Family Ties Fundraising
We’re passionate about helping people who are doing everything they can to help themselves. Alongside addressing the urgent need for a safe family home we also make provision for improving future household income through agricultural smallholdings and vocational training.
In 2022 we partnered with Edith to provide a clean, safe, and secure home for her family; Edith and her family moved in to the home in May 2022 and are thriving. Building a home and its associated facilities and amenities is a significant financial commitment, one which we cannot do alone. We’re looking for people willing to commit to raise the funds for our next home build project. Specifically we’re looking for a connected group of people, this could be a business, a sports or social club, a gym community, a school, a church, a workplace, or your extended network of family and friends!
Our first home build project, completed in 2019 (pic), was funded through the charity trustees’ network of family and friends on social media. It’s a great model that really worked! For every new project we’re hoping to find a new fundraising family to come onboard with us to help build a home. As a small charity we only run one home build project at any one time and we’re looking for a new group of people to get behind our 2023 build. Over the course of up to six months we’ll do everything we can to support you, your family, your friends, your work colleagues, team mates, or class mates to promote the project and your fundraising. We can provide support through marketing, practical measures and administrative means, to help you achieve your goal!
A Home - A Hope - A Future
Throughout the build we’ll keep you updated with pictures and video of the progress and connect you with the home build family. It’s important to us that you are able to see exactly where and how your funds are being spent and that you are able to feel connected with the family whose lives you have changed. We are a small organisation, we know the families and community we work with; this is not simply fundraising for a noble, but faceless, cause. Your funds are not amalgamated into a pot to further some greater, but intangible, good. Your funds will build an amazing family home and enable a family to work towards a very different future. We’ve compiled some detailed information that should answer most questions you may have if you’re considering partnering with us. To find out more about exactly how the home build projects work, what exactly we build (because it is so much more than just a house), and how much it will cost, see our build partner FAQ below. For further information about I AM and how we work you can visit our general FAQ page HERE.
Our home build projects not only provide a safe, secure family home but also a range of other amenities and facilities that make a huge difference to the day-to-day life for our home build partner families. In particular we prioritise improved sanitation, hygiene and drinking water facilities, which have a great impact on family health. These facilities, alongside a small solar power installation for lighting and a separate kitchen building, are split out from the main home build costs. This gives us more opportunity to engage a wider audience in fundraising for these aspects of a project while also reducing the total funds needed to be raised for the home build itself.
So how much is a home build? Our single storey, three bedroom, 500ft² home currently costs £7,865 (UK sterling) to build, from breaking ground to moving in. Our 2023 budget breakdown can be downloaded below. Our homes are built to a very high standard, with longevity and low-maintenance in mind. The detached homes are simple but comfortable and very secure. The home is comprised of a covered entrance veranda, a main reception room, three bedrooms (with an option for one room to be self-contained for private rental), a small washroom, and a small storage area. The main bathroom facility is traditionally separate to the accommodation and is located to the rear of the property; this is also included in our home build costs and finished to a similarly high standard.
To find out more about our homes visit:
100% of your donated funds for projects such as home builds and home facilities and amenities go directly to fund the project for which they were raised or donated. Not one penny of project funds is diverted or partitioned for any other purpose. As a charity we have a small dedicated general fund that is used for non project expenditure. Our UK operation is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers; limiting our UK expenditure to administrative costs such as web hosting and print literature, which comes from the general fund. Our staff costs in Uganda are minimal, being limited to our Operations Manager’s costs during the duration of a specific project, and this again comes from our general fund. We are happy to say with confidence that 100% of the funds we receive are assigned to and used for the specific purposes they were given.
At present our goal is to complete one home build project a year. The practical building portion of the project takes around five months to complete. So it made sense to simply split the year; six months fundraising, a few weeks for us to get things organised and underway in country, and the remainder of the year for the build itself.
Six months may seem like quite a long time to dedicate to raising funds, but £7,865 is not a small amount of money! For our first home build in 2019 the trustees fundraised on social media, through their extended network of family and friends. We estimate that we reached our funding total over the course of four – five months, though this also included the funding for all the other facilities. Six months will allow fundraisers to plan ahead and really generate interest in the project and raise awareness for the cause.
We’re happy to help in whatever way is most useful. We can supply print literature about the charity; we can also provide branded stationary for things like sponsored events. We’re happy to attend events or meetings to share more about what we do and how your fundraising is going to transform a family’s life. We can also assist in setting up fundraising pages and are on hand for any administrative help you may need to get set to start fundraising. We use the giving portal www.givey.com which is specifically set up for small to medium sized charities in the UK. Through Givey we receive 100% of your donation with no fees applied! We will also, of course, promote your activities through our social media platforms and website and do everything we can to help you reach your goal.
As our fundraising family we will keep you updated throughout the build with pictures and video of the progress and connect you with the beneficiary family. It’s important to us that you are able to see exactly where and how your funds are being spent and that you are able to feel connected with the family whose lives you have changed. We are a small organisation, we know the families and community we work with; this is not simply fundraising for a noble, but faceless, cause. Your funds are not amalgamated into a pot to further some greater, but intangible, good. Your funds will build an amazing family home for a family in the most desperate need and enable them to work towards a very different future.
Part of our agreement with beneficiary families is their involvement and investment in the build project. Families commit to contribute to their home build, generally through labour or other practical means. We work with a local builder and other tradesmen with whom we have built relationships over many years; not only during our first home build project in 2019 but on previous building projects for other charitable organisations in the area. Our Operations Manager Godfrey oversees the build day-to-day and payments are phased for key milestones throughout the project. For some specialised elements of the build we work with other non-profit organisations, specifically Ugandan Water Project (ugandanwaterproject.com) in respect of our water collection and drinking water facilities.
A typical build takes around five months to complete and once we have made final checks and furnished the home with some basic essentials such as beds, a table, benches, etc the family move in and start on the path to a very different life.
Where a home is not being built on land already owned by the beneficiary family we try to secure a land plot that will allow the new homeowner to have an approximate half acre smallholding. In the community where we work the great majority of families are subsistence farmers. Providing a half acre farming plot gives families a means to support themselves, with the opportunity to produce some excess for sale locally. As part of our build projects we provide families with a full compliment of farming tools suited to the crops grown locally.
Where a parent or older child (not already in education) shows some aptitude in a particular skill or profession we explore the possibility of some vocational training, with a view to further improving household income. This, in combination with farming opportunities and the potential for rental income from a self-contained portion of the home, gives the family some real options to improve their standard of living and subsequently improves access to education and medical care.
Over the course of the first year in their new home we make several informal visits to support the family in the transition, which can actually be a big adjustment after living so long in what could be considered ‘survival mode’. We also may need to visit in support of any ongoing vocational training.
I AM works with Ugandan families in desperate housing need to help provide safe and secure homes and a means to increase household income.
We believe that quality of life begins at home. The conditions under which you live and consequently the general well-being and health of you and your family – regardless of material comfort – have a tremendous impact on your expectations, your concerns, and your priorities. With this in mind, our aim is to assist in providing safe and secure homes and a means to improve household income to families in desperate housing need in rural Uganda. The end goal is for families to own their own homes and smallholdings, freeing them from crippling tenancy agreements and a hand-to-mouth existence, facilitating increased food crop productivity and greatly improving prospects for the whole family.
We believe that a person’s self-worth and value are in no way tied to their status or circumstance. I AM is an undeniable, life-affirming declaration that we can all proclaim regardless of our situation.
I AM was registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales in January 2020, previous to which we had been operating as a non registered organisation under the name Ewaka and it was during this time that we completed our first home build project. Prior to this we have been involved in charitable work in Uganda since around 2002. Our founder has spent the majority of his working life in the charity sector and outside of professional life had spent ten years as a very active member on the trustee board of another UK based charity working in Uganda. Over those years we have developed relationships in the country with Community Based Organisations (CBOs) working collaboratively toward real lasting change for peoples’ lives. Prior to launching I AM we had the great pleasure of co-managing a primary school build project which is now an amazing facility serving a very remote population. Having developed such good friendships and relationships it made sense to continue this new venture amongst a community we now know so well.