Christine discovered she could remove the death sentence placed on her children by harvesting vegetables in her own backyard
Through Raising Families, Christine was taught how to harvest vegetables in her own backyard. She learned technical skills that maximize yield by adding manure as fertiliser and watering properly during the dry seasons. Provided with seeds, she was able to plant a variety of vegetables in her garden. The kale, cabbage, tomatoes, green pepper and onions which she planted, diligently putting her training knowledge into practice, grew in abundance.
Christine’s family has plenty to eat from the garden and is able to sell their surplus harvest in the market. The sale of vegetables allowed Christine to purchase goats and piglets to supplement her income. She now converts the animal manure into free fertiliser for her vegetables, which allows her to produce more crops at a lower price. With a strong livelihood, Christine has earned enough to provide for her family’s needs and is able to pay school fees for each of her children.
In a place where many people claim that the soil does not support farming efforts, her gardens have challenged the status quo. Christine now participates in Raising Families by sharing her skills and techniques with others and by using her garden for agricultural demonstrations. Once stranded in a place of hopelessness and despair, Christine relishes in the self-worth that is now rooted in the hope of Christ.
When asked about the impact of Raising Families, Christine said, “I’m so thankful to the church for what they are doing in our community, now I feel am valued and my dignity restored. I see this as an answered prayer and a life re-ignited.”
Ending Florence’s struggle to provide for her seven orphaned grandchildren
Florence’s life was full of hardship and struggle. As an aging grandmother, her body had grown weak after years of hard labour simply trying to provide for her own children. Her poor health and diabetic condition left her with little strength when further tragedy hit her family – she lost her children to AIDS.
Florence was all alone, struggling to look after her 7 grandchildren. They did not have enough food to eat and the grandchildren were not attending school because they were unable to pay for school fees and classroom materials.
Seeing the ruthless toll poverty was taking on Florence’s family, a local church came to visit their home. To meet the family’s most desperate needs, the entire church came to Florence’s home to dig a garden and to plant crops. Florence family was given seeds and hoes to harvest their crops, and the grandchildren were helped with classroom materials and school fees. The children are now well-fed by the garden, attending school and living in a brick house built by volunteers from the church.
The family was given four piglets which they are now raising, breeding and selling in the market for additional income to cover her grandchildren’s school fees.
Looking back on the transformation she’s seen in her life, Florence said: I am so thankful God arranged for me to be part of the Raising Families programme. Visiting, helping and praying with me and for my sickness has comforted me and I now feel stronger.
Jovia’s now making a living that allows her to provide lifesaving medication for her HIV positive daughter
Seeing the desperation facing this family, a local church – enabled by Raising Families – stepped in to help. Jovia’s 10-year-old daughter, Susan, was growing increasingly sick and HIV testing revealed the worst – Susan was HIV positive.
Church volunteers visited Jovia’s home regularly, providing support, prayer and the message of God’s love.
Jovia’s family was supplied with vegetable seeds, agricultural training and three pigs. The family, eager to provide for their needs, planted the vegetables and earlier this began selling their extra vegetables at the market. With three grown pigs, Jovia able to sell her pig’s offspring and has raised enough money to put Susan back into school. Susan is now in Primary 2 at Bwendero Primary School and Jovia is now able to care for her daughter Susan by purchasing HIV drugs at their local health centre. Susan is now looking healthier and happier than ever before.
From the regular visits and prayer from church volunteers, Jovia gave her lift to Christ and stopped drinking alcohol. With this support she has received her life now has improved not only for her but her children as well. She hopes to increase her livestock and her start a business.
Seeing the transformation that has taken place in her life, Jovia said with a lasting smile: Before I was lost and the only thing I could do was drink. You supported me with prayers and other material things like piglets. I thank God for this provision. I’m grateful that people out there are thoughtful about us and I feel loved because there are people who care about me and support me. They have not only blessed me, but the children under my care. I plan to raise my children to know God.
As a widow and mother of six, Nuwe opens a shop allowing her to make a living that supports her family
Encouraged and envisioned by Raising Families, local church volunteers visited Nuwe and her family. The volunteers counseled her and noticing her ailing health, encouraged her to visit the hospital where tests showed that Nuwe was HIV positive. Heartbroken, Nuwe realised she needed to do all that she could to provide for her children. Surrounded by the church’s prayerful and loving support, Nuwe began to realise there was still hope for her future. With the help of the church, she started on anti-retroviral drugs.
Nuwe’s children were provided with school materials so that they could return to school and pursue an education that would help them achieve a better future. Excited about her potential, Nuwe joined the local savings group and saved enough money to open a road side stall selling agricultural foods. Her family now has enough money to buy essential commodities including food and clothing for her children. Nuwe continues to grow as a business woman and has recently learned to make bread, which she now sells at her stand. With an increase in her profits, she continues to contribute to the savings so that other members can start their own business.
Nuwe, trusting in the hope of God, gave her life to Christ. In a recent gathering at the church, she gave a testimony of how God had rescued her from spiritual poverty. She is happy that Raising Families has allowed her to improve her health, spiritual life, and her ability to provide for her family. Currently, she hopes to inspire members in her community, especially mothers who are addicted to alcohol to stop the habit and trust in God as their provider and comforter. She also plans to outreach to the vulnerable people in her community using the knowledge they gained from the various trainings offered by Raising Families.
With a smile Nuwe remarked, “Am thanking God for having transformed my life from being an alcoholic to responsible mother and healing me spiritually”.
Just when Esther’s chance for an education almost disappeared, her hopes for a brighter future were saved
Feeling hopeless, the young girl thought she would never go back to school. Local church members, equipped by Raising Families to identify and support vulnerable families, met Esther’s family in 2010. Church members started visiting Esther and her grandmother frequently, praying and sharing the word of God. Knowing that poor living conditions and a lack of nutritious food were creating on-going health issues, church members renovated their dilapidated house and helped plant vegetables and crops so the family could eat three meals a day from their harvest. Initial help with school fees and materials allowed Esther to return to school.
Esther is still well-fed, in school and doing great – she also joined the church’s Sunday school programme and is strengthened in her faith. With new friends, she now feels a sense of belonging in the community.
“I’ve started from primary one in 2010 and have been promoted to primary three after performing well in the end of 2012 exams, and I’m very happy about it,” Esther said, with a smile.
Orphaned and alone, Thomas and Brian’s life is transformed by simple acts of kindness
Eight-year-old Brian and ten-year-old Thomas have felt the impact of these stark statistics. When their parents died of AIDS four years ago, Brian and Thomas were robbed of their parent’s love and protection as they were left alone to deal with the harsh reality of grinding poverty.
Brian and Thomas were initially left in the care of their uncle, but his wife mistreated them and often denied them food when their uncle was away from home. Their situation worsened when their uncle married another wife and left them under the care of his first wife. These harsh conditions forced the children to look for their grandmother who often failed to meet their most basic needs.
While they were living with their grandmother, local church members empowered by Raising Families came to Brian and Thomas’ rescue. The church built the family a thatched hut for shelter and comfort, offered counselling and provided them with food and clothes. As a result of the church’s initiative, Brian and Thomas’ relatives also rose to the occasion to provide the two boys with additional support.
Brian and Thomas’ lives were forever transformed along with over 531 vulnerable households like Brian and Thomas’ who received practical care.
“Now we have a place to sleep.” Brian said with a smile.
Daniel is one step closer to realising his dream of becoming a mechanic
Just a year ago, Daniel sat in front of his home in Uganda watching other children go to school. His heart sunk at the sight of their happy faces and their laughter. All he wanted to do was run to school with them. He dreamt about learning new things and becoming a mechanic when he grew up.
Daniel was forced to stay behind because his grandmother could not afford the school fees, let alone pay for the school uniform and books. Daniel’s grandmother worked as hard as she could, but with the little money she made from weaving baskets she could barely feed herself and her grandson.
One day Raising Families, working through local church volunteers, reached out to Daniel and his grandmother and helped her to grow her basket weaving business. They went out and gathered plenty of reeds for her and helped her to sell her baskets in the local market. They also invited Daniel and his grandmother to church where they heard about a God who loves them and cares for their needs. With more money coming in, Daniel’s grandmother could send Daniel to school.
Now Daniel runs to school with his friends – and, each day he is a step closer to seeing his dream of becoming a mechanic come true.