After some years working in the area, 2014 has seen the launch of the Imuka Family Strengthening project. Our team in Uganda are working hard to ensure children are kept in families if at all possible, and are supporting families with all the help they need to keep their children. It’s a different model – but already has local community support and is saving children’s lives.
Children staying with their birth families, if possible, is the best solution. If we can empower individuals to be able to care for their children – nothing is better than this. In 2014 we've see the launch of the Imuka project ("Rise up" in Lugandan). It's a programme designed to support the poorest of the poor in a remote peninsula bordering on Lake Victoria. The project includes Kiwis on the ground as well as skilled local social workers and educators. We're surveying each and every person living in this region - seeing first-hand their needs, as well as determining exactly how vulnerable they are. The region we are working in is an area of extreme poverty and has around 25% HIV/Aids – that's 7 times the national average for Uganda, and 400 times higher than in New Zealand!
Peter & Danielle Gordon and their family from New Zealand have spearheaded the Imuka project. Already we have the support and help of local Community
Leaders to care for at-risk children and their families. We're helping practically with food support so that abandoning their children does not need
to be an option for these desperate parents. However, primarily, our project is one of education. At-risk community members are being taught the skills
they need to be able to:
a) care for their family and those around them
b) hygiene, water conservation and agricultural growing techniques
c) entrepreneurial business start up skills to provide for themselves and their families.
In this final stage, they are learning to identify a market need – build relationships with local suppliers, and learning customer service skills to see them trading honestly to build trust and a good reputation in their local business. In doing so, they will be able to provide for their families.
Children and parents attend the Imuka Centre, where the education takes place. While there, all are fed and cared for - and over the duration of each 7 week cycle, students and their families are taken care of. On graduating the course, we supply a grant for their business idea – and they receive consistent help thereafter, as well as regular visits and support from our team.
Take Joan above for example. A 33 year old mother of 7 children and one grand-son. She was at risk after having been abandoned with her children by her husband. Her story is similar to other women we are working with. She graduated recently and has set up a coal selling business and well as selling fruit and veges. Coal is a daily need, as all cooking is done this way. Joan has identified a supplier of bulk coal, has built a relationship, and is now providing for herself and her family.
You can also support this work through the purchase of our African fundraising products, available in our shops around New Zealand. The ever changing product range includes ethnic items, carvings, hand-crafts, beaded necklaces, earrings, children’s toys, wristbands – a lot of which are upcycled in Uganda. Our largest range is in our Queenstown Fair Trade shop.
• Become a regular monthly Sponsor and strengthen a family for $75 per month
(including basic life skills training and education)
• Provide regular monthly crisis support for $50 (emergency food, clothing, accommodation)
• Feed a family $50 per month as a regular Sponsor
• Do a fundraiser or make a one-off donation to meet these very real needs
Click here to download the automatic payment form if you're not using internet banking.
" We brought Alina [not real name] a two year old girl from a hospital in Tarnaveni to be here with us at Kiwi House of Joy. It was quite exciting because we were waiting for her for a few months already until she turned two years old. We'll take her to a neuro-psichologic specialist to examine her. We'll give her all the love, care and everything she'll need in order to recover this sad part of her life. WE want to say a BIG THANK YOU for all those who contribute for this to be possible. Seeing Alina we can say that it's worthwhile to do everything possible to rescue this little "angels" and give them a new life and destiny. Again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for all at Orphans Aid International and to all who support this amazing work. Without you this wouldn't be possible."
Our projects rely heavily on our supporters making a commitment to a regular sponsorship. To get started, please complete a Sponsorship Form or visit our Project Pages for detailed information about each project. All sponsors will receive a donation receipt. Donations given within New Zealand may be Tax Deductible for amounts of $5 and over. 100% of sponsorships funds are sent to be used at the chosen project you designate.