Chairperson: Mrs Sharon Slack
Secretary: Mr Scott Baxter
Directors: Mr Daniel Allen, Mrs Sally Baxter, Mr Colin Caughey, Mr Noel Gordon, Miss Janet Hetherington, Mr Archie McAvoy MBE, Mr David Manning, Mr Jonathan Young.
Address: 78 High Street, Bangor, BT20 5AZ, N. Ireland
Charity No: NIC102174
Company Reg: NI33 513
Abaana is a charity run by five full–time workers, two part–time and many volunteers, for the benefit of less privileged people in Africa. The word “Abaana” comes from a language found in the country of Uganda (East Africa) and means “children.” Most of our work is geared towards children in Africa, but not exclusively. Abaana was set up in January 1998 and aims to show young people that through sacrificing a little time and money, they can also get involved in making a difference. Abaana hopes to share the love of God in a practical way with those who need it most. Young people and some not so young take part in sponsored events, barbecues and fun nights to raise money to support the worthwhile causes. All support is welcome no matter how young or old you are.
We are encouraging you to take up that challenge and get the people involved in your area. If you would like to represent Abaana where you live, read through this site for ways in which you can promote our work. We can supply you with sponsor forms and power point material so that you can get your church, youth group, school or any other group involved.
The Vision of Abaana
Our vision is to see the children in Africa have their needs met, their rights upheld and their dreams fulfilled through raising awareness and motivating people to give sacrificially so that lives are transformed and the love of God is shown in a practical way.
It is always good to be able to put a face to a name, so we’ve uploaded some lovely photos of ourselves!
Staff based in the U.K.
Scott, the founder of Abaana, is working full time giving presentations in churches, schools and anywhere else that invite him. The goal is to motivate, challenge and empower especially young people to make a difference. Scott would love to come to your group (of any age), so please feel free to contact us about arranging a date.
Scott wants as much of the money raised as possible to go to the children. You can also support Abaana by supporting Scott in his work.
Fiona joined Abaana in May 2004 and now works as the personal assistant to Scott (to whom she is also married). They have two sons called Ethan & Ashton and a daughter called Kate.
Neville joined Abaana in September 2013 and within his first week was whisked away to Uganda for his first experience of Abaana on the ground. Since then, Neville says time and again that his motivation comes from thinking about the children he met in person. Neville has many years experience working for the NHS, and is enthusiastic about using that to help Abaana move forward.
Louise is the Teams Co–ordinator and joined Abaana in 2015. Her passions lie in working with the world’s poor and particularly in the area of social justice.
William joined the team in March 2016 as our Child Sponsorship Co–ordinator. He spent his gap year working in South Africa for a missions organisation and has developed a real heart for the people of Africa, in particular the kids.
Staff of Abaana Uganda
Child Sponsorship Coordinator
Susan does the selection of children that are lucky to receive Abaana sponsorship in the now thirteen funded schools. She gets to see the children’s beaming smiles as they receive scholastic materials and gifts from their sponsors.
Jesca is the Administrator.
Finance & Administration Manager
New Life Homes ‘Mum’
How did Abaana start?
Scott’s Story: I have never really liked my story being told, however if it helps to encourage other people, then maybe it should be told! This is really a story of simply following your heart and letting God do the rest. One thing I have learned is this: if God can use a 19 year old to make a difference by starting Abaana, then God can certainly use you. I have no super talents but God gave me a passion for children in need, and since then he has equipped me to fulfil his purpose for Abaana.
In 1997 I had the opportunity to visit Uganda. Soon into my trip I met a six year old girl called Mary. During a service I attended, Mary started to jiggle. At first I thought that she was just enjoying the music, but when the music stopped Mary carried on jiggling. I leaned forward and saw that she was distressed so I asked an African lady to take her to the toilet. After the service I learned that Mary didn’t need to go to the toilet. There was actually a four–inch worm crawling about in her underwear. She had probably drunk the eggs of this worm by drinking from a poor water source. What other choice did she have if there was no access to clean water? I also learned that the worms only come out by themselves for one reason. Overcrowding! There were too many worms inside Mary and not enough food. Mary went on simple medication and within two weeks, all the worms were gone. If Mary had not received medication she would have died from malnutrition. To think that Mary would have died from drinking water made me mad. I knew I had to do something.
One day as I was painting a new school built by the charity I was with, there were interviews being held for a free education course. The interviews took over three days and 100’s of children waited patiently with their parents. Unfortunately there were only 30 places available. For years I had taken education for granted. I never really saw school as anything more than an inconvenience. This made me feel pretty selfish. The next day many of the rejected children came back hoping to get into the school. For two weeks I watched these children come back only to be turned away. I wondered how I could help. After counting the money left in my account, I worked out that I had enough to support five children for a year to go to school. The next day five children walked up to the school. This time they were not turned away. I visited the homes of these five children and was touched by how little they had compared to my luxury.
I returned from that trip to Uganda in the summer of 1997 a changed person. I had many questions and few answers. Why had I not heard about the need in Africa before? I mean I had heard, but there was no urgency. How can it be that so many people in Africa are dying yet so few people are doing anything about it? Why don’t people care?
It was out of these experiences that Abaana has grown. At the heart of Abaana it is my prayer that we will all learn to give, and give sacrificially. Ghandi once said “There are enough resources in the world for everyone’s needs, but not enough for everyone’s greed!” At Abaana we want to encourage people to give out of love, whether that is to your next door neighbour, the homeless guy on the street or to the 1 billion children who live in poverty. The heart of Abaana is to help people see that being a good steward of things God has given us – our time, our talents, our relationships, our money – has to be taken in a global context.
Thank you to everyone who has ever donated, volunteered, raised money, encouraged, prayed and caused Abaana to grow. You have helped change the lives of 1000’s of African children and their families for the better. As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary we only want to double our efforts and bring more hope to Africa with help from people like you.
When you look at the life of Jesus do we see much resemblance to the church today? When the people outside the church look at you do they see much of Jesus? If I were to ask your neighbours what could you learn about Jesus from looking at your life what would they say? I believe that as church we are not that bad at evangelism. We organize a lot of events and do a lot of hard work with sometimes get very little results but with our all round efforts we do all right. However, I think we miss the whole point if we view evangelism to start and end with a week of mission or a Sunday night service. How will any person really believe you when you tell them that God loves them and cares about them if you never show it? How will the homeless person ever see Jesus until he has met him, and how will he ever meet him when we care more about our soaps on TV and getting home before the dinner gets cold. If I was to sum up Jesus life in one word it would be “service.” He came to serve. We too are called to serve, but most of us are still serving ourselves. If we want to truly see our friends and our families come to know the Jesus we know, then we had better start living a life that will reflect Him.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of your service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God, for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.