A Spanish Woman Moved to Uganda to Adopt 32 Kids and Changed Their Lives Forever

4 months ago

María Galán, a 26-year-old Spanish woman living in Uganda, is a beacon of hope. With her unwavering dedication and a simple yet profound mantra—"every smile counts"—she has transformed the lives of 32 children, proving that love knows no bounds.

A trip that changed María’s life

Born and raised in Spain, María’s journey to Uganda began with a desire to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children. With a degree in Economics and International Trade and her mother’s teachings about the importance of helping those in need, María embarked on a trip to Uganda to volunteer at an orphanage.

However, fate had other plans. In 2020, María found herself stranded in Africa, isolated from her homeland and thrust into the daily lives of the children at the orphanage. It was during this time that she received devastating news—the orphanage faced imminent closure. Refusing to stand and doing nothing to help, María made a life-changing decision: she would stay in Uganda and become the guardian of these 32 abandoned souls.

She created a sanctuary for the kids.

This way, the Babies Uganda Foundation was born—a sanctuary for the most vulnerable members of society. With the help of fellow volunteer Maribel, María secured a safe haven for the children. Babies Uganda, that already celebrated its tenth anniversary, operates in the town of Kikaya, Uganda, where basic needs are often unmet. They now have two orphanages, a school with almost 600 preschool and primary school children, a school for blind children, a vocational training center, a primary care clinic, and a dental clinic. What began as a humble initiative to prevent the closure of an orphanage has blossomed into a multifaceted organization addressing various critical needs within the community.

María’s commitment to her young charges goes beyond meeting their basic needs: it encompasses their holistic development into independent, responsible adults. By creating job placement programs, she equips them with the skills and confidence they need to integrate into society and build a brighter future for themselves.

Helping the most susceptible to prejudice

One of the most important aspects of Babies Uganda’s work is their school for blind children. A source of hope in a society where disability is often stigmatized. María explains that disability in Uganda is a taboo subject. The children are hidden and for the family, it is a shame.

By providing education and support, Babies Uganda offers these children a chance to defy societal barriers and carve out a brighter future.

She faced some challenges.

Living in Uganda has presented its own set of challenges for María. In a society marked by deep-seated sexism and cultural differences, she has faced resistance and prejudice. Besides that, financing such extensive projects requires sustained support. María revealed that the income comes from the sponsors who help them monthly. Individuals can contribute through sponsorship or by purchasing their recently released book, The Life of Sami. Written by María, the book chronicles the real-life stories of Ugandan children, offering readers a glimpse into their world while raising funds for Babies Uganda’s initiatives.

Volunteers also play a vital role in supplementing the organization’s efforts. Whether participating in events in Spain or directly engaging with projects in Uganda, volunteers contribute their time and skills to uplift the community.

Despite the challenges she faces because of her work, María emanates unwavering happiness. She explained that in Spain, she couldn’t find an answer to why she was living for. And at Kikaya, she feels useful. Her journey underscores the transformative power of compassion and the profound impact of individuals dedicated to making a difference.

María Galán’s story is proof of the power of love, resilience, and the human spirit. Her selfless dedication to the welfare of others serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, kindness and compassion can light the way forward.


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