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June 4, 2012

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1 previous review
March 29, 2011

I spent the month of January volunteering with Fount of Mercy in Jinja, Uganda. I have been involved on the state side of things for about a year, but really didn't know how much FOM does until I was ... more

June 4, 2012

I traveled to Uganda to volunteer with Fount of Mercy for the month of January this year. I was leading an Art Camp for children from several different villages and orphanages that FOM frequently works with. When I got to Uganda, all of the details of the camp were already in place. Ugandan translators had been hired and were always there excited to work with me, all of the supplies that I needed were ready, transportation for the children was set up and in place...it was smooth and effortless because they had handled all of the details for me before I got there. Camp went incredibly well. I was impressed with the relationship that FOM has with the community leaders that they work with. The last 2 weeks that I was in Uganda I worked on several other projects and saw how much growth there has been over the past year. The Vocational Training Program has been training sewing teachers in a new curriculum so that they can go on to teach in their communities. There are great things happening and I see so much hope for the future. I can't wait to go back to Uganda and volunteer with FOM again.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 29, 2011

I spent the month of January volunteering with Fount of Mercy in Jinja, Uganda. I have been involved on the state side of things for about a year, but really didn't know how much FOM does until I was able to be there in Uganda and see it first hand. I worked mostly with the director of the Community Health Initiative to write and direct short skits that taught really important lessons about safe sex, living with HIV/AIDS and the problems that young girls face with dangerous "sugar daddies". We had several Ugandan youth that helped us translate the skits and also act in them. We then took the skits to several different day camps. After performing them we would have an question and answer session with the kids. It was awesome. One day we had about 50 girls that were able to ask very important questions about puberty, hygiene and their bodies. They were so gracious and thankful to us for letting them talk freely and openly about these subjects. I think they were just really glad that they could get some answers. Fount of Mercy is run by some very dedicated, hard working people. I am so impressed with how many different programs they are running. I think that there is a lot of room to grow in the community health initiative and I think they are on the right track. FOM inspires and encourages the people that they work with to have hope for a better life. They want to work hand in hand with the people in the communities and educate them in things that they can use to support their families. It doesn't feel like a charity. It feels like a family of people that truly love and inspire eachother. There is still so much that can and will be done. We have been talking about doing some programs for teenagers and women that address women's health issues. And developing reusable feminine hygiene products which would be life changing for so many women. I can't wait to go back and continue working with them. It was a totally life changing experience for me. I feel so blessed to have been a part of it.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I got to know a few of our Ugandan translators very well. One girl's name is Rita. She has been helping with FOM camps for about a year. She is 20 years old and grew up in an orphanage in Uganda. She repeatedly told me that she is "the luckiest one" because she is learning so much from the Fount of Mercy staff. Volunteering with the Community Health Initiative has inspired Rita to go to nursing school. She wants to continue to learn and educate her community about things she has learned from the camps.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is hard for me to think of something to put right here, because I honestly can't think of anything I would really change. I think that Fount of Mercy is lacking the PR that it needs to get the regular donations that it needs to survive and grow. I think that if more people in the states were aware of the great things going on in Uganda, it would make a big difference. FOM has a small staff and there is so much to do, I don't think that advertising and fundraising are very high on the priority list.

March 30, 2011

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March 30, 2011

Sewing Hope's approach of training teachers within existing community groups is a sustainable model for development. Sewing Hope's founder, Tara Hawks is dedicated to helping Ugandan women gain vocational skills so that they can earn a living for their families. With this end goal in mind, she constantly questioning her approach and seeking feedback from students to ensure that her efforts are effective. Other organizations that I encountered while in Uganda, were only distributing machines but not providing training. Sewing Hope, provides specialized vocational training by expert volunteers so the machinery is used to it full potential and is properly cared for over time.

With Tara Hawks now working full time, I believe Sewing Hope has clear goals and is on track to keep growing and expanding.


The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

After 2 weeks teacher training with a group called Care and Share, we presented only our 2 best students with certificates for the completion the course. Along the way we had to ask 2 women to leave because they were not skilled enough for the training and identified 2 more that with considerable leadership skills, who we hoped could train with us later. Our tough decisions paid off because we helped the group identify their strongest leaders and we equipped them with skills to teach others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

As a young organization, Fount of Mercy would benefit from volunteers who can spend more time on the ground. While the volunteers are experts in their fields, they are unable to dedicate sufficient time in country. As the organization grows, this will be a great way to become more influencial.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

March 30, 2011

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March 30, 2011

i have been with fount of mercy for a year now. i have learned a lot from it as a woman.it has very good programs most especially for women.We have a saying if you educate a woman you have educated the whole nation.Therefore i have learned about birth control with out spending money by day counting,how to prevent family from STD and AIDS from the voluteers.This knowledge in uganda you need to go health centre to be get this education but this organization brings it to the grass root.
This organization has imparted skill to the women in order for them to Job creators not seekers.For example the Tailoring and Design for women,Baking bread,cakes and others.Handcraft making of paper necklss,bangoes,bags and maney other things.This is how the women are having their small income.Not like before when they nothing to do and take care of their families.I have too much to about fount of mercy if given a full day.Thank to this Orgasation and people who put their heads together make that woman to be some.God bless you

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally experienced in that i have seen them bake,sewing and bought some bread from them.i have attended the health education classes.The volunteers give them good skill but they hear for a short time.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would get for them market for their beautiful products like the paper necklaces,bags and money others.Buy for women a sewing machine for 2per sewing machine.Have ladies make a come together day out at least once or twice a year to relief their stress of all work with any fun.One day we would share about the year achievements and the next year to come,have a bible sharing,groundnuts and a cup of tea.I would give the volunteers more time to teach.

March 30, 2011

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March 30, 2011

Fount of mercy ministries is one of the non profit organisations that has been very foundamental in empowering our Ugandan women for example Bulubandi Women's group in Iganga and care ans share women in Rwanda with alot of life skills in so many fields such as in tailoring and sawing skills ,beaking,craftsmanship and helping in various primary schools like Rock primary school (Rwanda, Ug) and TOAST primary scahool (Mafubira Ug) by educating and equiping teachers with enough skills and facilitating them by providing them with teaching material and physical eduation material like balls and very many others.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

yes i have experienced the results of this organisation because i have seen the work and out comes of the women after they have been tought by this group because alot of them have right now started their own survival businesses like sawing for commercial like school uniforms and now many can earn aliving.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to extend or enlarge their teritory or work beyond eastern uganda so that they can cover or work in alarger area of the country because their work is sogood for the community development.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

As part of my second year of graduation school, I worked with Fount of Mercy for six months in Jinja, Uganda. Fount of Mercy is a fabulous organization that not only supports local indigenous organizations but also strongly supports women and their professional development. In every program, Fount works hard to include women in their work. One project I spent significant time providing monitoring and evaluation skills with was the Bread Basket Project. This project provides an employment opportunity for village women, many are widows, to come together and bake bread. They sell this bread in the villagers and use the proceeds to put back into their children’s community school. This employment opportunity not only provides extra income to these women, but also brings these women together to share in their difficulties and also helps to support their children in receiving an education they might not otherwise be able to afford. I would highly recommend Fount of Mercy to anyone who is either interested in volunteering with Fount or are looking for a new organization to donate his or her personal money. It is a fabulous organization that supports local women in every aspect of their work.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing women feel empowered to continue working hard to bake bread in order to increase their income and provide funds to their community school.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

slowly continue to seek funds to expand their current work with local community-based organizations that supports gender mainstreaming.

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

I have loved working with FOM and being a part of such a fantastic growing organization. The philosophy they operate from is one that I feel very strongly about and that is teaching and empowering the people to help themselves, creating sustainability, rather than just relief aid. The programs they have initiated, have shown that the philosophy works. For instance the Bread Basket program, Sewing Hope and other programs that teach the women to produce a product that is usable, and needed, thereby giving them the capacity to make an income and sustain the means to make that income. The Community Health Initiative gives them knowledge about ongoing health issues that are specific to them, and helps them learn ways to prevent and treat medical and health issues, that without that knowledge, could be part of the death or decline of a society. It was so exciting to witness the women's excitement about new knowledge, new skills and new friends! And to know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, a difference really is being made in their lives!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing the growth of women in the villages. Growth in sustainability, knowledge about themselves, their health and surroundings, skills, social interaction and empowerment in the all these areas, in the women of the villages I participated in.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Be sure each and every individual that volunteers is thoroughly evaluated and placed according to his or her strengths and capabilities. Not that I saw it as a fault, by any means, but just by the way I was screened and used, I felt like it made a huge difference in what I was able to contribute. So in a sense, the process used with me was a plus and if it is done on every volunteer, it would be a bigger plus!

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

Traveling to Uganda was a first for me. It all came together very quickly. I had decided, planned, and got to Africa within a months time. Fount of Mercy's employee, Rebecca, was SUCH a help in making me feel comfortable about traveling and answering questions in a very prompt manner. Once I got there, I found that everything was planned out for me and receiving a daily schedule was great to know what I was going to be doing that day. It was nice, at night, to always have the option to join the group for a dinner so you didn't feel alone. As for the volunteering portion, I enjoyed being there to help the men and women. i'm assuming it's because I planned my trip in such a short period of time, but I wish I would've been told what exactly I needed to know and bring to the table for our classes that we taught. I felt that I had a lot to offer but I ended up being a "translator" for a good portion of the time because I specifically do my pattern making a different way than the rest of the group. I do think, in the future, it would be great to add some sort of design/art class to it to build upon the basic techniques of patternmaking and sewing to make each tailor unique. I would love to volunteer with that. Overall, Fount of Mercy (Sewing Hope) is an amazing organization with great leaders. I am confident that in a few years, when all kinks are ironed out, that this will grow to be a truly impactful organization for Uganda and other countries.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Hearing about some of our students who have started their own businesses because of our teachings.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Take an assessment of everyone's strengths before traveling to know exactly what people can bring to the table.

March 28, 2011

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March 28, 2011

I first heard about Fount of Mercy in the winter of 2008, at a missions conference. I sat through the presentation and the slideshow, and was brought to tears at what I was hearing and seeing. A year and a half later, I had the privilege of partnering with FOM by taking a team of 10 individuals to Uganda. Our time in Uganda was beyond words. I could probably write pages and pages on all the experiences we had, all the wonderful people we worked with, and all the amazing children we met. It was a truly eye-opening and life-altering experience. While we were there, we worked with three different organizations that were partnered with FOM (FOM partners with grass-roots organization in Uganda, empowering them to become self-sustaining and eventually independent of FOM). The first was HODASSU, which is an organization that empowers children who are blind, deaf or have other special needs by providing education, teaching sign language, and providing vocational training. The second was MOHM, and informal school and orphanage. And the third was Care and Share, an informal school in the village of Iganga. Informal schools are unsupported by the government which means that the teachers do not get any training, school supplies or even curriculum from the government! The amazing teachers at these informal schools are people who have a heart for children and a desire to give them an education, but they have very scarce resources. During our trip, one night, I was on the internet researching education in Uganda when I came across a quote…I don’t remember the exact verbiage, but it was something along the lines of: “Education is perhaps the best long-term solution to poverty in the developing world, especially the education of girls.” If you’re reading this review and are an educator, please consider partnering with FOM to empower the educators in Uganda. If you do, the experiences you’ll have will change your world!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our team has received pictures of the children we worked with attending vocational training seminars that we were able to support through the leftover funds from our trip! Also, personally, I've decided to pursue my teaching credential. After earning my credential, I hope to go back to Uganda and anywhere else the Lord leads to be His hands and feet in this world.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

na

March 28, 2011

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March 28, 2011

During the summer of 2010, I had the unique privilege of traveling to Uganda to volunteer in the town of Jinja with Fount of Mercy. I'm a high school teacher and coach, so it made sense for them to place me to work in various schools in the area. One thing I like about the organization is that they take stock of each volunteer's talents and abilities and then work out a plan that will best fit with these specific qualities, instead of having a rigid program that requires volunteers to somehow find a way in which to fit.
I absolutley LOVED my time working with Fount of Mercy. I was able to combine my skills as an English teacher and coach to teach physical education to students of all ages. Because PE has not traditionally been part of the school curriculum but has recently become a requirement, the idea was that I could help the Ugandan teachers figure out some methods of integrating PE into the school day. It was really fun to play with these students, all of whom were eager for some organized instruction in PE. We focused on stretching, breathing, development of specific skills, teamwork, and the connection of literacy to physical activity.
To watch these young people eagerly ask to use the soccer balls and jump ropes which I brought (for they had no equipment), and then to watch them play with them in ragged school uniforms and bare feet - left me wanting to do more - to leave them with more. I left them each day exhausted and filthy - and smiling, full of such joy.
Michelle, who heads up the education portion of Fount of Mercy, organized each day so that there was a time for all of the volunteer teachers to reflect upon that day's classes and share with the Ugandan teachers about effective and not-so-effective methods of instruction. This was very important, as the long-term value of our time there was only as effective as the ability of the Ugandan teachers decided it would be.
In my three weeks with Fount of Mercy in Uganda, I was able to work with three different groups of students - some in regular education, as well as students who were deaf and/or blind. There were different challenges with each group, but the heart of our work was ultimately the same with each - to love them and help their Ugandan workers learn teaching methods that would help them for much time to come in the future.
I appreciate the freedom that Fount of Mercy provided - not only in our specific volunteer work, but in our time outside that. They know how important it is to have time to rest and went to great lengths to protect this time for us, providing mandatory "days off" and offering to plan fun activities, if so desired.
It's exciting to have watched the growth of this organization, ever since they began over five years ago, and I look forward to watching their powerful work continue in the future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Fount Of Mercy knows that it is imperative that the members of the community in which they working "buy in" to what they doing AND partner in the work, so that eventually they can be self-sustaining. It does not matter if this is in the area of education, employment, or health care, as Fount of Mercy has partnered with Ugandan groups in each of these areas. It is particularly touching to have observed the way that they work to support widows, other women, and children.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do wish that there had been more follow-up in the days that followed my return to the States, as I am eager to continue to support Fount of Mercy, whether I remain here or return to Uganda. It's easy to get caught up into "regular" life, and I would have loved more direct contact from the organization in the past months.

March 21, 2011

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March 21, 2011

I recently spent 3 weeks working with Found of Mercy in Jinja, Uganda and was so excited to finally be a part of the life changing work they have been doing for some time now. I loved the idea that you can bring the skills and expertise you have in your own field of work and share it in a meaningful and practical way with the people of Uganda. So many of Fount's connections are focused on empowering women, a group that particularly needs a helping hand AND is very responsive. The change in these women's lives as they begin to acquire new skills, put them to use, and gain confidence as a provider, business woman, artist and important member of their villages is immeasurable. I plan on continuing to support Fount with my time and money and hope others would consider it as well. This is more than building a house. It is raising a community.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

participating directly with the planning and implementing of various health outreach initiatives in Uganda as well as planning and participating in many of the fundraising events they have here in New York City each year.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more money so more of the staff could be full time. They use the donated money, equipment, etc incredibly well already. As it grows, I see a need for more time devoted to expanding their outreach, organizing group volunteer trips, fundraising, and day to day logistics. The changes are already beginning. By empowering local organizations and people there, they are creating self-sufficient results which don't rely on constant funding. This will make them last.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

One extra staff person to be in completely in charge of volunteers and related logistics.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It showed me how few possessions/things I need to live. I also got to use different facets of my professional skills that I haven't used before.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Grateful for what I have, for the opportunity to give, and for the friendships I made.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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