After spending about half a day in the slums, we next visited The Gem Foundation, a special needs orphanage that believes every single child is a precious gem and deserves a safe, protected, and loving home. Often in Uganda, those born with special needs are treated as outcasts; they are unwanted, unloved, and can even be thought to be cursed. The Gem Foundation endeavors to break that cycle and in turn impart to others the infinite value of each child. We loved interacting and playing music and games with the children.

“We got to feed them and dance with them,” said 18-year-old Amalie Green from Louisiana. “It was really cool to see them acting like normal kids.”