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.
I am so impressed with Fount of Mercy and with the way that they as an organization are truly seeking to empower locals here in Uganda. They are taking a very appropriate approach to helping local grassroots organizations in a long-term, sustainable way. It is so encouraging to see the way Fount of Mercy is encouraging, supporting, and truly empowering organizations throughout Uganda.
I had the life changing experience of participating in Fount of Mercy's Travel with Purpose program last summer. Upon arrival in Uganda, I was completely blown away by both the beauty of the country and the people and the immense poverty and need. After spending a week with a group of volunteers teaching in an orphanage, I can tell you that I have never seen poverty like that before in my life, but I left at the end of the week feeling good out the future of the children that attend that school because of what Fount is doing with the school. Through Fount of Mercy, the orphanage has funding for uniforms for students, meal plans and a library. Fount also provides strategic development expertise and leadership training for the school leadership.