Homes of Life projects
Whenever we are confronted with the abysmal world of the extremely poor we find a group of people whose freedom is threatened most: children! Covertly they are trafficked and sold, conscripted as soldiers, trafficked to serve in the sex industry or toil as cheap labour in mines and factories. On behalf of children we intervene to spare as many as possible from this fate; to return them to freedom and lead them on a journey of healing and restoration. ORA’s Homes of Life project provides loving, nurturing homes for street children, child soldiers and children in need in Uganda and Myanmar.
An estimated 10,000 children live on the streets of Uganda, unloved, uneducated and unprotected. Although there are organisations working with street children in many of Uganda’s cities, there is little help for the 150+ street children in a city in West Nile. These children are both shunned and exploited by many in their community; they are unloved, uneducated and unprotected from disease. They face life threatening illnesses as they cannot access medical treatment or mosquito nets. Also past instances of street children in this city falling victim to human trafficking have been documented, with reports of the children being sold into slavery in both Europe and Sudan.
West Nile Street Children’s Project and Home
ORA NZ is supporting a home for children rescued from the streets of this city in West Nile. They are now a tight-knit family, receiving food, education, medicine and love. Social workers work within the community, to encourage the co-operation and networking of NGOs, Municipal Council, interested businesses, medical clinics, schools, families and individuals.
The four-fold objectives of this project are to
- Educate communities to provide for children so they don't run to the streets,
- Equip those in this city and surrounding areas to provide support for the current street children,
- Establish a support system new children can be channelled into when they first arrive on the streets, and
- See the street children safely reunited with extended family, in local foster homes or in safe homes such as the current children’s home.
ORA’s Homes of Life project will provide funds to support this programme, including running costs for the children’s home:
- Salaries for the carers
- Medical care
- Energy costs
Poverty remains firmly entrenched in Uganda’s rural areas, home to more than 85% of Ugandans. About 40% of all rural people, approximately 10 million, still live in abject poverty. Although the country has been able to greatly reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in its population, the pandemic has caused the death of large numbers of young adults and orphaned approximately 1 million children. Lack of health care and other social services put rural children at a particular disadvantage. In rural Vurra Sub-county, 60 per cent of the population are under 18 years old. Subsistence farmers, only 4% of homes say they always have enough food.
ORA Uganda Residential Care Homes
The ORA Uganda homes are the heart of the ORA Uganda base. In these homes the children are loved in ‘families’ made up of one Ugandan Mother and a maximum of eight children, an environment where broken hearts are mended and hope for the future is cultivated. Only children who require residential care as a last resort are living there. These children were the most vulnerable in the surrounding communities without either caring or healthy extended family to care for them. They each have a different story; HIV positive, sickle cell anaemia, elderly and ill grandparents as guardians…but now they are all healthy and happy!
ORA’s Homes of Life project will provide running costs of the ORA Uganda residential care homes including:
- Salaries for the house mothers
- Energy costs
Myanmar's Golden Triangle region is currently considered the world’s largest producer of methamphetamine and second largest producer of illicit opium. An estimated 82% of households in this region are involved in the drug trade, leading to alarmingly high rates of addiction and abuse. The oversupply of drugs brings increased poverty and unemployment and leads to such extreme financial desperation that parents resort to selling their own children. Boys are sold to militant groups and girls to brothels in China and Thailand.
Living Waters Home
ORA is working alongside Living Waters Children’s Home, a home in Myanmar, with a mission to provide a safe, loving environment, education and health care for children at risk of being trafficked or exploited, children who are from illiterate and drug-addicted families. Most of the children come from villages where opium growing is the main source of income. Drug addiction and poverty is rife. The children are therefore vulnerable to recruitment into the United Wa State Army as child soldiers, or to being trafficked into brothels. The home is based in a city centre which, though far from the children’s home villages, hosts both primary and secondary schools and medical treatment. The children are happy. They look after each other and oh, how they love the home mama, Ruth. The daily routine is strict but playtime is long and full of laughter. Each Saturday they travel to the forest to collect firewood for cooking, bamboo shoots to eat, and frogs for dinner. Living Water’s vision is to raise children who can effect change in a region in despair.