AidChild Leadership Institute

AidChild Leadership Institute

Image: The AidChild Leadership Team (L-R): Nsereko Tom, Dickens Opio, Dorah Wanyana Dunigan, Anthony Kanaabi, Ruth Nakalanzi, Umamah Badru. Not pictured, Dr. Nathaniel Dunigan.”

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”
–Dr. Maya Angelou

AidChild Logo

“That is one of our favourite quotes at the AidChild Leadership Institute,” says Senior Intern Dorah Wanyana Dunigan. “In the work of offering care to one another on this planet, there is an understandable rush to one solution, but when that sense of urgency forsakes a commitment to include other voices, and when it does not attempt to learn from mistakes, we lose the capacity for sustainable change at scale.” She adds, “Our daily prayer is: ‘Lord, let us make new mistakes today. Let us not make the same mistakes over and over again.’”

AidChild is a grassroots initiative which has been serving children and youth in Uganda since 2000, and was the first to provide free pediatric antiretroviral therapy (ARV) in the country—thanks to an early partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

AidChild’s latest iterations—based on nearly 23 years of learning—include these innovative efforts, and the goal of an HIV-free generation:

The AidChild Leadership Institute (A.L.I.)

Members of the first cohort of ARV-recipients (assembled in 2001) are interns at A.L.I. As they emerge into adulthood, this wellness and academic-support program is the NGO’s climactic offering. Emphasis is placed on personal power development, practical applications of integrity, and the pursuit of one’s own talents, passions and interests. Recent success stories include university graduates, trained teachers, a pharmacist, a medical researcher, an engineer, an acclaimed chef, small business owners, a stylist, a professional artist, and a nurse-in-training.

A.L.I.’s younger residents hold the title of “novices.” As interns-in-training, novices are provided quality psychosocial support and holistic guidance to foster their development. In 2024, A.L.I. plans to also open a library with thousands of texts to be made available to the public.

Senior Intern Ruth Nakalansi AidChild Leadership Institution
Senior Intern Ruth Nakalansi
A Pupil at HDC AidChild
A Pupil at HDC

The Human Development Centre (H.D.C.)

Through H.D.C., AidChild is creating a NEW model of care, focused on holistic and advanced development of the human person through a guided and intentional environment for living and learning. It is the work of the interns at A.L.I.—under the guidance of AidChild’s C.E.O., Dr. Nathaniel Dunigan. The interns and Dr. Dunigan are developing a hands-on, team approach to early childhood education with a variety of media and a fast-paced daily schedule for children of HIV-positive mothers. (All of H.D.C.’s pupils are HIV-negative thanks to the organization’s earlier offerings of pre-natal and clinical care.)

The AidChild Equator Shop

In an early commitment to self-sustainability, the NGO opened Uganda’s original Equator Shop in 2002—on Masaka Road. Thanks to a grant from USAID, they were also able to bring electricity and water to the shop’s rural village located right where the equator line crosses the busy highway. As a result, hundreds of jobs have been created as well as multiple outlets for the sale of arts and crafts of all kinds. The AidChild Shop, though, remains the jewel of the village—just a few steps NORTH of the equator line—catering to clients of all budgets from around the world—earning money for the institute’s scholarships. The shop prides itself on being eco-friendly, and on only offering products made in Uganda and East Africa (not importing souvenirs from factories abroad as other outlets do).

See, or WhatsApp +256 780 282697. (The shop earns as much as 50% of the NGO’s overall budget.)

The AidChild Equator Shop
The AidChild Equator Shop

What is an HIV-free generation?

It is a generation of children born free of HIV—and who remain free of HIV

Where will this generation come from? From people living with HIV who have access to safe-environments, resources, medication, opportunity—and the personal power to make their highest-and-best life choices as parents and members of society.

Get Involved

  • Support AidChild with your business at the Equator Shop just NORTH of the line.
  • AidChild welcomes donations of books, toys, and clothing for ALL ages.
  • Interns and representatives are available to speak to your group or gathering about the hope of an HIV-free generation.



AidChild’s Six Core Principles

The project’s principles form the acronym “B.E. C.A.L.M.”

  1. Best: Reach for your highest & best offerings; not to BE THE best, but to GIVE YOUR best.
  2. Earn it, keep it: Keeping a good reputation is even more important than earning it.
  3. Communi-what? Communicate!
  4. Alone, you are not: When we function from places of alone-ness, we lose.
  5. Little gardens must be tended before we get our big farms.
  6. Make it beautiful: intend that all the works of your hands will result in pleasant presentations and offerings.

Watch this 70-second USAID video about AidChild

1 Comment

  1. Charley Raub

    Aidchild has long a track record of integrity, effectiveness, and grace that prepares precious lives to impact themselves, family, community, and Uganda for a Godly present and future.


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