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Fount of Mercy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development

Mission: There are over 48-million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. These orphans are left with few options. They are either left in the hands of an extended family member, are taken in by the community, or they are unfortunately abandoned on the streets. Poor nutrition, loss of education, vulnerability to crime, child labor, sexual exploitation, abduction and prostitution are realities too many orphans are facing. Traditionally in Africa, children live with an extended family member when their parents die. It is because of this tradition that Africa has been able to handle the orphan crisis with a modicum of survival. Today as the crisis has become increasing overwhelming, the traditional cultural safety net for orphans has persisted but has been greatly stretched and tried. Where extended family adoption is the best means of care, the new mouths to feed financially burden extended families. The combination of extreme poverty and AIDS has made it nearly impossible for the extended family to care for the increasing number of orphaned children. Grandmothers and widows are caring for six to ten children with limited access to any resources. Without assistance from local grass-root organizations these women and children are destitute. Why We Work With Grass-Root CBOs and NGOs?As Africa?s traditional means of orphan care has suffered, local African communities have responded. Africans who are committed to the care of orphans, have stepped in and organized their communities to respond. Through supplementing care, these indigenous grass-root organizations partner with their communities and these overburdened caregivers to provide free to low cost education, feeding programs, vocational training, access to healthcare and in worse cases foster care or residential care. While these grass-root Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are the lifeline of hope for their communities, they are nevertheless in great need of assistance. In order to meet the full need of their community?s orphan population they need support, encouragement and a helping hand to reach their vision.

Geographic areas served: Uganda

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Susan278

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I know about the organization through Sewing Hope and my friend Tara. In our world where the want for profit and power relies on the exploitation of people, keeping them physically and/ or emotionally tethered to fear, those who work relentlessly with the idea in their hearts, that when one of us hurts, we all hurt, should be supported no matter what. I am impressed that the people that are the recipients Fount of Mercy/Sewing Hope's programs, are being offered holistic education, learning the whole process, being taught skills and offered ideas that will move them forward, to heal themselves and their communities.
I just think Tara is great, she walks the walk, and is able to do worthy and important work because Fount of Mercy came to be, then Sewing Hope.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i spent 4 weeks in the summer of 2010 in a place i never in my wildest dreams, would have thought to go. A woman i worked with wrote a piece about SEW FOR HOPE and FOUNT OF MERCY in our local newsletter. It spoke of doing something with our talents - making costumes for TV, FILM, BROADWAY and concerts- in a whole new way. We could take our sewing skills and TEACH people to sew so they could make a living for themselves. Now, i am used to creature comforts of home... talk about culture shock... but in a good way! The Ugandans were so happy to learn what I knew.I taught a bit of sewing, some basic jewelry making, and a little embroidery. It was something that made me feel like i was making a great contribution to a few peoples lives. Fount of Mercy set everything up for my travel and accommodations! It was the true trip of a lifetime!!!

Wendy77

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered in Uganda with Fount of Mercy teaching sewing and design skills to AIDS widows and other vulnerable women. It was an amazing experience. We traveled to different towns and villages, located near Jinja and Kampala to teach and help at various organizations. I love that Fount of Mercy is boots-on-the-ground-grassroots. They have direct experience and relationships with every orphanage and organization that they seek to help and support. Uganda itself and its people are beautiful. In addition to the hands-on volunteering which was very rewarding, we also got to have some free time for side-trips and activities to experience the country. (There's no where else more challenging and rewarding to go white water rafting than on the Nile!) I highly recommend volunteering with Fount of Mercy.

Sarah151

Donor

Rating: 5

Fount of Mercy has been a part of my life for many years. I met the women who started it at our church and have been excited watching their dreams come to reality ever since. They continue to grow and spread their reach for inspiring and enabling widows in amazing ways. They do the work that I wish I have always done myself. They take the idea and do it. When so many of us aren't able to or don't believe we can. This organization literally works wonders! I am happy to be able to support financially when I can and spread the word far and wide. Fount of Mercy is truly a fount of empowerment and help for all that come to its waters!

Kelly108

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am an Ambassador for The GO Exchange and we sell Fount Of Mercy scarves. They are well-made and beautiful pieces of art. Better than the actual product is the fact that the employees are paid a living wage for creating these gorgeous scarves. It is an honor to be in partnership with Fount of Mercy!

Stephen28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I toured this operation in Uganda and continue to support it in the States. We love what they are doing overseas and the innovative ways (fashion shows, etc.) that they raise money at home.

Elizabeth127

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned about Fount of Mercy through one of its founders, and have watched them grow and serve over the years. They do amazing work and have a direct, measurable impact on the lives they touch - they fill such an important role, one that is often overlooked but very much in need of just the right people and skills for the job. I cannot think of any other nonprofit more deserving of publicity and support!

Donor

Rating: 5

Fount of Mercy is a unique and powerful organization. I love that they are structured to support and empower grassroots organizations-- that's a really sensitive approach to community development. I love that Fount is forward-thinking and always looking for new ways to serve the community. For example, they've just launched their hand-batiked scarf projects and are now able to employ artisans full-time. Love these guys!

Carol127

Donor

Rating: 5

Have been privileged to be a part of Fount of Mercy from its inception. Not only do I support and believe in their efforts in Uganda, I know one of the founders, her convictions and her passion. I will continue to support this organization.

Chad7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization does incredible work all around the world. Through their work, people are getting knowledge to improve their life, their families, their communities and their countries.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to this organization since 2007. The work they are doing directly impacts lives in Uganda, and they serve the people there with sincerity, compassion, and determination. Thank you, Fount of Mercy!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I really like that Fount of Mercy teaches business skills alongside the technical skills. Lotta art schools could take a page out of that book!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As the Acting Director of a NGO in Jinja, Uganda I've witnessed Fount Of Mercy's work firsthand and talked to many others organizations who have benefited from their ministries. Myself and many others believe that FOM's work stands out in the field. It's leadership is extremely competent, resourceful and eager to cooperate with other NGO's to help them provide the same excellence of service. They are a model NGO among many in Jinja.

Iv W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to visit with Lori Acton and Vanessa Crowley of Fount of Mercy in July, 2013. The objective of my visit was to understand the impact Fount of Mercy was having on the community, the programs that were being implemented, as well as scout opportunities for my organization to partner with them. What I experienced was exceptional professionalism, clarity of mission and detail-oriented execution. Fount of Mercy's integration of Ugandan staff with minimal US-based staff management indicated their model is working. Also, visiting their Ugandan-managed vocational workshop confirmed that Fount of Mercy is committed to local ownership and management solutions. Fount of Mercy represents how a non-profit organization should be operating within another community: by leveraging that community's assets and infrastructure to promote inside-out transformation.

Jeremy B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is by far one on of the most amazing charities I have ever worked with. Not only was I given the chance to travel and work in Africa in the country of Uganda, but I was able to become a major part in making the lives of the blind and deaf community better. I taught sports to the kids while on the trip and to many people, sports would be something that all kids do for the most part. But most people have never really considered that teaching kickball to kids and young adults who are blind or deaf is not just a game to them, its something much more. For these kids learning to play kickball or running races and throwing balls was a stepping stone into their lives and the job training that the other members of my team provided. Once these kids learned that being able to play sports like the normal kids was something they also could do, then possibilities were endless of what they could achieve. Through Fount of Mercy I was given the chance to change someones life forever., while in turn it also changed mine and made me into a better person.

Jeane M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During July 2012 I went with 7 others to Jinja, Uganda to participate in a Leadership Conference which Fount of Mercy sponsored. The entire experience was rewarding and would not have been so without the top notch organization skills of FOM. FOM helped in preparing us state side before we even left and when we arrived FOM assisted us to acclimate to Jinja quickly to increase our participation and effectiveness. Due to airline difficulties we arrived a day late and began teaching the morning after we arrived and was able to do so with little difficulty. FOM is dedicated to the Ugandans and it is apparent in all they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Fount of Mercy is excellent in matching up volunteer's experience and skills with the appropriate projects. So they utilize volunteer's gifts to the maximum. This takes careful and excellent planning.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am an American woman who has been living and working in Uganda for over three years. I am a teacher by profession and taught in a Ugandan school for three years. At the beginning of 2012, I decided to use my skills and experience as a teacher with Fount of Mercy. I have seen many organizations doing work here in Uganda, but I do not respect all of them. I DO respect the wok Fount of Mercy is doing, because they partner with existing, local groups or institutions-- working WITH (not for) them to help them fulfill their mission. Fount of Mercy is doing excellent work in the Jinja area community to empower women. One major area of Fount of Mercy's work is vocational training. They train women in sewing and tailoring; two Ugandan women teach other women the skill of sewing on the local (non-electric) sewing machines. Since most clothing produced in Uganda is custom made, sewing is a lucrative small business here. Fount of Mercy also provides small business training to women in various communities in the Jinja area. They then support these women as they launch their business together. Of the three groups I know, one has started a village bank. The other two have created a local bakery and a local restaurant in their respective communities. One excellent component of this training is the follow-up support they give these women as they put their learning into practice. This support involves further financial advice, conflict resolution, and encouragement. These women are empowered to earn cash, which enables them to send their children to school and provide for other essentials like soap, lantern fuel, and sugar. I truly admire the work Fount of Mercy is doing. The directors have a humble attitude toward their work, knowing that working in another culture is a constant learning process. I consider myself very fortunate to be a member of the Fount of Mercy team here in Uganda. Fount of Mercy has afforded me the opportunity to train teachers, mostly women, to become more equipped in their profession. In turn, these teachers can positively impact the children of Uganda. Finally, I am grateful for the team at Fount of Mercy, for my co-workers are also my dear friends.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am Emolu Francis, a Ugandan by nationality, a Kumam by tribe. I am a teacher by profession and have been teaching in Uganda since 1988, based in Jinja District. I have witnessed the work of Fount of Mercy since 2008 and liked their service to the Ugandan community. This year I have taken the initiative to join and work with the team at Fount of Mercy in the education department.

Fount of Mercy serves women in our local community in several ways. They train women to acquire the skill of sewing, using the local sewing machines. They also support women making local crafts (bead-making and basket weaving). They train women in business skills and support them as they begin a small business in their communities. For example, one local women’s group has started a local bakery in Lwanda, where they make buns, donuts, and other snacks to sell in the local trading centre. In Wairaka, the women’s group created a local restaurant called The Community Kitchen. The Wanyange women’s group is running a village bank. Fount of Mercy also educates young women in reproductive health awareness. Finally, they provide leadership training for women who are leaders of local organizations. In all of these areas, Fount of Mercy strives to empower widows to be able to provide for themselves and their children.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Am Wamimbi Julius aged 24years, i am working with fount of mercy as their program associate, There is great impact and transformation created in the the different people or groups fount is work with, Personally i my life changed because of the tender love and care i got from the directors of this organisation. I have a bright future working with fount of mercy and i believe that through their great work/programs that are served to the community i will be in position to create more life time change in many people in Uganda and the entire world. I am working as a program associate of this great organisation working with many women's group by equipping and teaching them life time skills in business which will help them meet the daily needs of their families. So far i am working with four women group who have appreciated our services a lot, this has created a big change in their daily living since they have started up small projects individually and as a group to improve on the standards of living. I and fount of mercy as a whole has great joy to see that our work and services are bringing much impact into people's lives. Examples of businesses setup by women include community kitchen, Bread basket project, and a village bank, all businesses are operating well which has brought big smiles on the women's face every day that passes by. Our vision is to equip and teach as many people(women and men) who think that their life is a mess to gain hope and strive for success for their future. Fount is soon starting to work with new women's group to extend the business knowledge to them and help them work together or individually. Fount as an NGO has created several transformations in the live of people in many ways i.e. Educational wise, vocationally wise, helped many leaders to learn the knowledge and skills of running their organisations well, I can't wait to recommend volunteers, donors, well wishers and everyone who has interests of building/creating a big transformation in the lives of African women to come work with us. Thank you so much and i hope my review will help whoever read it understand more of what fount of mercy is doing for the people in Uganda. Wamimbi Julius, Program Associate, Tel: +256-776594949, wamimbi.julius@gmail.com