Peter and Pita Buitendijk
Peter (Piet) and Pita Buitendijk are 'papa and mama' to our children. The couple has been working as missionaries in Uganda since 1996 and founded Noah's Ark in 1999. After many years of living in the midst of all activity they now live about an hour's drive away in Kalagala. There they started new projects including a coffee business to create job opportunities for youth.
Before Piet and Pita came to Uganda, they had already worked in several African countries. Among other roles, Piet worked as a PR officer at development organizations. Piet and Pita experienced a growing calling to go to Uganda. In 1996, when the couple took the step to go to Uganda, they searched for an organization to join. In 1999, they decided to start their own organization: Noah's Ark.
In their rented house in Kampala, they began taking in babies who had no other home: abandoned by the side of the road, left with strangers, abused, or mistreated. Due to the large number of children, the house quickly became too small, but Piet and Pita never thought about refusing to take in more children. Therefore, they decided to expand, resulting in the current Noah's Ark: their own property with a large children's home that can accommodate many children, small-scale family units, schools, a church, a medical center, and more.
Piet and Pita are not employed by Noah's Ark and thus do not receive a salary. However, they are employed by the children, for whom they are available day and night. The love and gratitude they receive from the children are worth much more than any salary. Piet and Pita hold onto a verse from Matthew:
And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Matthew 18:5 (NIV)