How many times have you conspired to change the world? Have you done it?
Dreaming is easy. Real change is HARD. But possible.
The year was 2006. We were wondering how we might make a difference in the world. You know those conversations you have; they often don’t lead to much. This time was different.
The best decision we made was to pick one spot on the map. We could have spread out our impact, addressing needs in various parts of the world. But we wanted to make a permanent, life-altering impact, as well as build lifelong relationships. We knew we had to focus, not scatter, our resources. So we picked one spot: Ntandi, Uganda. We had a connection there, who had done valuable groundwork to determine needs, secure local allies, and serve as he could over the years. The need was great, but concentrated.
Ntandi is in a zero-income area of western Uganda, near the Congo border. The area is plagued by violent rebels (considered terrorists by the Ugandan government), tribal clashes, and deadly disease. Many children have been left orphaned. We knew we had to start there.
Our group (with the leadership and primary financial backing of an extremely generous family) established an orphanage in Ntandi in 2006. It started with about 30 orphans, and we connected each one to an American sponsor and pen pal. We set up a meals program to make sure that the orphans and the students at the village school had food to eat.
PROJECT HOPE: UGANDA
Over the years, our group — which now operates as a nonprofit organization known as Project Hope: Uganda (PHU) — has provided food, clothes, medical and dental care, educational resources, infrastructure (including new buildings and a fence for security), and friendship through our pen pal program and visits. The orphanage now cares for over 80 orphans.
Team members spend time in Ntandi about one to three times a year, building relationships within the school and orphanage, assessing needs, and serving as they can.
In 2016, PHU established a vocational home in nearby Fort Portal. It provides teens with post-secondary education and transitions them (over a three-year period) to become independent, self-supporting adults with a promising future.
We started small, but we focused like a laser on the children of Ntandi. It has been 12 years. In some ways, it feels like we’re just getting started with addressing the depth of the need. In other ways, we feel like we’ve changed the world. We shudder to think of what would have happened to these children if they had been left with no home, no schooling, no food or clothes, and no future. Our mission is, indeed, hope.
I invite you to read some of the stories, see some photos, and learn more about what Project Hope: Uganda is doing in this amazing corner of the world.
Donations go directly to well-vetted needs, managed by excellent leaders in the US and Uganda. You’ll be amazed at how far a little can go.
How can you say No to these sweet, beautiful faces?!