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The people behind Kids of Africa

From left to right:
Dr Danielle Gyurech (Board), Dr Julian Schilling (Board), Dorte Budolfsen (Head of Education), Burkhard Varnholt (Founder & President), Tage Budolfsen (National Executive Director), Esbern Budolfsen (Executive Director), Salome Grisard (Board), Volker Varnholt (Board).

Management in Uganda

Dorte und Tage Budolfsen

Head of Education & National Executive Director

The couple Dorte and Tage Budolfsen have been managing the children’s village with great skill since 2009. The two Danes have been living in Africa with their children for almost twenty years, speak Swahili and epitomise what we are all about: life in a family, commitment, integrity and solidarity. Tage is a trained agronomist and anthropologist, his wife Dorte is an enthusiastic teacher who teaches her pupils holistically in the Montessori tradition.

During their long time in Africa, the Budolfsens have learnt about many opportunities but also the problematic aspects of development aid. With their vast experience, their charm and their very pragmatic “no-nonsense” approach, they have been an invaluable asset and a great help to our project for years. Perhaps their most important contribution, however, is their commitment to building a solid leadership team of local staff on the ground. Thanks to this great achievement, Kids of Africa now has a pool of staff to take care of day-to-day operations and new projects. The team has also learnt to bridge temporary absences of colleagues or to provide holiday replacements.

Esbern Budolfsen

Executive Director

Esbern is a primary school teacher, triathlete and entrepreneur. At Kids of Africa, his heart beats above all for each of our protégés and for sport. After all, a healthy mind and a healthy body belong together.

Daniel Ssettuba

Head of Finance

Daniel has been responsible for accounting and finance at Kids of Africa since day one. He is thorough, accurate and reliable and an indispensable pillar of our diverse work.

Gerald Tumwizere

Warden

Gerald is the warden of the Kids of Africa village. As an experienced social worker, he supports all of our protégés – especially on the “last mile”. He visits vocational schools with them, helps with internships, provides support and advice and always has an open ear and heart.

Semmy Atim

Village Director

Semmy originally joined Kids of Africa as a nurse. Thanks to her organisational skills and many talents, she took over responsibility as village director in 2023. Today, she continues to ensure that good health is the norm at Kids of Africa.

The goal of our village is to contribute to the sustainable development of Ugandan society. In our view, this is the only way forward. In no way do we want to be seen as a “charity organisation”. In the long term, it is our hope that some of the children we take in here will follow in our footsteps and continue the village that we have created for them.

Dorte und Tage Budolfsen

Management in Switzerland

Burkhard und Salome Varnholt Grisard

Founder, Presiden & Board

Life consists primarily of decisions. We make them every day. Sometimes we discover that the decisions for projects without a clear outcome are often the most rewarding. Kids of Africa did not start with a master plan. Instead, the project began in small steps. In many cases, the outcome was not foreseeable. We tried to help – prudently, carefully, even passionately, but always sustainably.

We focussed on the things that were successful. And we tried to make them even better. We are grateful and always surprised anew at how many wonderful contacts have resulted from the project. And what great things have come out of it. Above all, however, we are amazed that Kids of Africa has grown into such a strong and healthy family in such a short space of time.

Dr Danielle Gyurech and PD Dr Julian Schilling

Board

Danielle and Julian have been members from the very beginning. They are not only involved with Kids of Africa, but have also been running the Travel Clinic in Zurich since 1995. The Travel Clinic Zurich is a medical practice that deals with the concerns of travellers and returnees. Their work is not limited to the health of the children and employees of Kids of Africa. They are also restless members of the board and provide a great source of inspiration with their initiatives, ideas and commitment.

Julian also teaches at the University of Zurich and is a recognised expert in public health, new medical technologies and prevention. The couple regularly travel with their two sons to the Kids of Africa village, where they spend their holidays together.

Volker Varnholt

Board

Volker and Burkhard Varnholt are brothers, which is why Volker has been involved with Kids of Africa from the very beginning. Volker’s passion for the project and for Uganda was born during his first visit to the country in 2002, when Volker and Burkhard flew to Uganda to recruit the first mothers to look after the children (and other local staff). They travelled around the country on this occasion and also enjoyed a longer stay in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. This laid the foundations for a long-term collaboration to realise their shared dream: the Kids of Africa project.

Daniela Rutz

Administration

Organisation is her passion. Daniela has worked with Burkhard professionally for many years. When Burkhard started the project, she offered her support without hesitation. Supporting a project of this size is a huge organisational challenge: coordinating, organising events, maintaining contacts with donors, managing travel and logistics. These are just a few of her responsibilities. Without her selfless commitment and professionalism, Kids of Africa would not be where it is today.

Kids of Africa guarantees that one hundred per cent of every franc donated reaches our many protégés.

Because we believe in each of them! Thank you for your help!

Union Dental
Address in Switzerland

Kids of Africa - Association
Schiffbaustrasse 12
8005 Zurich
Switzerland

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Address in Switzerland

Kids of Africa - Association
Schiffbaustrasse 12
8005 Zurich
Switzerland

Projects
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