Children being orphaned is a huge challenge in Africa. Since we have focused our work in Uganda so far, we can only speak on what we’ve observed and learned there.
Many children are orphans because their parents have died. Often their grandparents are either also dead, unable to care for the child, or unwilling to care for the child. Other children are abandoned by their parents. This will often happen when the parents have a child they are unprepared or unwilling to take care of, or if the parents divorce and neither wants the child because it will make finding a new partner more difficult.
HIV/AIDS is a large contributor to parents dying off early. Other diseases contribute to the problem too as healthcare is rather limited.
The lucky children will find their way into a quality orphanage. We’ve been working with such an organization since 2018. They have roughly 500 primary school-aged children in their care over two sites in two different villages. We worked with them in 2019 to open a 3rd site which is for secondary school-aged children aging out of primary school. Primary school is the equivalent of elementary school in America. Primary school is required in Uganda, but often not achieved. Secondary is not required.
There is also a woman’s empowerment group that helps a lot with the children and the farming project mentioned below.
They have a farm where they grow food for the children. Lightforce One was formed in 2018 after the founder, Dave Bauer, funded a well and irrigation system for the farm. Since then we’ve worked on helping them with seeds for crops, opening the secondary-school site mentioned above, funded a brick-making project which we will be upgrading this year (2021), helped with a copier, transportation, started a sponsorship program for the children that we call Virtual Adoptions, started a chicken farming project, and many other projects.
The end-goal here is to help them become completely self-sufficient. We expect this orphanage to be self-sufficient by the end of 2022. Hopefully, we can accelerate this and get it done sooner. We’d also like to start some social programs in the surrounding areas to help address the root causes of all of these orphanages.
Lightforce One is a philanthropic 501c3 non-profit that works to uplift and empower the underprivileged of the world, helping them to become self-sufficient and even to thrive. Rather than providing short-term relief, we work on long-term solutions to empower those we work with to eventually become self-sufficient. We run a lean operation. On average, over 90% of our annual spend goes directly to projects!
We could always use volunteers. We need help with clerical work, data entry, bookkeeping, anybody who can teach children or adults something in a Zoom session. Please contact us to learn more about volunteering.
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