Rebekah Bullen and the orpans at Moroto Mission Orphanage Home in Rupa subcounty
More than 150 orphans in the Moroto Mission Orphanage home are living in fear of eviction over a land dispute with the community.
The home was established by the late Bill Behrman, who passed away in 2018, and in 2020, Rebekah Bullen inherited the orphanage under Mission Critical International.
Bullen, the manager of the home, says that in 2007, Behrman bought 127 acres of land from the elders and hired Noah Ewaru, the former mayor of Moroto Municipality, to run the orphanage.
Bullen says that when Behrman died, the donors continued sending money to Ewaru to run the organization.
According to Bullen, the donors received reports of mismanagement of funds by Ewaru, prompting them to appoint her as managing director. However, this didn’t go well with Ewaru, who grabbed some of the documents that included the land title.
Ewaru is said to have called on the community to chase down Bullen and shut down the group, claiming that they had taken over 500 acres of land without a community in mind.
Inhabitant John Bosco Iriama says that Bullen is mismanaging the school and wants to take over 500 acres of its land.
However, Ewaru, who is on the run after assaulting Bullen, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Margie Lolem, the Senior Probation Officer in Moroto, says that they assessed the home and it meets all the requirements. She adds that they don’t have any alternative place to relocate the children.
Since the dispute emerged, the orphans have received threats from the community.
Richard Louse, a 17-year-old orphan, says that they are not sure of what next if the organization is closed.
Moses Keem, another orphan, said he fears that the situation is likely to worsen if the land dispute is not addressed.