We’re excited to give you an update for the Village of Hope in Gulu, Uganda. This a village where nearly 500 “child mothers” and their babies have access to a medical facility, a job training center, a school for their children, and homes for those who need shelter. Some amazing progress has been made, thanks to you, our Mocha Club members…
1. As you already know, the Job Training Center has been completed! It was officially opened on July 6th, 2007 in a colorful ceremony, with the mayor of Gulu, Uganda in attendance.
Currently, the center is training the women in tailoring, designing, and bread baking. One of the training center rooms is being used as a nursery school for the children living at Village of Hope, until the school is completed.
2. The Medical Clinic is almost completed! It’s slated to be finished by September and then the center will begin receiving medical supplies, which we will provide as well. Here are some photos of the progress…
3. We are helping fund a micro-finance program for the Child Mothers. As the Child Mothers face difficulties such as fear of re-abduction, lack of food, rent money, and medical care, we are giving them loans to help fund their own businesses. This helps the mothers become self-reliant, thus reducing the temptation of prostitution for survival. Currently there are 180 girls trained with basic business skills and are ready to start up their businesses.
How does the micro-finance program work?
- A grant of about $180-$250 is given to each Child Mother as initial capital for the business (no interest is charged).
- The Child Mothers form groups of 10 girls each, and conduct weekly evaluation meetings, study Bibles together and share prayer requests.
- Our staff monitors the progress of each of the businesses.
- The micro-finance beneficiaries are mentored and monitored by the local staff for 8 months, including evaluations on the progress of the business, growth, problems, and how to solve those problems, examples, and guidance in sound decision making. After 8 months, the women are prepared to fit into their community and equipped to make sound decisions on their own.
What is a “Child Mother”?
These young women are called “child mothers” because they were only children themselves when they were abducted, trained as fighters, and given as sex slaves to rebel soldiers in the “Lord’s Resistance Army,” a rebel paramilitary group in Northern Uganda. Now that they have escaped or been excused as expendable, the community at large rejects them and their children.