where the first human beings stood up and walked
Africa... the world's second largest continent
Africa... home to 10% of the world's population
Sub-Saharan Africa... 15 million children under 18 are AIDS
1.5 million orphans
Uganda... 95% of the population does not have electricity
Uganda... more than half of the population lives on less than
$2 a day
Uganda... 95% of the population does not have water
Uganda... only 20% of the male children go past 7th grade
Uganda... only 17% of the female children go past 7th grade
Sylvia's Children is
trying to address these problems, starting with education. As
the adopted grandmother to over 1,000 children at the Mbiriizi
Advanced Primary and Day Care School, Sylvia Allen has made a significant difference in the children's lives and hopefully, give
them enough education to have a better life than their
For the last thirteen years
we have made a difference in these children's lives...
providing a well so they don't get sick, a library and books,
additional classroom blocks, a nurse and health care services,
the list goes on - click
here for a complete list of what we've accomplished
in thirteen years. Our goal is to make the school totally
self-sustaining so we can take this model and apply it
A Safety Net for Mbiriizi
America, if a child does not do well in school and 'slips
through the cracks' there are safety nets to catch them:
special classes, tutors, after school programs. If that
child still does not do well, there are alternative schools,
teachers and social programs. If, in the end, the child
is unable to succeed in any of the programs and slips all
the way to the bottom, there are government programs, social
security and multiple social programs to provide for them.
In Uganda, if a child slips through the cracks, there are
no safety nets, there is no one to catch them. They are
out on the streets, on their own, to fend for themselves.
The teachers and staff at the Mbiriizi Primary School know
this and, because of this, there is a level of dedication
there that you do not find here in America. They know what
these children are up against because it is where they came
from and they know if they don't help the children, no one
The teachers and staff are completely open and honest with
the children, to prepare them for the tough life ahead.
Classes held in the school are not only reading, writing
and arithmetic but anti-drug classes, non-smoking classes
and classes about abstinence and AIDS. There are no taboo
subjects, they do not mince words nor do they sugarcoat
them. Why should they? Most of the children walk five miles
to school with no shoes. Harsh reality is a part of daily
can you make a difference?
Through Sylvia's Children…
Why Sylvia's Children ?
are a 'direct participation' charity where you choose your
level of involvement. You can make a monetary donation or,
if you choose, actually travel with us to the school and
help. The level of participation is up to you. For those
kind enough to donate, understand that there is no middleman
with Sylvia's Children, all funds go directly to the school
without any filters. Therefore, you not only see where your
money goes, but you can also watch it work. Unfortunately,
with many charities, you send off your money and you never
know where it goes and never see it work. With Sylvia's
Children ... you do! You can sponsor a child, make specific
donations for needed items or just general donations. There
is no minimum and no maximum and contributions are 100%
How Did It Start ?
2003, Sylvia Allen went with a non-profit organization on
a humanitarian trip to Uganda, Africa. While she was there,
she was asked by Geofrey Kawuma, head of the Mbiriizi Primary
School, to be the school’s Grandmother. With 1,000 children
in the school, of which 250 are orphans due to the AIDS crisis,
she was honored to accept the responsibility. Out of this
Sylvia’s Children was born, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization
dedicated to improving the lives of her ‘grandchildren';
to give the children a fighting chance.
Sylvia’s Children is a family-run charity with Sylvia
Allen, founder, as President and her two children,
Michele and Tony Costa,
serving as trustees.
No administration charges
are taken out of your donations. 100% of the money goes to
the school and 100% of your donation is tax deductible.
Take a look at our donor page … see what you would like
to do to have an impact these children’s lives. No amount
is too small … every dollar helps. Each one of us can
make a difference in a child’s life … please help.
who is Sylvia's Children?
Sylvia with daughter Michele and son Tony
at her side.
89 Middletown Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733