A NEW HBO docuseries will explore Renee Bach’s controversial charity, Serving His Children.
At least 105 children were said to have died while in the charity’s care, which led to a lawsuit that was settled in July 2020.
Who is Renee Bach?
Renee Bach is a missionary known for operating the charitable treatment center, Serving His Children.
She was born in Bedford, Virginia, and later founded the nonprofit organization after graduation from high school.
“Our main goal is, of course, to share the love of Christ, in word and deed,” Bach said, via Heavy.
She had been inspired to create the charity after volunteering in the area at a missionary-run orphanage as a teenager.
“It was a very, very profound feeling and experience. It’s kind of hard to even describe in words,” Bach told NPR.
“Like there was something that I was supposed to do.”
At this time, additional details on Bach’s personal life are unclear because she often stays out of the spotlight.
What was her charity, Serving His Children, accused of?
When Serving His Children first arrived in Uganda, locals breathed a sigh of relief, but no one could’ve predicted the organization’s pending downfall.
In 2019, the legal nonprofit Women’s Probono Initiative filed a lawsuit against Bach and her charity on behalf of two mothers, Gimbo Zubeda and Kakai Annet, alleging that their children died as a result of the organization’s negligence.
The parents of the children being treated at Serving His Children had been under the impression that Bach was a doctor, but it was later discovered that she had no medical training, instead, she allegedly learned all she knew by watching YouTube videos.
“Treating Ugandan children without proper medical training and certification is a violation of their right to equality and freedom from discrimination on the ground of race and social status, contrary to Article 21 of the Constitution,” Primah Kwagala, an attorney and the founder of the Women’s Probono Initiative, explained, via The New Yorker.
When asked by The New Yorker why Kwagala’s lawsuit only focused on Zubeda and Annet’s cases, she said: “Because they had a bit of evidence. Everyone else is just saying, ‘That happened to me,’ but they don’t have anything to show for it.”
Over the years, Bach has continuously denied any wrongdoing, but in July 2020, she settled the lawsuit brought against her, awarding $9,500 to each of the mothers, with no admission of liability, according to NPR.
Bach’s attorney, David Gibbs, said in an email to NPR that “the settlement was deemed by all parties to be in the best interests of all involved.”
Additionally, he said that his client was “not involved in any work in Uganda for her own personal safety.”
How can I watch Savior Complex?
HBO’s new docuseries, Savior Complex, will elaborate on the controversy that has surrounded Bach for years.
“Savior Complex chronicles the controversy surrounding Renee Bach, a young American missionary with a charity for malnourished children in Uganda, and the shocking allegations that she was treating sick children herself — without medical qualifications,” the docuseries description reads.
“Detailing Renee’s divisive journey, the three-part docuseries examines the thorny complexities of foreign aid work done in the name of humanitarian and religious ideals.”
Those interested in watching Savior Complex can do so starting on September 26, 2023, at 9pm EST.
Additionally, the docuseries will be available to stream on Max, formerly known as HBO Max, with an active subscription.