By Umar Ssenyonjo
BUZIGA – The Organization of Islamic Conference designated every 15th day of Ramathan as the World Orphans Day, which over the years has been celebrated in OIC registered Muslim countries world over.
In Uganda, the Islamic Centre for Education and Research (ICFER) has been celebrating this day since 2015. This year, the celebrations happened on 2nd June at Buziga Islamic Theological Institute.
The world Orphans Day 2019 was themed: “Happiness and Fun”. The organizers aimed at providing as many fun activities for the orphans as possible which included; Dart games, Art and painting competitions, Bouncing castles, Trampolines,
Toy rides, Camel rides, Face painting, and clowns to entertain the children.
The event was also graced with a lot of gifting and prizing in the children’s games and competition, distribution of new clothes to be worn by the children on Eid and a feast.
According to the ICFER CEO, Hajji Yusuf Idris Jjemba, ICFER together with Dar Al Ber Society and other partners have always been inspired to organize these celebrations due to the need to bring together all orphan children in happiness and fun and to create a platform for them to showcase their talents and skills.
Orphans in some communities are looked at as hopeless people who are not certain of their future. This according to Immam Kasozi is what compels ICFER and its partners to organize such an event every year.
“We are celebrating this day with a sole reason of restoring hope among the vulnerable orphan children, and to help them understand that they are not the only orphans that this world has. Upon learning about that, it gives them courage and strength to carry on with their lives,” he said.
Hajji Yusuf Idris Jjemba said that ICFER has continuously donated items like clothes, shoes, scholastic materials, health care services, among others to more than 2000 orphans from different parts of the country not only during sad moments but also during times of celebration.
“There is a tendency among government agencies and NGOs to give assistance to vulnerable people only during times of sorrow. However, it is also proper to support such people during happy moments. I call upon government to also consider extending its support to vulnerable people during happy moments like Eid days,” he said.
The chief guest, Mr. Shaffiq Butanda, who represented the minister of gender, labour and social development, Hajat Janat Mukwaya commended the work done by ICFER in uplifting the lives of vulnerable children especially orphans through education.
He also noted that there are very few registered Muslim organizations in Uganda which puts those in existence at risk of closure once discovered. He called upon all Muslims to hurriedly legalize the existence of their entities by following the procedures stipulated by the government of Uganda.
Mr Asuman Basalirwa Member of Parliament for Bugiri Municipality also graced the event.
Mr. Basalirwa commended ICFER for the tremendous work towards educating the orphans saying that supporting such vulnerable groups of people should not wait for foreign aid.
He called upon Ugandans to always be at the forefront in empowering their communities using their little available resources