Miryante Children: Testimonials

Amanda Zurface


Uganda is known as the “Pearl of Africa.” There’s lots of reasons for this. Why do I think this is the case though? While, the geography is beautiful, it’s fruit is delicious and the Nile runs through the country, I personally believe it has everything to do with her children! The Ugandan children’s smiles, their spirits, their giggles, their desire to be loved and cared for…There’s so much about these children that offer glimpses of their dignity as children of God. All one needs to do is spend a few minutes at Miryante Orphanage to discover this.

I spent a month at Miryante Orphanage in 2012. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to love and care for the children, while at the same time be loved and cared for in return by each child. I had the opportunity to read with the children, play games, paint a mural for the kids and lead a week long girls’ empowerment camp, and simply just be available to the kids. You see, many of these children don’t know what it’s like to be loved. They truly just need someone to show that they care for them whether that be through a hug, smile, hand hold, or walk.

Miryante is very special in that the founder and staff are seeking to take care of the children’s current needs (spiritual and material), but at the same time are also preparing the children for the future through unique educational and formative opportunities for the region and for children who have been impacted by such poverty and trauma.

I encourage you to pray about visiting Miryante Orphanage yourself, sponsoring a child and/or a project.


Amanda Zurface


Petra Bujtas


I stayed at Miryante for one month in 2015 and it has been a wonderful experience!
I spent my time working with Doreen (Project Coordinator) and Lydia (another volunteer) and I was truly impressed by their effort to make Miryante a caring home for every child. In the first weeks I used to joke about Doreen being an alien, because it took at least two weeks until I saw her eating or sleeping. Even during lunchtime, she never stops talking about new ideas that she has to improve life at Miryante. She is amazing, and I have never seen a lady working that hard! I have no idea where she got the energy from to arrange some fresh bread for me, so I can have a European breakfast and feel a little bit more like home.

Lydia is really nice, too. She helps a lot with the children and they come to talk to her very
often. Unfortunately, I was not able to help the children with their problems, since I don’t
know the local language. But Lydia came around with me and helped to translate everything really patiently. The teacher and all the caregiver are very friendly, and they really like to teach you some local things. The second they see you just wondering around (that is a really rare thing to happen) they offer to take you hiking or show you the gardens or pick mangoes for you at the top on the closest mountain.


At first it is hard to live without power and running water, but it’s easy to get used to it if you have a positive mindset. Just make sure you have everything you need when you come such as tablets to get some clean water and the best torch you can get. I also recommend a good headlamp – it’s going to be your best friend!


The kids are smiling all the time, and even if they don’t understand you or you don’t
understand them you can play games or just have fun walking around in the forest. They are very thankful for everything although at first they are a bit shy.


Just wait a few days and I am sure they are going to invite you for a traditional dance night in the dining hall!


Patrick Corcoran

My name is Patrick Corcoran.  I had the opportunity to volunteer at Miryante Orphanage in 2011 while visiting my daughter, Laura.  As is often the case with volunteer work, I received much more than I gave.

From the moment we trekked up the red dirt lane and were greeted by a stampede of children with hugs and eager hands to carry our luggage, we were made to feel welcome.


Miryante is an oasis of love and opportunity for orphan children who would otherwise be lost in the shuffle and they radiate that love in the smiles they generously share.

Situated in the verdant hills of Western Uganda, Miryante is in tune with the rhythm of the agrarian life that defines the people of this region.  The children take part in the daily chores of tending cattle, goats, hogs, chickens and rabbits as well as helping “dig”. We would probably refer to it as gardening, but it is the daily routine of tending to the food crops on the plot of land that nearly every family has from which to draw a majority of their sustenance.


During the time that I was at Miryante I worked with some of the staff to build fence through the bush to serve as a pasture for the budding cattle and goat enterprise.  Suffice it to say that it was a rewarding but humbling experience as I struggled to keep pace with the dedicated men who seemed able to effortlessly lug 60# palm tree posts up the steep inclines and excavate post holes in the Ugandan soil with the simplest of hand tools. Although they smiled in amusement at the extent of my exertion, a bond of appreciation was established in the accomplishment of our work.


The Miryante Orphanage that we experienced first hand is making a genuine difference in the lives of these children.  We were impressed. So much so, that we are happy to take part in their monthly sponsorship opportunity and encourage you to do the same.


Our two week adventure to Uganda also gave us the opportunity to see big game in Murchinson Falls National Park and to view the source of the mighty Nile at Jinja.

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All in all it was a wonderful, rewarding way to experience Uganda “The Pearl of Africa”.


Pat Corcoran

Craig Conard




I volunteered at Miryante from August 13-24, 2014, minus a 3 day safari.

I worked alongside a nurse practitioner student from Ohio State. Our project was to perform a health survey of all of the children staying at Miryante. I am a pediatrician, so this was a normal thing for me. We saw 108 children, ranging in ages from 6-  19 years old. We found that most of the children were rather healthy, well cared for by the caretakers, and growing well. A few of the children required additional care and attention provided by doctors at the local Ugandan clinics and hospitals.

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting the child I am sponsoring, Alex. He reminded me a lot of myself when I was that age. I look forward to keeping in contact with him and watching him grow into the "future president of Uganda", as he says.


I have two favorite parts about Uganda: the children. and the cranes. Despite so many hardships, the children are able to laugh, play, learn, and thrive in an amazing and beautiful environment. The cranes mesmerized me. I had never seen anything so large fly in front of me before! And that unique sound they made still kind of freaks me out!



Laura Corcoran



My name is Laura Corcoran and I helped start Miryante Orphans Home back in 2009. I worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer and worked with the local Catholic Parish to secure donations to build houses and eventually a school for the project. I lived in Uganda for three and a half years working with Miryante and I continue to volunteer with the project in the US in several capacities including that of the volunteer coordinator.

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Miryante has a lot of volunteering opportunities for those that are interested. In my time with the project I have worked in several areas including organizational development, teaching English, working with agricultural projects, youth development activities, and health education. The neat thing about Miryante is that it offers a chance for people to volunteer no matter what their background and skill set. It's a wonderful opportunity for cultural exchange and to spend time with with some amazing children who deserve to know that people out there care about them.

Uganda offers a variety of attractions for visitors including safaris in Uganda's National Parks and some of the best white water rafting in the world on the Nile River. It is one of the friendliest and safest countries to travel to in Africa. Please do not hesitate to contact Miryante if you are interested in sharing your time with us.

Violeta Belogaska


Violeta Belogaska


I have been volunteering for Miryante Orphans Home since February 2014. I got in touch with Doreen - The Assistant Director and Laura - the Volunteer Coordinator, via one of my friends who volunteered at Miryante in 2013.
I help with the social media and online marketing promotions, and help to edit the monthly email newsletter. I visited Miryante in June 2014 and spent three weeks with the children and the staff. My stay with the children, and the visit to Uganda was an amazing experience.
Uganda is a beautiful country in East Africa, and I can highly recommend it as one of the safest places I've been to. The people are friendly and hospitable, from landing at Entebbe to spending time with the children in Miryante, my stay was unforgettable.
Entebbe is green and elegant town situated on the lake Victoria. From there, I went to Kampala - the capital of Uganda, where I spent few days before going to Miryante. Kampala is busy, noisy and different from other cities. There is a lot to see, it has great markets and lots of history and interesting places. I also visited Jinja - the source of the mighty river Nile, and couple of national parks. Uganda is famous for the amazing wildlife and nature. I visited the Rwenzory Mountains and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

However, my main reason for visiting Uganda was to meet the children of Miryante, where I spent 2.5 weeks. There are 120 children, and I enjoyed spending every day with them. They are very welcoming and friendly - like all Ugandans I've met during my stay there. What impressed me is that the children are very mature, the older ones look after the younger children, and take their responsibilities very seriously. The children walk few kilometres to school each morning, and every weekend and after school they are engaged in various chores and activities, including helping with farming in the vegetable garden, helping with the livestock (grazing the cows), helping with preparing the meals, doing their washing and helping the younger children. They still find the time to practice singing and dancing and are very accomplished dancers and musicians. When I arrived and during my stay there, they regularly performed traditional Rutoro dances and songs, and have other activities in the evenings.

I worked with Doreen Tigah - Assistant Director at Miryante. Doreen is very hardworking and enthusiastic about the home and always tries to find new ways to improve the lives of the children. She is a lovely lady with a big heart, truly dedicated to the children and their well-being. Doreen's background is in social work, and she is also responsible for communications and managing the administration. I was inspired by her tireless work, energy and passion.
Life in Miryante is different from what I am used to in England - the home relies on few solar panels, and most days there was very little electricity. Internet is either very slow or non existent, but these 'obstacles' didn't stop the staff to get on with their every day work. The team consists of managers, teachers and caregivers. They were all very welcoming and made me feel like at home. The children are of primary importance and everybody who works there has their best interest at heart.