Programs & Special Projects
Livestock for Foster FamiliesDonate
Foster families are few and far between because most families already live in poverty and cannot afford to feed their own families, much less take on an additional child. However, they have the heart and are called by Jesus to foster a child. Donating a pig or goat to a foster family in need help remove barriers to foster families standing in the gap for orphans, and thus reduces the number of children in orphanages. The livestock can be used to produce food, milk, or can reproduce and be sold as income for a foster family.
Sewing Classes for WomenDonate
Girls who are educated and learn a trade will see a 14% increase in income and have a significantly reduced poverty risk over those who do not. Roughly 90 percent of an income earned by women will go back to their family. By empowering a young woman to learn a trade and receive an education, you are directly contributing to breaking the generational cycle of poverty and orphanhood. Donate towards a sewing machine, teacher salary or other materials so a young woman can support herself and her family.
Many parents are struggling to make ends meet and are often tempted to give their children to orphanages just so they can have food. 80% of children in orphanages worldwide are sent to orphanages because the parents cannot afford to care for them. Combined with our sustainable farming and income-generating projects, parenting classes support and encourage struggling families to stay together through Bible studies, pathways to income generation, parenting strategies, basic child care, breast feeding and prenatal care counseling, and more.
About 40 percent of girls in Uganda are married before the age of 18, and more than half drop out of school. This puts them at greater risk for poverty, leads to teen pregnancy and higher mortality rates. Sponsor a young girl to participate in counseling, spiritual classes, access to additional reading materials, and sex education so she can learn her value as a woman and her identity in Christ. It is an important complimentary program to the income generating projects offered for young women. The program also supports petitioning government officials to encourage supportive laws for women’s rights, ending child marriages, and rallying the wider communities to stand up for girls’ rights.
Shoemaking for Men Donate
Finding a job that pays a liveable wage for men to support their families is challenging. It’s even more difficult for young boys who are about to age out of the child welfare system to find a job. While paying special attention to women is important, we must also empower men to care for themselves and their families, so that women do not bear the sole responsibility. Sponsoring materials and a teacher’s salary for young men to participate in the shoemaking program gives them an income-generating skill and works to lift the individuals and their communities out of poverty.
Girls' Dorm + Emergency Shelter Donate
CONSTRUCTION ON THE UGANDA GIRLS' DORM + EMERGENCY SHELTER IS MAKING GOOD PROGRESS!
Read about an inspiring story of community and hope.
Our newest project, the girls' emergency shelter in Uganda, provides a refuge for young girls displaced due to loss and abuse as a result of Covid-19. Uganda has seen an exponential increase of trafficking, sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation of children since March 2020. With the closure of institutions, boarding schools and loss of relatives to illness and starvation, girls are particularly vulnerable to such abuse.
When some of the members of the local community found out from Dove School leaders about the severity of the situation for many of the girls and young women in their own community who were suffering, they took action. They knew there needed to be a separate shelter for the girls, as they were simply not safe in the emergency foster homes and even their own extended family homes. Some of the local men started volunteering making bricks and digging the foundation. Eventually, half a dozen came to help however they could, even if they had no money to contribute. Some men and women brought firewood to help with cooking, some brought water from the stream to quench the workers' thirst, and some brought beans and helped feed the workers. We were brought to tears by this story of a community rising up together, and truly acting as the hands and feet of Jesus to serve children. It takes a community to take care of each other.
Perhaps the greatest ministry is that they (and we) all see what God is doing, and it encourages them to draw closer to God when they see His work and blessings first hand. We are humbled to be a part of what God is doing in Mukono, Uganda.
- Since the Covid-19 lockdown, more than 21,000 cases of abuse were reported by young girls in Uganda. And that's just the REPORTED cases. We all know the truth is that many, perhaps even most cases of abuse are never reported due to fear of safety, stigmatization and hopelessness that nothing will be done anyway to obtain safety and justice for those abused.
- The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion in Uganda asked us and our partners, Daniel and Erica Kaggwa, who run the Dove School in Mukono to stand in the gap for as many of these children as we can. The Dove School's reputation precedes it as one of the most impactful and influential community-building Christian projects in the greater Kampala-Mukono area, which is why the Ugandan government came directly to them for support.
- The emergency shelter will house 28 girls to start, complying with social distancing measures. It will be fully equipped to house over 50 girls at full capacity.
We aim to complete construction by April 2021. Check out the photos below to see the progress that's already been made! We'll add more photos every 2 weeks as construction continues.
Eventually, when Covid-19 restrictions have lifted, the emergency shelter will become a girls-only dorm for the Dove School!
We have $20,000 in funding already secured, and $20,000 has already been spent to accomplish what you see in these photos, including SOLAR POWER! Due to the cost of materials increasing significantly in the past 3 months, we are over budget by $6,675 more to complete construction of the doors, windows and plumbing. After that, we will then need to hire female staff members/house moms to care for the girls 24/7 once they move in.
Operational budget funding will be announced soon, but one staff member we know we need to hire immediately is a social worker to check in on the girls (and eventually a second social worker to check in on all the students) monthly. The budget for the social worker's salary is $300/month.
RENEWABLE ENERGY - SOLAR POWER - FUNDED
Do you know any companies or individuals passionate about Clean, Renewable energy who might be willing to support solar power for the entire Dove school for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as the Girls' Emergency Shelter in Uganda? Please let us know! This is the next step toward completing the project, once the 2nd floor is complete.
We have received an initial estimate from a local Ugandan company of $1500 per building for solar panels, with 3 buildings needing solar power, totaling $4500. Please join us in prayer for provision of this invaluable resource.
The reason why solar power is so important is because the Mukono village where this is located is rural, and there are not yet power lines from the city to the village. While electrical wiring is being installed, until the city runs power lines to the village, they would need a generator to have power. Fuel for the generator is cost prohibitive: the cost of generators and fuel for a year is more than the total cost of solar power for all 3 buildings indefinitely!
Thank you for supporting and praying for this project!
Sustainable Farming Project Donate
Modeled after our successful Sierra Leone sustainable farming project, which reunited 51 children with extended family or placed them in loving community foster homes, we launched another Farming God's Way project for the children of Mukono, Uganda. We purchased 2 acres of farmland to help supplement the children's food needs, as they are currently facing a food crisis.
Our long goal for the project is two-fold: To help the orphanage provide food for the children, thereby fighting malnutrition, and to teach sustainable farming to the community, which will help local families pull themselves out of poverty. This will reduce the number of future orphans and allow some of the Dove Orphan School children to return to extended family members who can now afford to care for them due to increased levels of self produced income.
Now, just 2 years later, the farm is currently supplementing meals for over 200 children and 20 teaching staff at the Dove School daily with fresh fruits and vegetables, including peanuts for protein, in order to provide better food security, a healthier more varied diet, and to reduce the need for sponsor funding to purchase food or seek medical care for issues related to malnutrition. Production of this quantity of food is only possible through the Farming God’s Way method.
The farm is managed fully by individual community members, showing it has achieved a truly impactful, sustainable project. There are also plans to increase the size of the farm to reach more community members, as the focus of production right now is the Dove School. Soon we will announce steps and goals for the farm’s expansion.
While the farm is producing enough food to feed the children 2-3 meals daily, there is still a need for sponsorship to support the children's schooling. Please consider sponsoring a child to give them access to quality education and shelter at the Dove School. Read more about sponsoring a child HERE.
Uganda has substantial natural resources, including fertile soils, regular rainfall, small deposits of copper, gold, and other minerals, and recently discovered oil. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing more than one-third of the work force.
The sad thing is that Uganda should be a bread basket to the world, but there are many starving Ugandans. Uganda has fertile ground, great amounts of sunlight, sufficient rainfall with two rainy seasons, and a large labor force. The main reason that Uganda is not a bread basket to the world is due to improper farming methods and management leading to soil erosion, soil nutrient depletion, and poor yields.
Despite all this natural wealth there are more orphans in Uganda than anywhere else in the world — over 2.90 million children out of the 3 — due to the AIDS epidemic, extreme poverty, and decades of civil conflict. Since achieving independence from Britain in 1962, Uganda has suffered almost uninterrupted brutality. Armed rebellions, mostly split along ethnic lines, have wracked the population, now estimated at 26.4 million.
Today, many Western governments regard Uganda as a qualified success from a development standpoint. It has made significant progress against AIDS, promoting condom use and other measures; since the mid-1990s, the prevalence of AIDS cases among Ugandans 15 to 49 years old has fallen, from 18 percent to 6 percent. Still, AIDS remains the leading cause of death of people in that age group.
Haiti Hope Project
THE HAITI HOPE PROJECT IS ON HOLD DUE TO EXTREME CIVIL/POLITICAL UNREST IN THE COUNTRY.
Thousands of children with trauma are being raised in orphanages where caregivers and social workers are limited in their resources to deal with their emotional and physical needs. There is limited access to education and training on the newest, most effective areas of child psychology, trauma, behavior therapy and basic healthcare for child care workers.
Hundreds of children will age out of Haiti’s orphanages each year with no skills to care for themselves as adults caused by the lack of educational or financial resources for job or life skills training courses. Thousands more children each year will be abandoned due to poverty due to the lack of educational or financial resources for job or life skills training courses available to their parents, as well as a lack of affordable child care for working parents. In fact, 80% of the 32,000+ children in Haiti’s orphanages have at least one living parent who felt they needed to give their child to an orphanage due to poverty or crime risk.
These problems contribute to traumatized children currently in institutional care not being properly cared for, resulting in deeper emotional and psychological issues, health problems and poor performance in school. Moreover, orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti will age out of the system and being exploited, turning to a life of prostitution and crime, or will perish due to being unable to care for themselves. Children will continue to enter the system because their parents have suffered from the same lack of educational resources, leading them to abandon their children into institutional care, perpetuating this cycle for generations to come.
With the BLOOM Haiti Hope Project, we aim to solve these issues as follows:
Children with trauma being raised in orphanages in Haiti will have caregivers and social workers who are adequately trained with the skills to deal with their emotional and physical needs thanks to the Nanny and Social Worker Training Program which includes Trauma Competent Care Workshops.
A class of OVC “graduates” will age out of of Port-Au-Prince’s orphanages each year with a complete set of skills to care for themselves as adults thanks to the Income Generation and Life Skills Program.
Kids whose families are at risk of separation due to poverty will be able to stay in biological family care as a select pilot group of their parents participate in the Income Generation Program, while the kids participate in the Daycare/After School Care Program.
All programs will employ a Biblically-focused curriculum. As a result, the participating children will know Jesus as their savior and receive family care and/or better institutional care, resulting in better emotional and psychological health (including positive behavior), a sense of hope and empowerment, better physical health and better grades in school. Their risk for being exploited, turning to a life of prostitution and crime, or death will be dramatically decreased, thereby breaking the systemic cycle of poverty.