Sylvia’s Children (www.sylviaschildren.org), a New Jersey-based non-profit, will once again be embarking on a heartwarming Christmas trip this November.
Each year, volunteers with the organization help to bring Christmas magic to the children of the Mbirizi Advanced Primary and Day Care School located in Uganda, Africa. One third of the 1,015 children currently attending the school are orphans, and no one is exempt from indulging in the joyful celebration, including students from secondary school and college.

For 12 years, the organization founded by internationally recognized businesswoman and philanthropist Sylvia Allen, has hosted the memorable “voluntour,” which always includes a special Christmas feast and holiday party for the children.

Following these festivities, each child is then given a personalized gift bag, filled with all sorts of goodies and toys, with every boy receiving a brand new shirt and every girl, a brand new dress.

This trip, which runs from November 13 through 21, will mark one year since the organization opened its new 6,000-square-foot medical clinic in the village. The fully equipped medical clinic has increased access to health care for both the children and the village at large. There is very limited access to healthcare in this part of Uganda, and care that is available is often years behind the standard of medical care in developed parts of the world.

Sylvia’s Children’s mission since its start has been to improve the lives of the children at the school, by helping to create a self-sustainable model that can then be shared with schools in surrounding villages. It currently supports all 1,015 children at the school.

Since launching the organization in 2003, Allen has succeeded in gaining annual sponsorship for 150 of the 331 orphans, and she has raised over a million dollars, all of which has gone directly to the school since she covers all administrative expenses herself. In addition to the medical clinic, the charity has constructed a fresh well, a chicken coop with 400 chickens, a kitchen, a corn milling building, a sewing facility, new classrooms, housing for teachers and orphans, a fully-stocked library, a playground and more.

The all-inclusive cost to join the trip is $2,500, which includes airfare, lodging, meals and ground transportation. Partaking in the Christmas joy is at no cost.

Those interested in joining the trip can contact Sylvia Allen directly at sylvia@sylviaschildren.org or call 732-946-2711.