

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