RYDA outta the oven

A PICTURE, the old adage goes, tells a thousand words and Doug Williams says that is certainly the case with the above image of goodies being baked.

The cooks are orphaned and vulnerable children completing a non-formal exam in the Catering and Hospitality classroom of the Rubaga Youth Development Association in Buloba, Uganda.

“They have come to RYDA with no more than one bag of personal items, to train for two years to attain a government trade qualification,” Doug said.

“They are provided with uniforms, curriculum materials, food, accommodation, showers, toilets, intellectual and physical challenges, community and, perhaps most importantly, a safe place to uncover, enable and extend their potential.

“When they graduate they will be supported to find their first employment.”

RYDA is a non-government organisation founded in 1992 by social worker Geoffrey Kyeyune to give opportunities to disadvantaged young people, often living on the streets, in Uganda’s capital of Kampala.

In particular, RYDA seeks to increase life skills, opportunity, education and vocational training with the aim of abolishing child labour.

Doug’s congregation at St Margaret’s Uniting Church in Mooroolbark has been a long-time supporter of RYDA’s work.

“The students pay no fees,” Doug said.

“It all comes through donors, gifts and grants. One way people might consider helping out is buying a Christmas gift certificate from our website.”

To learn more about RYDA, buy gift certificates or otherwise support its work visit http://www.blackdouglas.com.au/ryda/

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