Why Sylvia’s Children?

“We are a ‘Direct Participation’ Charity where you choose your level of involvement. You can make a monetary donation, or if you choose, actually travel with us to the school and help. The level of participation is up to you. For those kind enough to donate, understand there is no middleman with Sylvia’s Children, all funds go directly to the school without any filters. Therefore, you not only see where your money goes, but you can also watch it work. Unfortunately, with many charities, you send your money and you never know where it goes and never see it work. With Sylvia’s Children …YOU DO! There is no minimum and no maximum limit, all contributions are 100% Tax Deductible.”

Africa… home to 10% of the world’s population.
Africa… where the first human beings stood up and walked
Sub-Saharan Africa… 15 million children under 18 are AIDS orphans


Uganda… 1.5 million orphans
Uganda… 95% of the population does not have electricity
Uganda… more than half of the population lives on less than $2 a day
Uganda… 95% of the population does not have water
Uganda… only 20% of the male children go past 7th grade
Uganda… only 17% of the female children go past 7th grade

Sylvia’s Children is trying to address these problems, starting with education. As the adopted grandmother to over 1,000 children at the Mbiriizi Advanced Primary and Day Care School, Sylvia Allen has made a significant difference in the children’s lives and hopefully, give them enough education to have a better life than their ancestors.

Since 2003 we have made a difference in these children’s lives… providing a well so they don’t get sick, a library and books, additional classroom blocks, a nurse and health care services, the list goes on – click here for a complete list of what we’ve accomplished. Our goal is to make the school totally self-sustaining so we can take this model and apply it elsewhere.

How did it get started?

In 2003, Sylvia Allen went with a non-profit organization on a humanitarian trip to Uganda, Africa. While she was there, she was asked by Geofrey Kawuma, head of the Mbiriizi Primary School, to be the school’s Grandmother. With 1,000 children in the school, of which 250 are orphans due to the AIDS crisis, she was honored to accept the responsibility. Out of this Sylvia’s Children was born, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of her ‘grandchildren’; to give the children a fighting chance.

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Sylvia's Children

Who owns and operates the school?

Family Operated

Sylvia’s Children is a family-run charity with Sylvia Allen as founder and President. Her two children, Michele and Tony Costa, serve as trustees.

Your Money

How are the funds distributed?


No administration charges are taken out of your donations. 100% of the money goes to the school and 100% of your donation is tax deductible. Check us out.

Take a look at our donor page … see what you would like to do to have an impact these children’s lives. No amount is too small … every dollar helps. Each one of us can make a difference in a child’s life … please help.

plus students
sq ft medical clinic

Meet Sylvia Allen.

Sylvia Allen
Sylvia AllenOwner

Allen is the founder of Sylvia’s Children, a charity devoted to helping more than 1,000 students and orphans, ages 3 to 14, at the Mbiriizi Primary School in Masaka, Uganda. Since that first trip in 2003, the Holmdel, NJ resident has raised more than $800,000 for the school.

Her goal is to make the school self-sustaining. “The community is filled with industrious and creative people,” Allen says, “it’s common sense that once they have a solid foundation, including quality education and basic necessities, they will flourish. It begins with nurturing the children.”

After all these years, the money she’s raised has helped construct a working well (in many developing countries, access to clean water is difficult), a library stocked with books, the expansion of classrooms, new desks and the purchase of land near the school, among other things. Nonprofit organizations are allowed to allocate 15 percent of their donations to administrative costs, but Allen chooses to put 100 percent of the donations back into the school and pay the administrative costs with her own money.

Sylvia is a successful entrepreneur, author and consultant, she is also a professional motivational speaker and book publicist. She has traveled the world providing media relations skills training to audiences. Sylvia Allen has a Master of Arts Degree from Empire State College in Culture and Policy, she was Cum Laude. She also has a BA degree from the University of Minnesota in Speech/Theater Arts.