As a result of war, the HIV/AIDS virus, and severe poverty; 13% of all children under the age of 18 in Uganda have been orphaned. Once on the streets these children experience significant levels of all kinds of abuse and mistreatment. They are hated and feared by the rest of the community, even though they are only children. African Hearts Community Organization (Afrihco) was founded in 2001 to assist these street children living in Uganda and other children in need.
African Hearts began renting a small garage where they took in 16 street boys and other high-risk kids in the community to provide them with food, shelter, education, and a family. They also began working with 50 high-risk kids in the community to help them through their many challenges in life. This past summer African Hearts opened another home for street kids in Ssenge, a village just outside the city. They took in 11 boys originally and will take in more once these children have been rehabilitated.
African Hearts also works with children who are currently living on the streets through a variety of daily activities. They provide a place to sleep for around 60 of them and work to get all of them to a more permanent home. These 136 children have more than just their physical needs met by African Hearts.
African Hearts Provides:
* Fees for education
* Good male role models/mentors
* A safe home
* Counseling when needed
* Instrument lessons (so they can play in the band)
* Acrobatics lessons
* Art and craft classes (to help them generate income)
* Teaching responsibility and character through activities (gardening, pets, chores)
* Athletic programs
* Help with family reconciliation
These provisions teach the children life skills that will help them learn how to make money, find their own personal value, and discover their place in the community. These children who once lived in fear and isolation on the streets of Uganda now have an education, skills, a loving family, and self-esteem.
The purpose of African Hearts is to reach out to the hurting children who have been abused, abandoned, and left without hope. It is the goal of African Hearts to bring out the good in each child by helping them become equipped to reach their dreams and become the best person they can.
Our friend, Abby Tracy (pictured), lives in Africa and works with African Hearts. You can read her blog to learn more about what they’re doing in Uganda and about what life there is really like!
To find out more about our Radiant Love Supports program click HERE.