Uganda is a unique and wonderful country that is beautifully green, unusually fertile, but it has been ravaged by war for many years. Idi Amin’s regime killed hundreds of thousands, followed by the atrocity-ridden war with the LRA rebels for 20 years in the North of the country in Gulu, ending only 3 years ago. There is a huge vacuum for healing, for training and for love. A shocking 58% of the population are only 15 years old and under and child-headed families abound. There are literally millions of orphans, especially in the north of the country where we are focusing, where so many were abducted from their schools, to be forced to become child soldiers or sex-slaves to the officers of the rebels.
To address this dire need, we feel that establishing the Family Care Village project has the potential to become a model that could be adapted and copied throughout the north. The project components are:
- The school and housing for orphans & their care-givers will be made from local bricks from the land itself.
- To move away from reliance on donor funding, we’re developing a fully self-sustainable project including a farm growing vegetables, cows, bee keeping and a couple small fish farms. Establishing a mixed farm will mean that the economic base of the project is broad—with honey production, a couple small fish farm ponds, chickens, goats, fruit trees etc.
- By introducing alternative crops to the local standard sorghum and maize, and providing close hands-on training to the surrounding communities, and marketing together, we can offer tangible steps towards poverty eradication for many. By using the more proven methods of working side-by-side at the local level, rather than donor funding to the top, we believe our efforts can be far more genuinely tailored to the needs of the community & result in true self-sustainability.
- Using student-oriented teaching methods will greatly improve the effectiveness of local teaching styles and visiting teachers are always welcome.
- Apart from scholastics, arts and sports, the orphans will have valuable opportunity to contribute and learn animal husbandry and farming, to broaden their skill set.
- We hope to have the project as eco-friendly as possible, by building with hydraform bricks, which require no burning, thereby saving hundreds of trees. We also plan to introduce a bio-gas system for cooking, to similarly save trees, utilize solar power and inexpensive wells, which can be copied by local villages, to similarly cut costs and environmental damage.