Meet Jane, seven years old (2007), living with her mother and sister in a small village in Western Uganda. After a horrific attack during the night as the result of a land dispute, her mother and sister died. Jane lived, but barely. Not long afterward, a providential introduction was made between Jane and an American visiting Kampala, Steve Cobin. At that point a series of events were set in motion that would change Jane’s life and have a ripple effect that would touch untold numbers of lives in both countries. Jane was flown to the United States for medical treatment where she was ultimately adopted by Wake Forest’s Dirk and Paige Hamp. So too was her village.
Embrace Uganda grew out of the Hamp’s and Cobin’s love for Jane’s home, for the orphans and other vulnerable children that lived in her village of Kaihura. Since the Fall of 2007, our non-profit, fully volunteer organization has, along with its Ugandan partner, Bringing Hope to the Family, constructed a new home for Home Again Orphanage and the Hope Again Medical Clinic. Finished the existing Dorcas Vocational School, made improvements to a public school in the area, and supported clean water initiatives and self-sustaining agricultural projects. It is now in the process of raising the additional funds to complete the building of the "Baby House" that will house new born orphans.
While change is coming to Kaihura, the work of Embrace Uganda doesn’t end there. Miles away, just outside the capital of Kampala in the town of Bukerere, another orphanage needed our help. Team members have lived, played, and worked with the children and housemothers of Agape Children's Village. With our other Ugandan partners, African Church Empowerment Ministries and Agape Baptist Church, we have assisted in construction projects to better the community’s school and the grounds of the orphanage. In addition, when we learned that the orphanage would lose its funding, resulting in the “reintegration” of the children into communities that often cannot support them, Embrace Uganda committed to raising the necessary funds to support the orphanage, both from the outside as well as from small economic enterprises that could be developed on site.
If you drive the rutted roads east from Bukerere, past Jinja, the source of the Nile River, and on to the plains of the Teso region, you will come to the community of Koreng. The hometown of Michael Okwakol, pastor of Agape Baptist Church and Director of African Church Empowerment Ministries, Koreng is a community with a lack of material resources but no lack of spirit. It has a school without walls (it meets under a tree). It lacks electricity, basic health care, easily accessible sources of clean water, and proper sanitation. And yet because of the work of Embrace Uganda, Kadacar Primary School now has clean drinking water, funding for additional teachers, and proper sanitation. We continue to assess how Embrace Uganda can contribute meaningfully to this impoverished area.
Embrace Uganda is committed to long-term relationships with Ugandans in these three communities, seeking better educational opportunities for children, quality health care, and sustainable economic development --- all in conjunction with our Ugandan friends and partners. Our mission is nothing less than to encourage and empower a generation of orphans, one village at a time. Will you join us?
Embrace Uganda Team