Perhaps under normal circumstances a few new buildings, gardens and fruit trees wouldn’t be such a big deal, too bad the children in Kampala live in anything but “normal” conditions.
In a world where children roam the streets homeless and helpless, and people are desperate for food, CHRF is working to build a self-sufficient community. A concept near unimaginable in most of Africa.
Our Project leader on the ground, Caleb Rukundo, reported to us the exciting new resources including housing for homeless children, farming, fencing and gardening.
Although the Ugandan forests are overflowing with fruits the locals don’t often take advantage of the food by storing them for the off-season. Thankfully, Caleb and his team are saving the harvest for later in the year when the children usually would have been starving!
“We are planting many fruit trees around the compound and peas, nuts, bananas, maize, sweet potatoes and pumpkins are among the different foods growing on site”.
The new structure and home for the children was an incredible blessing to all of the local community. Desperate children and orphans now have a place to stay and can escape the dangerous and filthy water during flood season.
THE CHILDREN STILL NEED YOUR HELP. Many of the children have been diagnosed with Malaria and other deadly diseases.
WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER TO SAVE THE LIVES OF CHILDREN IN UGANDA AND AROUND THE WORLD.
Zzana Community Children’s Center in Uganda is home to almost 400 children. While most of the children don’t live at the school, for many this is nevertheless the only home they know. The majority of students are orphans. Some may have a frail grandparent left, some were taken in by neighbors or friends, and some live on their own, often caring for younger siblings. All of them come from extremely poor backgrounds where regular meals, medicine, schooling, even a clean shirt or a warm blanket are luxuries.
At Zzana the kids get all that and a lot more – they get to be children who laugh, play and dream of the future, grow up in a caring community with friends and adult mentors, and receive a solid education as well as vocational training on which to build their future. With the school located in one of the poorest communities in the area, just on the outskirts of Kampala, it is a daily struggle for the leadership at Zzana to meet all the kids physical, mental and emotional needs. But all you see when you visit is a beautiful campus and a beehive of curious, excited kids. In all the bustle, you might miss the fact that the teaching materials are hand-made, that the students don’t have any books, that the teachers work mostly with paper, pencils and their imagination.
We saw pictures of the human heart hand-drawn and labeled, charts of plants or the stars cut out and pasted on construction paper, posters of tools and animals copied from a textbook – all hand-made by the teachers because there are no books for the kids. After providing food for the kids - which is absolutely essential because most kids eat their only two meals of the day at school - and paying for staff and teachers, there is simply no money left for text books, story books, dictionaries, maps, or other educational materials.
Charis means "grace" in Greek --
as in the merciful kindness that saves and restores.
The orphaned children of the Makindye Community of Kampala, capital of Uganda, may not know Greek, but they do understand the miracle of a hot meal and someone who cares - which is what they receive at Charis Center. The Center provides a daily hot meal, clothing, health care and education to some 400 abandoned children, most of whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS.
Children's Hunger Relief Fund has been supporting Charis Center since the early days of its founding by the Reverend John Obokech, whose heart was moved to action over the plight of the hundreds of AIDS orphans he saw wandering the streets of his city. However, Charis Center has remained a dream in process since, until recently, there has been no facility to house the children at night. Most have been forced to return to the streets to sleep, where they are highly vulnerable to disease and exploitation.
In 2004 we moved one step closer to fulfilling the dream of providing a permanent "home of grace" to these precious children. A building was made available in Namataba, about 22 km outside of Kampala, and 54 of Makindye's children are now housed there fulltime. Another 16 orphans from the local community come to the Center during the day.
We are still dreaming, though.
The next project is a school for the Namataba community. Revered John has been asked to spearhead the effort, and a property has been identified. However, the needs remain great: for building and school supplies, teachers' salaries, other basic hygiene and medical supplies, and housing for the other 266 orphaned children still at the Makindye Center in Kampala.
Children's Hunger Relief Fund also sponsors other children's homes and programs in Uganda, including New Hope Academy.