Could you support a cause that believes that development, not aid, empowers people to rise to their own giftedness and break the cycle of poverty? That education frees people from bondage, and that it is every person’s right to be self-sufficient and to determine their own destiny?
These ideals that we have held close to our heart for centuries here in America are being put into action at the Hope and Faith Children Center in Jinja-Uganda.
When Musasizi Geofrey founded the center, it was with the singular purpose of caring for orphans and vulnerable children in distress. But he also wanted to give the children every resource they needed to become adults who would not only care for themselves, but give back. In a sentence, he didn’t just want to feed the children; he wanted to teach them to fish.
Hope & Faith Children’s Center (HPCC) is a faith-based organization that began in June 2016 with the coming together of two dedicated, ordinary people whose desire was to build peace between communities by providing assistance to vulnerable and orphaned children in distress.
They traveled to areas in Busoga sub-region, where malaria and the AIDS epidemic has left victims of all ages. Over 7,000 children have been orphaned as a result. Working hand-in-hand with community leaders in Busoga sub-region, HFCC assists in providing the orphans with education, shelter, Medicare, and basic necessities such as food. But they also provide emotional and spiritual support to help the children become self-sufficient.
“We believe that by educating children to become self-sustaining, we are bringing hope for their futures,” said Musasizi. “The communities and the whole nation at large benefit when we help orphan children. Instead of harming themselves and others in the community, they grow up to be responsible, healthy adults who give back to their entire communities instead of taking away from them or becoming threats in their communities and surrounding areas. The good that is done is generational.”
Specifically, the organization strives to construct and support self-sustainable schools for orphans that focus on educational excellence and leadership. They provide safe residences where orphans can live and thrive, along with preventive health care. They also collaborate with local grassroots NGOs and international nonprofit charities to foster strong relationships with local communities and the government.
Even though Houston is over 8,000 miles away, there is so much that can be done locally to support their efforts. Musasizi suggested the following:
- Arrange with Wal-Mart or another store to set up a table where you can encourage people to participate in or donate to Hope and Faith Children’s Center.
- Organize a special sports-related fundraiser, such as “Hoops for Orphans,” where sponsors donate a specific amount for every basket a player makes at the event.
- Hold an “Orphan Awareness Night” and screen the Orphans documentary for family and friends, then request donations.
- During the holiday season, turn your traditional gifts into donations to help these orphans in distress instead.
- Most orphans live on less than $1 a day. Organize a “Dollars for Orphans” drive to provide healthy food. Currently, the orphans’ main staple is porridge, so nutritional supplements would make a huge difference.
- Ask your church to take up a special collection or provide resources to the organization.
- Just give what you can, as a little goes a long way in that area of the world.