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Supporting Ugandan Children: The Pass It On Trust Uganda (PIOTU)

PIOTU is a Ugandan NGO, providing vital year-round support to schoolchildren in the poverty-stricken areas of Wakiso and Soroti. Chrissie Ross is an Executive Assistant for Universal Defence and Security Solutions (UDSS). Alongside a friend, she sponsors the schooling of two young Ugandan girls.

The Pass It On Trust (PIOTU) primarily raises funds for school fees, uniforms, and meals. They also facilitate the sponsorship of essential items including desks, mattresses, sanitary products, and other necessary school and living supplies.

During the 2020 pandemic, Chrissie Ross UDSS' Executive Assistant decided to hone her childhood-learned knitting skills. Avidly devouring knitting educational content on YouTube, she began creating beautiful bespoke baby cardigans that she sent to Ugandan children in need after discovering PIOTU. Inspired by their newfound passion for helping others, Chrissie and her friend made a heartfelt decision to forego exchanging birthday gifts and instead use that money to sponsor the school fees of a Ugandan child, this child is called Madel.


After supporting Madel for several months, Chrissie and her friend discovered that her older sister Martha was also in need of a schooling sponsor. Recognising the challenges their mother faced in paying for their education, Chrissie and her friend made the compassionate decision to take on Martha's fees as well, ensuring that both girls have the opportunity to receive a consistent education.

Now, in addition to sending the family money for food via PIOTU, they send gift boxes to Martha and Madel containing clothes, shoes, face masks, toiletries, books and toys. They are regularly overjoyed with photographs from the charity showing the children enjoying their gifts, fed and clothed every day of their schooling lives.



From their humble beginnings, PIOTU has grown, and is now operated by unsalaried volunteers from both the UK and Uganda, ensuring that every penny goes directly to benefit the children. Even with a minimal budget, PIOTU prioritises building personal connections with their sponsors and supporters. By becoming a PIOTU supporter, you can offer invaluable assistance to Ugandan children, joining the ranks of many in the UK who have already done so.

Changing children’s lives

The impact of donating money and gifts to those from disadvantaged backgrounds goes beyond the obvious. It is not just about providing education and supplies to children, but it also has the power to change the trajectory of their lives.

Take action today and make a difference in the lives of Ugandan children. By making an annual payment of just £150 per child, you can provide them with everything they need for school - education, a hot meal, a uniform, and even cover the small admin fee of £1. Your contribution will have a lasting impact, ensuring that these children have the opportunity to thrive and break free from the cycle of poverty. 



In Kampala, Uganda, a staggering 46% of young village girls are forced into marriages before they even reach their 18th birthday. This heartbreaking reality leaves these girls without access to education and thrusts them into the role of inexperienced mothers, leaving them vulnerable to abuse, HIV, and a multitude of other dangers and disadvantages.

This is precisely why supporting children's education and schools is of utmost importance. Many of these children simply cannot afford school fees and the necessary educational materials. That is why PIOTU's work is so vital in the fight for change and empowerment for young girls in Ugandan society.




PIOTU was founded in January 2015 by CEO Hellen Ziribagwa, her husband Andrew Apedel and the late Jean Inness. Hellen and Andrew now spearhead operations, staunchly supported by Sharifa, Najob, Jessica and Boaz.




Described as a woman of unwavering faith and remarkable substance, Hellen possesses a powerful vision to uplift the lives of the underprivileged. She goes above and beyond to ensure that children receive the necessary funding and educational materials, while also empowering them with knowledge of their rights and more. With unwavering determination, Hellen, along with her dedicated team, has worked tirelessly to bring about transformative change in communities, a truly remarkable achievement considering the challenging environment they operate in.

It comes as no surprise that Hellen has earned the endearing title of "mother" from the women and children she works with, despite her relatively young age. Acting as the sole funds manager for the Ugandan PIOTU account, Hellen diligently oversees the collection of sponsorship funds and donations, ensuring that they are put to the best use. She personally takes care of paying the school fees directly to the two school directors, who provide receipts for each child, which are then passed on to individual sponsors. PIOTU's accounts are published annually, promoting transparency and accountability in their operations.

Connect with Hellen




Ways You Can Support PIOTU and Make a Difference

1. Child Sponsorship: PIOTU's primary appeal is for sponsorships to aid children in the impoverished regions of Wakiso and Soroti. With your sponsorship, a child can attend school starting at age four. Not only does the child receive an education, but they also get a hot meal during school hours and a school uniform. Once you're a sponsor, you have the option to send occasional care packages to the child, details of which we'll provide.

2. Desks Crafted by Local Artisans: Local craftsmen meticulously design, build, and paint durable desks that accommodate three children during lessons. Personalize your contribution by having the desk inscribed with your name, a club's name, or in memory of a dear one. For 2023, the cost of a personalized desk, including delivery to the designated school, is £52.50.

3. Educational Supplies: PIOTU extends support to two schools located in Wakiso and Soroti's outskirts. Our goal is to fund one term's educational materials annually. You can contribute by making regular small donations or organising fundraising events within your community.

4. Fuel Contributions: Hellen Ziribagwa, PIOTU's CEO, resides in Kampala. A round trip to Soroti from Kampala takes a 7-hour drive, costing £200, making her stay necessary for several days. Hellen undertakes this journey every 2 to 3 months to oversee the children and convey parcels from sponsors. Consider contributing towards these travel expenses, either regularly or occasionally with your care package. Every bit counts.

5. Mattresses and Bedding: For just £20, you can fund a mattress and sheet set in Uganda. This gift brings immense comfort to a child who would otherwise sleep on a bamboo mat over a dirt floor.

6. Initiatives on JustGiving: One of our sponsors recently raised over £200 through a JustGiving Page in celebration of her birthday. Such gestures, both big and small, profoundly impact the children.

7. Handmade Gifts: If you're skilled in knitting, crocheting, or sewing, consider crafting clothing or toys for the children. Many of them lack basic possessions, so every item is cherished. For infants, cardigans with short sleeves and sun hats are especially needed. Kindly avoid white (due to its association with funerals) — the brighter the color, the better!

Should you need further clarity or have additional questions, don't hesitate to reach out to the charity  at Your involvement, in any capacity, makes a world of difference to the children and PIOTU.






PIOTU respectfully requests that no white garments be sent, as this colour is associated with death and burials.

These are just a few ways in which you can help PIOTU and the children, but if you have any new ideas or questions, please email them on They also humbly ask you to spread the word!