Uganda: True Vine Ministries Gives Street Children Lifeline
The Monitor (Kampala)
27 October 2007
Posted to the web 26 October 2007
John A. Emojong
At least 400 million people in rural areas will not be able to survive on US$1 a day, a survey by Hope for Kids International, a US based charity and Christian organisation has revealed.
The President and founder of Hope For Kids International, Mr Tom Eggun told Daily Monitor that currently, nearly half of the African population – almost 300 million people – live in extreme poverty, barely surviving on US$1 a day(Shs 1700).
According to the World Bank, this number is expected to increase to 400m people by 2015, Mr Eggun said.
He said many of the poverty stricken communities in Africa and Latin American states such as Cuba, Peru and Mexico among others, lack the basics of life such as food, clean water, shelter, healthcare and education. Another 44 million primary school age going children in Africa are not in school while more than 12 million are orphaned by HIV/Aids.
These numbers are bound to double by 2015 if no poverty eradication and HIV/Aids preventive measures are taken by the respective governments. Hope for Kids International is committed to providing relief to the global Aids crisis by delivering medicine to communities affected by poverty and disease," Mr Eggun said.
To fulfill their promise as well as implement some of their objectives, Hope for Kids has initiated a number of development projects in Uganda that provides support to over 960 orphans country-wide through True Vine Ministries. Some of the beneficiary districts are Tororo, Busia, Bugiri, Pallisa and Mbale.
In Tororo, the organisation has constructed a 32- bed hospital, a primary school and church for True Vine Ministries near Tororo Cement Industries in Osukuru Sub-county.
The organisation has also initiated a project to provide clean water by digging wells, drilling boreholes and protecting the existing ones.
One of the recent projects undertaken by the organisation was the rehabilitation and return of street children to school under a programme managed by Smile Africa Ministries, a Tororo based Christian Organisation.
The Executive Director, Smile Africa Ministries, Pastor Ruth Kawa said at least 293 children had been picked from the streets and rehabilitated before being sent back to school.
Pastor Kawa said the majority of those in school were enrolled in the boarding section at Industrial View Primary School in Tororo Municipality. Others have been taken to rural schools in an effort to prevent them from escaping from school.
Hope for Kids is supporting the kids with food supplies, mattresses, blankets, clothes, footwear, scholastic materials, mosquito nets and other school necessities.
The organisation is also involved in an emergency health programme where on the spot treatment for various ailments is given to destitute children are treated .
Over 3000 children from in and around Tororo Municipality have benefited from the programme.
Ms Patcy Morgan, a missionary from Arizona in the US, physically carried out the treatment of the kids. Mr Eggun said they have a future programme to build orphan cottages, a boarding school for orphaned and destitute children and a life-skills centre which would enable the poverty stricken community of Tororo and the other beneficiary districts to become self-reliant.
"Our Mission is to bring hope and necessary care to kids through dignity, health, joy and love," he said.