African Hearts projects have evolved from the initial Slum Outreach Program. However, this still remains at the very core of our organisation and has expanded to provide assisted resettlement of children and supported reintegration of families. Through identifying and addressing different needs, our projects now include two residential Homes for rescued children that allows for their rehabilitation with a new Social Enterprise Program that uses vocational training to teach important entrepreneurial/life skills. The Junior School which encompasses our Child Sponsorship and other specialised programs like the Creative Learning Centre and Nursery School. The Village of Hope rural project and of course, our most beloved, Royalle Brass Band. Working through this variety of projects, we believe, is the key to lifting Ugandans out of the poverty cycle and our aim is to raise the next generation of leaders.
EMPOWERING A GENERATION TO WIN A GENERATION FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!
One thing that sets African Hearts Sponsorship apart from other Child Sponsorship Programs, is the way we look at the individual to see what strengths and giftings they have and encourage them in these.
African Hearts currently operate two residential homes in Ssenge (approximately 30kms out of Kampala), which offer care to former street children. Children who reside in these homes are provided with shelter, food, love, education, and the other necessities of life, as well as programs to re-integrate them into society. The Transitional Homes purpose is to house rescued boys while rehabilitating and the Family Home is where boys who have no family or resettlement options live with African Hearts as their permanent guardians.
VILLAGE OF HOPE
This project was initiated to combat the problem of children running away from rural villages to the streets of Kampala in search of a better life. African Hearts acquired 50 acres to grow food for all our projects. However, this project has evolved, and we have completed Stage 1 of the Village of Hope Project and built a community centre, medical centre, sanitation blocks and install 2 wells. Stage 2 is a partnership with Heifer Organisation to create a farming and dairy industry in this community, a quality Junior School and extensive health facility.
African Hearts run a slum outreach program Kampala that was birthed from one man with one donated trumpet. in the Kisenyi Slum. The slum is home to over 500 children; many of them boys, and African Hearts supply over 120 boys with daily meals, basic education and emergency medical needs, soccer and boxing training through our Slum Sports Academy twice per week or bail money where possible.
African Hearts Junior School offers a holistic educational program, which entitles over 500 students (boarding and day pupils) to tuition, two meals and water per day, uniforms and school supplies, support of a child’s spiritual wellbeing and health care. This school caters to some of the rescued street children, orphans and poor children in the community, as well as fee-paying students. Extracurricular activities for the students include dance, debating, chess, music and sport. With our new sports oval/band facility under construction, we can now expand the extracurricular activities offered. Our students are even encouraged to give back to their community through volunteering.
As an urgent requirement in accordance to comply with our legal registration under local governing bodies to build the African Hearts Nursery School, this facility needed to occupy a separate, adjacent plot to the Junior School as per Ugandan Ministry of Education legislation. We were educating a small number of students in two classrooms on the Junior School campus and were at capacity. Additionally, with a growing waiting list for the brand-new Nursery School, now completed, we are in the position to offer quality education to 200 little ones throughout baby, kindergarten and top class levels. Our increasing reputation as a quality Junior School and rank as one of the top 70 schools for our district continues to attract fee paying families, which in turn, allows us to then offer vulnerable families the same opportunities.
ROYALLE BRASS BAND
Whilst initially the band serves as music therapy for the rehabilitation of the street children. Subsequently, paid band performances bring in income to enhance sustainability and give older African Hearts’ boys employment.
CREATIVE LEARNING CENTRE
A purpose-built centre to teach girls, specifically teenage mothers, alternate vocations like sewing and hairdressing, as well as numeracy and literacy so they can support themselves and their families.
Girls who find themselves in the slums or grow up in the slums are often exploited sexually from as young as 12 years old. From the age of 12 they become a potential target. Many are ‘lured’ to a life of prostitution with the ‘reward’ that they may be able to have somewhere to sleep and occasionally get something to eat. There can be as many as 8 girls in one room and they are often used for sex in any way the client sees fit. They have no freedom of choice. They are simply told where and when to meet the client. They share the rent for the room and assist each other in any way they can. Girls as young as 13 and 14 may find themselves pregnant and needing to not only provide for themselves, but for their babies as well. At Hummingbird House, we are endeavouring to establish both a corrective and preventative way forward. Firstly, preventative in that we hope to assist the 12 year olds to develop different skills rather than even beginning a life of prostitution, and secondly corrective in that the young girls who have already been lured and may have small children can be counselled and undergo training to help them identify with different ways to generate income.