The Impact Uganda program focuses on helping street kids get off the streets and find hope and a future by providing housing, a sense of family, and discipleship.
Jinja Connection provides education and shelter for full-time and part-time street kids. Our drop-in centre offers a safe space for kids to come and get something to eat and build relationships. Staff and volunteers also target street kids who have little or no education and provide schooling for them along with a co-op program for skills training. Whenever possible, street kids are reunited with their families through a process of reconciliation.
Detailed Implementation Plan
Jinja Connection has helped over 250 street children in Uganda since opening its doors in 2012. Jinja Connection provides a unique service and support to these vulnerable children that is first and foremost focused on reconciliation and transformation. Instead of merely supporting for the material needs of the children, Jinja Connection works with each child to restore their relationships with their families, with other children and with God. This is done by providing a place for the street children to wash their clothes, eat nutritious food, play and learn with other children and receive specialized support from social workers. Between January to June, 42 new children came through the doors of Jinja Connection.
At Jinja Connection, we encourage the street children to go back to school and support them with their school fees and supplies so that they are able to do so. Of the 42 new children that have come through our doors there are:
- 13 who have been enrolled in primary school
- 4 who have been enrolled in secondary school
- 2 who have been enrolled in vocational school
We were also excited to see the following educational achievements among the children:
- 3 children graduated from primary to secondary school
- 1 child graduated from secondary school
Every child currently enrolled in school was able to pass on to the next grade!
At Jinja Connection we recognize the difficulty of living on the streets and how that causes children to develop in a healthy manner. It is important for children to be physically active, play and develop friendships. This is why we have fun activities available for the children. One of the recent activities that has recently started is a basketball camp on weekends. There are now approximately 40 children who come each weekend to play with other children and be physically active!
One of the unique aspects of Jinja Connection is something they do which is called home tracing. Home tracing is the practice of learning the stories and history of each child who shows up at Jinja Connection and then taking the time to build trust to begin reconciling and returning them to their families or relatives when appropriate. There were 16 successful home-tracing events in the last six months! For children where home tracing is not the best option, we help them get situated in quality, safe, and trustworthy residential homes. Over the last six months Jinja Connection helped 7 children get off the streets and into good residential homes.
All of these activities together work to transform the lives of each individual child who comes off the street and through Jinja Connection’s doors.
Stories of Transformation
Sharif is a young boy with a medical condition that requires him to have medicine every day. This has always been a struggle for him and he is embarrassed by it. Other children would tease him about his medicine and he would often run away from his grandmother’s home so he would not have to take it. After a while, he ended up on the streets and that is when he came to the attention of Jinja Connection. A local partner in Uganda called Salve International provided emergency housing for Sharif as we counseled him and worked with his probation officer to find a better place for him to live. It took over six months of work and struggling with government corruption but we were finally able to provide him with a home that can meet his specific needs. We will continue to work with him and his grandmother to restore their relationship and to help him better understand how to live with his medical issues. The road ahead is a difficult one for Sharif, but we are confident that his young life is slowly being transformed and renewed!
Over the last six months the relationship between Jinja Connection and the local authorities has strengthened more. The police are starting to trust Jinja Connection and are working closer with them when they arrest street kids.
In the next six months, we plan to send two pastors from Uganda into Kenya for leadership training and to assess whether the Pan African School of Theology is the right partner for starting a pastoral training centre in Uganda.
Allison Edwards, the Program Champion for Impact Uganda, visited Canada from April 11 to May 14, spending time at the iTeams office and fundraising with Impact Uganda’s Annual Tea.
The African Soles fundraising project donated over $400 to Jinja Connection and another $400 to a Forge Intern heading to Jinja in the fall of 2017. Dave and Jen Adams plan on visiting Jinja Connection and meet with pastors who may become leaders through the potential pastoral training with PACE. The Greene family spent six months supporting Allison and Jinja Connection by helping to start the basketball outreach program on Saturdays.
Two Forge Interns will be visiting Impact Uganda in the Fall of 2017 to work on an impact evaluation and a Program Plan with staff, Program Champions, and the Program Leadership. The interns will broaden our understanding of what God has been doing in this community and how we can best support these vulnerable children.
The work of Jinja Connection has been recently featured in an article by the Faith to Action Initiative, which advocates for protecting vulnerable children using best practice methods. Click here to read more!
|Total Income January-June 2017||$41,298|
|Total Expenses January-June 2017||$33,894|
|Overall 2017 Budget||$88,212|