The Sunbeam Project

Hope for a bright future

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Are the children all orphans?

    No. Sunbeam has been established to serve the needs of all disadvantaged children in community. Many of them are double orphans (having lost both parents) or single orphans (having lost one parent) but all are classified as vulnerable because of extreme poverty or other family circumstances.

  2. Have their parents died of HIV/AIDS?

    HIV/AIDS is a major killer. However, tuberculosis, malaria, diabetes and other diseases are prevalent. Also, because the families live in remote communities simple accidents and injuries can result in death because of the lack of medical facilities that are taken for granted in other places.

  3. Do many of the children suffer from HIV/AIDS?

    The short answer is that we don't know because we do not have access to testing facilities. It is likely that some of them do and it is certain that many of them suffer from malnutrition and other illnesses when they come to us. The fact that we provide them all with nutritious food undoubtably saves many of them from hunger (and is a good incentive for their parents to send them to school).

    The 2008/9 report from the Ministry of Health shows that 14% of people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS are under the age of 18, but the true killer is malaria, which accounts for 48% of all deaths in Uganda. The other major causes of death are:

    • coughs and colds
    • Intestinal worms
    • skin disease
    • diarrhoea
    • pneumonia
    • gastro-intestinal disorders
    • eye conditions

    Click here to see the full report. N.B. It is 1.28 MB so don't be surprised if you have a slow internet connection.

  4. How old are the children?

    The children at risk in the community can be at any age from birth upwards. At Sunbeam, the youngest we accept at the moment will be old enough to join our nursery class. The oldest children that we support are teenagers that are members of the Sunbeam Orphans Troupe.

  5. Are the children available for adoption?

    Sunbeam Project is not an adoption agency and does not have experience in this area. However, if you were to form a bond with an orphaned and vulnerable child, we would endeavour to put you in touch with the relevant authorities. We would request a donation from you to cover the expense of doing the work as it can be a long and time-consuming process.

  6. Can I sponsor a particular child?

    We always encourage our donors to sponsor a particular child. That way you have the opportunity to exchange letters and perhaps visit us. The relationships that form will enrich the lives of both the children and our sponsors.

Back to top


  1. Where does the money come from?

    The Sunbeam Project was started with the meagre savings of the founders. Frances is publishing an English textbook that he hopes will raise some funds as well. Some of the produce from vegetable garden is sold to local businesses.

    Apart from that, personal donations provide the only source of funding. Our sponsors come from all over the world, including Europe, Northern America and the Asia Pacific region.

  2. Where does the money go?

    The major costs are salaries for the teachers and staff, rent for the school building and garden and general administrative costs. In addition, all of the children are given a nutritious (if basic) meal every day and feeding so many mouths does not come cheap. There is a very great need to obtain funds so that land and a school can be purchased, but it is likely that these goals will not be fulfilled for some significant time.

Back to top


  1. Can I visit as a volunteer?

    Yes. We are always looking for assistance from anyone with time and compassion on their hands. Have a look at the Volunteering page which you can call from the main menu.

  2. Does it cost anything to volunteer?

    Volunteers have to pay for all of their own expenses. We will do our best to find you cheap accommodation but please be prepared for it to be very basic.

  3. Is it dangerous?

    Ugandans are very generous, welcoming people and you can expect to be treated very well. Of course, no-one can guarantee safety as trouble can occur anywhere in the world.

    It is a long way to the nearest hospital so you will need to have had all of your vaccinations and hold a current travel insurance policy to protect you in the unlikely event that you do need to get home.

  4. What is in it for me?

    Our project is right on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home of the famed mountain gorillas. You will have the opportunity to join a trek to see these magnificent animals. Also, we will give you time off and help to arrange tours and safaris around the rest of Uganda.

    Most of all, you will have the unique and unequalled satisfaction of making a difference to the lives of others. The smiles of the children will travel with you forever.

Back to top
Still have questions? Feel free to Contact Us