Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels: Children already receiving help

Since Giraud started fundraising in June 2010, she has baked more than 4,000 loaves and has raised approximately $50,000.

  • Dec. 8, 2011 3:00 p.m.
Known as “jaaja

Known as “jaaja



Walking up the stairs to Barb Giraud’s apartment, the smell of banana bread wafts in the air. It has become a familiar scent for her neighbours.

Recently retired, the 66-year-old gets up at 6 a.m. to start her baking for the day and will often not leave her house if she is filling a large order.

A box of ripe bananas sits on the kitchen table. Big bags of flour, recently donated by Save-On-Foods, are propped up on the floor.

Giraud bounces around the kitchen, showing pictures of the Ugandan children her organization will take off the streets.

“Do I get too excited? I’m like a 20-year-old.”

Since Giraud started fundraising in June 2010, she has baked more than 4,000 loaves and has raised approximately $50,000. One hundred per cent of those proceeds have gone towards building the Jaaja Barb’s Home of Angels foundation in Uganda.

The orphanage will house 32 children, all of whom have HIV.

“We’re taking the worst of the worst out of the jungle. We’re going far away to find them.”

Among the kids will be two girls, Hope and Desire, who have been taking care of their blind and immobile grandmothers their entire lives. They’ll also accept another little girl, mentally challenged and unable to walk, who has been living on the streets.

Giraud picked these children with her colleague, Edwin Lufafa, 21, when she travelled to Jinja in 2010.

The two met on an online chat group two years ago, and Edwin, who lives in Uganda, expressed his dream of getting kids out of the dumpsters.

After talking for a year, she went to meet Edwin and see the foundation’s proposed location, on land donated to Edwin from a family member.

She walked onto the tarmac at the Jinja airport, and saw Edwin standing at arrivals, with a bouquet of roses. Both started crying.

“I’m like his grandmother,”  she said, “That’s what jaaja means (in Luganden).”

Edwin left home at a very young age and growing up, he vowed to help kids like him.

Inspired by her trip, Giraud decided she would bake and sell banana bread to raise money.

Twenty-seven men are currently working on the property, installing septic tanks and pouring cement.

The main house for the children is finished and includes four rooms. A well has been drilled, producing about 5,000 litres daily.

“Can you imagine? They said that they found the purest water, on our property.”

Construction has started on a separate building for two “aunties” who will care for the children, along with teams of doctors or other groups who travel to the foundation.

Mango, avocado and banana trees are abundant on the land.

The next project will be to have an eight-foot wall encompass the area to protect the children.

They will need money to buy 100 goats, and over time that will climb to 200, so the program becomes self-sustaining.

“Because I can’t keep baking banana bread all my life. I’m 66 now.”

But for now, Giraud is only too happy to receive more orders for her $10 loaves.

“I’m so determined. I just have visions of these kids. If I get orders for banana bread, then I get to send more money over there. I’ll just work harder,” said the Abbotsford resident, who within a year plans on moving to the village Mpumudde, just outside of Jinja.

The house was set to open this February, but Giraud needs more time in order to raise enough support.

Meanwhile, some children have already been receiving treatment from Edwin’s brother Isaac, a doctor who has been able to distribute HIV medication due to a monthly $300 donation from a Kelowna couple.

“That will prolong their life.”

For information or to donate, contact Giraud at jaajabarbshomeofangels@gmail.com, or visit her blog at http://jaajabarbshomeofangels.blogspot.com/.

Just Posted

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read