Child Focused Community Development
ORA NZ is currently partnering with ORA Uganda on a child-focused community development programme in Uganda - the Luku Yesuni Project.
With the support of New Zealand donors, the Luku Yesuni Project partners with local communities where poverty and HIV/AIDS have eroded hope and left a large number of orphans. We work alongside the ORA Uganda team in a child sponsorship program designed to nurture and educate their orphans and vulnerable children, helping them to reach their God-given potential.
Our vision is to equip, inspire and empower Ugandans to help other Ugandans; together working towards a sustainable future.
This vision is based on our belief that by giving these communities a hand up, rather than a hand out, they will in the future no longer just seek outside aid, but will be able to look to their own resources to help the needy in their midst.
We are already seeing the fruits of this approach with villagers caring for orphaned children, sponsored children helping others as they have been helped, and the land being cultivated for crops that will provide them with an ongoing source of food and income.
About the Luku Yesuni Project
The Luku Yesuni Project is located on a 4.7 acre site in the Arua district of Uganda, the north-west corner of the country that borders Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Upon ORA Uganda being granted NGO registration in 2007, the Uganda and New Zealand teams pursued the goal of purchasing land on which to establish an operating base for the care of vulnerable children in the sponsorship program.
There are currently 156 children in the sponsorship program, in nursery school, primary school, secondary school, vocational training and tertiary education. The majority of these children live with extended family in the community but are supported by ORA New Zealand and the ORA Uganda team.
The Luku Yesuni base includes community training facilities, an office building, staff housing, guest houses and a plant nursery. Central to this village is a residential care facility for the most at-risk children in the sponsorship program - vulnerable, sick or disabled children needing special short or long-term care.
In 2007, ORA Uganda put down a bore at the local Okufura Secondary School, providing a source of clean water for the school and the surrounding villages and expanding opportunity for agricultural development. A second borehole was put down on the Luku Yesuni land in 2009. In 2011 ORA Uganda helped a rural community to protect a polluted water source. The protected spring has been named Munducaku, meaning ‘the white man can’t not reach’ this village!
Today, the Luku Yesuni site is well established with a tangible ‘village’ atmosphere. Through their love of God and the people of Uganda, workers from ORA Uganda, along with short and long term volunteers and donors from New Zealand have worked to help bring the Luku Yesuni Project to fruition. As ORA Uganda Project Manager, Ayiko Stephen, says of the children helped, “Life is worth living for them now. One can see a sign of hope.”