about

Nyaka would not be where it is today without the efforts of people all over the world who have contributed their time, talent, and treasure for our children's sake. We are forever grateful for your support.

Mission

The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project is working on behalf of HIV/AIDS orphans in rural Uganda to end systemic deprivation, poverty, and hunger through a holistic approach to community development, education, and healthcare.

Moved to Act
In 1996, Twesigye "Jackson" Kaguri's life took an unexpected turn. He was living the American dream. He had an excellent education and was ready to explore opportunities, travel, and have fun. Then Jackson came face-to-face with Uganda's HIV/AIDS pandemic. His brother died of HIV/AIDS, leaving him to care for his three children. One year later, his sister died of HIV/AIDS, also leaving behind a son. It was through his own personal experience this native Ugandan saw the plight of orphans in his village of Nyakagyezi. He knew he had to act. He took the $5,000 he had saved for a down payment on his own home and built the first Nyaka School. You can read more about Jackson's journey in his book, "A School for My Village".

Vision

To break the cycle of systematic poverty in rural areas of Uganda.

The HIV/AIDS Pandemic in Uganda

Over 1.1 million children have lost one or both parents.
Extended families and orphanages face enormous obstacles in attempting to care for these children.
Orphans and vulnerable children go without many basic human needs: food, shelter, clothing, health care, and education.
Orphans are often forced to be responsible for income generation, food production, and the care of sick parents and/or siblings.
They may be the first to be denied education when extended families cannot afford to educate all the children of the household.

Operating Philosophy and Guiding Principles

We believe we are all one human family created by God, born equally, and have a duty to help one another.
We believe all people have the right to education, food, shelter, basic health care, respect and love.
We believe all people have a right to a voice that is heard and respected.
We believe a high-quality education is the key to empowering people to transform their lives.
We believe that sustainable, ethical, community-based solutions are the best way to address needs in rural Uganda.

The Nyaka Board of Directors

Mr. Twesigye J. Kaguri, Founder and Executive Director

Mr. Kaguri was born and raised in Uganda in the small village of Nyakagyezi. In 2001, Kaguri founded The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in response to the devastating effects of AIDS in his hometown.  Since founding the project, Kaguri has also become an author. In "A School for My Village" he shares how he came to build the first school and the struggles he faced during the first few years. Kaguri's Full Biography

Ms. Janis Simon, Chairperson

Janis Simon has been married for 32 years and is a mother of four children and a host son from the ABC program (A Better Chance). She has her Masters degree in art education from Connecticut. She has taught art in the public schools kindergarten through 12th grade, and pre-school and Kindergarten for the Jewish Community Center. She has been on many boards of directors, including Hadassah, Congregation Kol Haverim, A Better Chance, and Hartwell Soccer.

Ms. Emma Mugisha, Vice-Chairperson

Emma Mugisha is currently the Chair of the Board of Advisors. She is proud to be volunteering for Nyaka. She grew up in a home where she met the HIV/AIDS challenge early in life when several of her uncles and aunts passed away from the disease. Her parents had 5 children of their own but have brought up more than 15 children as a result. Learning to share the available living space and resources, and seeing her parents' sacrifice inspired her to contribute and help ease the suffering of many children in Uganda affected by the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Frank Byamugisha, Governance Committee Chair

Frank Byamugisha, a Ugandan citizen, is married with 3 children. Since joining the World Bank in Washington DC as an Economist in 1983, he has held various technical and managerial positions there supporting development programs in East Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, he is an Operations Advisor and a Land Reform and Administration Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also President of the International Community of Banyakigezi, an NGO that promotes culture and socio-economic development among the people that live or originate from South Western Uganda.

Dr. Anu Frank-Lawale

Anu Frank-Lawale is a British- born Nigerian who currently lives in Virginia with his wife and children. Having spent a lot time living between the developed and developing worlds he is passionate about bridging the gulf between them. He is trained as a quantitative geneticist with a speciality in aquaculture breeding. Anu is currently the breeding research manager at the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Centre in the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) where he is designing and implementing a selection programme for the Eastern Oyster. He enjoys playing sports, cooking, photography, cinema and music. He is actively involved in his church.

Mr. Ted Brynn, Treasurer Ms. Barbara Kroberger, Secretary Dr. Leah Greenspan Hodor Ms. Cath Inanir Mr. Topher Wilkins Robin Langley

Our Board welcomes any comments and/or questions you might have for them. To contact them, please visit our Contact Page and direct your question and/or comment to the desired board member in the comment section.

The Nyaka Board of Advisors

  • Promise Ambrose
  • Mr. Robert Auld, Chairperson Emeritus
  • Dr. Sam Carpenter
  • Dr. Nancy Colier
  • Dr. Deborah Delmer
  • Dr. Paul Deweese
  • Mr. Rolf Dietrich
  • Ms. Diane Goldberg Hunckler
  • Ms. Deborah Hutton
  • Prof. Mondo Kagonyera
  • Ms. Barbara Kroberger
  • Marlene LaPorte
  • René Montgomery
  • Dr. Jude Mugerwa, Secretary
  • Dr. Graham Pike
  • Justice Ogoola
  • Ms. Carol Realini
  • Mr. Larry Sallee
  • Mr. Seow Cheng Soon
  • Ms. Clare Strenger
  • Dr. Snea Thinsan
  • Ms. Jennifer Thomson, Immediate Past-President
  • Dr. Fred Tinning
  • Dr. Dale Val
  • Mr. Aime Wata
  • Prof. Mohamed Zefzaf

staff

Nyaka would not be where it is today without the efforts of our key staff and 43 teachers and support staff in Uganda. Learn more about our staff by clicking on their picture below.



U.S. office

Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, Founder & Executive Director
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri Founder & Director

Mr. Kaguri was born and raised in Uganda in the small village of Nyakagyezi. In 2001, Kaguri founded The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project in response to the devastating effects of AIDS in his hometown. Since founding the project, Kaguri has also become an author. In "A School for My Village" he shares how he came to build the first school and the struggles he faced during the first few years.
Email: tjk@nyakaschool.org

Wendy Schneider, Accountant
Wendy Schneider Accountant

Wendy Schneider joined the Nyaka staff in October 2011. She brings over 25 years' experience in accounting with her! Wendy recently enrolled to get her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting. Wendy is connected to the plight of NAOP's students and grandmothers, having lost a brother to HIV/AIDS. Wendy believes that education is the key to breaking the cycle of systemic poverty. When she isn't crunching numbers or studying, Wendy enjoys reading.
Email: wendy@nyakaschool.org

Desiree Kofoed, Office and Volunteer Coordinator, Granny Program Manager
Desiree Kofoed Office & Volunteer Coordinator
Basket Program Manager

Desiree joined the Nyaka Team in July 2013. Before joining Nyaka as a staff member Desiree was a committed NAOP volunteer since 2010. She brings her volunteer knowledge, activist desire to make the world a better place, and her enthusiasm and love for Nyaka. Desiree believes in the NAOP and has been advocating on behalf of the children and grannies for years. When she isn't working, Desiree continues her pursuit of making the world a better place through her environmentalism, volunteering, and working with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. She also enjoys reading, riding bikes, camping, and watching movies with her husband Dan, and two kids Kinzer and Gwenyvaer.
Email: desiree@nyakaschool.org

Uganda Staff

Kampala Office

Jennifer Nantale, Country Director
Jennifer Nantale Country Director

A native Ugandan, Jennifer has several years of experience as a manager serving refugees, displaced persons, and other vulnerable groups. Nantale joined NAOP in October 2010. In 2000, she lost her elder sister and had to raise her 2 daughters. Through this experience, she learned that with love and commitment, one can find the resources to raise a child who has no parents. She is committed to serving women, children, and other vulnerable people so they can experience a better life.
Email: nantalej@nyakaschool.org

Shabnam Olinga, Executive Program Assistant
Shabnam Olinga Executive Program Assistant

Shabnam was born in Fort Portal, a beautiful town in western Uganda, and raised in the mountainous region of Mbale in the Eastern part of Uganda. She is a social worker who is very passionate about children and working with communities. Her love for working with people sent her off volunteering to South Sudan just as it was coming out of a 20 year conflict where she worked on an HIV/AIDS project. Having volunteered for a few years, she decided to pursue her Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and wrote her thesis on HIV/AIDS in conflict situations. She has since conducted trainings in peace building and conflict transformation and worked on several HIV/AIDS programs. When she is not working to improve the lives of people, she likes travelling and spending time with her two children.

>Sempa Abu Bakr, Finance and Administration Manager
Sempa Abu Bakr Finance & Administration Manager

Kaweesa Robert, Finance and Administration Assistant
Kaweesa Robert Finance & Administration Assistant

Nakabira Rosette, Administration Assistant
Nakabira Rosette Administration Assistant

Mugamba Jacqueline, Finance and Administration Assistant
Mugamba Jacqueline Finance & Administration Assistant

John Mwesigwa
John Mwesigwa Social Worker

Mwesigwa John was born in June 29 1989 in Rusembe Ward in Hoima Municipality in Uganda. He currently stays and works as a Social Worker at Nyaka AIDS Foundation-Kanungu/Rukungiri. He received his Second Class Upper Bachelors degree in Guidance and Counseling award at Kyambogo University in Uganda. Johns study was not easy as it was a struggle because he was single parented and the mother tried her level best to ensure that he attains a better education which he did through being hardworking, patient and prayerful. He is born from a humble family and raised in a hardworking environment where he involved himself with educated people since his childhood and who contributed to who he is today. During his teenager he participated in student leadership and he held different positions as well and for his exemplary work he was awarded certificates for the different positions held. In addition, he previously worked as a HIV/AIDS Counselor with Action Africa Help-International (Uganda Program)-UNHCR Implementing partner at Kyangwali Refugees Settlement, Volunteered at Reproductive Health Uganda, worked as a Peer Educator at Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa and all this experience enabled him realize how leadership skills can enable an individual work within a multi-cultural team and achieve desired results. The leadership skills he attained were demonstrated while undertaking a Diploma in Virtual leadership Development Program for monitoring & evaluation of family planning and reproductive health services funded by USAID and moderated by Management Sciences for Health and during which led to an over how of M&E strategy of family planning and reproductive health in the organization he was working in. Furthermore, John participated in the International Youth Essay Competition by the World Bank on youth Migration and was given an award. John therefore believes that each person has equal opportunities in life to succeed.

Byamukama Hannington
Byamukama Hannington Driver

Kutamba Primary

Bagumisiriza Maxim
Bagumisiriza Maxim Head Teacher

Tumuheki Nicholas
Tumuheki Nicholas Head Teacher

Talemwa Rozzetti
Talemwa Rozzetti Field Accountant

Ariho Lawrence
Ariho Lawrence Teacher

Kyomukama Jacenta
Kyomukama Jacenta Teacher

Birungi Bruno
Birungi Bruno Teacher

Tukamuhebwa Vastine
Tukamuhebwa Vastine Teacher

Kariisa Isaac
Kariisa Isaac Teacher

Akampereza Ronald
Akampereza Ronald Teacher

Asiimwe Barnabas
Asiimwe Barnabas Teacher

Katwebaze Prudence
Katwebaze Prudence Librian

Arishaba Sarah
Arishaba Sarah Teacher & Chapel

Namanya Isabella
Namanya Isabella Teacher & Assistant Anti-AIDS

Karugaba James
Karugaba James Teacher & Scouts

Byaruhanga Tobius
Byaruhanga Tobius Teacher

Akankwasa Bridget
Akankwasa Bridget Teacher

Turyahebwa Christopher
Turyahebwa Christopher Support Staff

Morning Johnson Tibihabo
Morning Johnson Tibihabo Driver

Nyaka Primary

Kwikiriza Enoth
Kwikiriza Enoth Head Teacher

Ahumuza Annet
Ahumuza Annet Head Teacher

Karuru Alice
Karuru Alice Teacher

Natukunda Lydia
Natukunda Lydia Teacher

Abaasa Joram
Abaasa Joram Teacher

Ampeire Smith
Ampeire Smith Teacher

Friday Onesmus
Friday Onesmus Teacher

Muhoozi Stephen
Muhoozi Stephen Teacher

Tayebwa Emmanuel
Tayebwa Emmanuel Teacher

Kyomugisha Monica
Kyomugisha Monica Teacher

Nampa Joseline
Nampa Joseline Teacher

Nyakakye Hellen
Nyakakye Hellen Teacher

Akampurira Deus
Akampurira Deus Teacher

Muhwezi Martin
Muhwezi Martin Support Staff

Bitwire Benedicto
Bitwire Benedicto Driver

Nyaka Vocational Secondary School

Sukukuru Arnold
Sukukuru Arnold Head Teacher

Anyongyeire Sarah
Anyongyeire Sarah Secretary

Ahimbise Joshua
Ahimbise Joshua Agriculture

Twasiima Julius
Twasiima Julius Art

Easter Wensislus
Easter Wensislus Biology & Chemistry

Ngabirano Junancea
Ngabirano Junancea Computers

Ainebyona B Pius
Ainebyona B Pius English Literature

Tumukunde Chrispus
Tumukunde Chrispus History

Mugabe Tadeo
Mugabe Tadeo Kiswahili

Nkumanya Richard
Nkumanya Richard Maths & Physics

Kiconco Sophie
Kiconco Sophie Matron

Bwengye Benon
Bwengye Benon Support Staff

Health

Hope Kibansha
Hope Kibansha Health Coordinator

Dr Hope Kibansha is a 34 year old female surgeon, married with 2 children, working as a resident surgeon at Kambuga Hospital, also heading Kambuga Hospital as a medical superintendent, she did her first degree in Makerere University College of Health Sciences and completed in 2009, and masters in Surgery in 2014, she is a Urology fellow candidate under COSECSA, she has special interest in improving Health service delivery, and has a passion for children's Health. She is involved in research and has written abstracts. She loves her job and what motivates her is seeing a patient recover from an illness. Dr Hope looks forward to improving quality of life of her patients through her services, especially helping the most vulnerable ones'.

Hagenimana Sterina
Hagenimana Sterina Nyaka Nurse

Natuhwera Winniefred
Natuhwera Winniefred Nurse

Arinda Hope
Arinda Hope Kutamaba Nurse

Blue Lupin Library

Dan Turyasingura
Dan Turyasingura Program Manager

Esther Ayimo
Esther Ayimo Volunteer GHC Fellow

Mujuni Elius
Mujuni Elius Field Accountant

Turyatemba Demiano
Turyatemba Demiano Support Staff

Tusiimire Mark
Tusiimire Mark Librarian

Granny Project

Ngabirano Godfry
Ngabirano Godfry Granny Coordinator

Byomuhangi Marius
Byomuhangi Marius Assistant Granny-Rukungiri

Agaba Dan
Agaba Dan Assistant Granny-Kanungu

Vian Owamani
Vian Owamani Assistant Granny Coordinator Micro Finance

Farm

Richard Munyakazi
Richard Munyakazi Farm Manager