The children at BiZoHa, an orphanage and school in southwest Uganda, wake up at 7 a.m. Within an hour they’re ready and dressed in their school uniforms, blue shirts with bright yellow collars and either charcoal grey pants or dresses. There are classes after that and, at 10:30, a pause for porridge, bread, and fried bananas. The day continues from there — classes, meals, play, and sleep — perfectly routine and peaceable. But in the Kasese District, a multi-ethnic region on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo, this schedule, with all its reassuring regularity, is radical. There are no prayer breaks. There are no church services. BiZoHa, described by its backers as “the world’s first atheist orphanage,” is a humanist raft adrift a choppy sea of faith.
In 2009 he formed the Kasese United Humanist Association, which in turn led to formation of the Kasese Humanist Primary School. The school is really two schools located on different campuses — one, the Rukoki Campus, in Kyondo, and the other, BiZoHa, in Muhokya. Unlike Rukoki, BiZoHa works in conjunction with an orphanage.
“I’m so concerned with how there is massive indoctrination and dogmatism and a brainwashing of the minds of children in orphanages,” says Musubaho. “My goal here is offer an alternative, so that when these children grow up they are in the position to think freely, to be critical of everything. One of the reasons I was motivated to open this orphanage was to send a message to the people of Muhokya and the world that we people of non-belief also care about the well being of others, especially children.”