Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Story of Hope

The drop-in center in Bwaise is filled with strong, brave, and brilliant, young women who have been exploited time and time again. Each day they come to the center filled with hope and ready to work hard to learn the skills needed to rise above their situations.

Rita is one of these hopeful young women who recently graduated from the Purse of Hope hairdressing academy. Last week she went for an interview at a salon and got the job! She’s now able to make enough money to support herself and is working at a job that she absolutely loves. This beautiful story gives hope to the other girls still finishing their training that they too can graduate and find a job. Though she’s graduated, Rita is still a big part of the Purse of Hope family. She still visits the drop-in center to be with her sisters and is now able encourage them in their pursuit to find work.

Rita’s story can be an inspiration to us all. What these women desire is the opportunity to work and support themselves with dignity. We are blessed to have a chance to walk alongside them and support them as they gain the tools and skills needed to go out and pursue their dreams.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Holiday Internships

During this holiday, the girls in the Total Impact Home are participating in internships with two amazing organizations in Gulu, Krochet kids (krochetkids.org) and 31 Bits (31bits.com).

These great, local organizations have been super supportive and offered internships for our girls while they have a few weeks off school. Here they will be learning useful skills such as crocheting and bead making, which our girls have been so excited about!

This is a great opportunity for the girls to get to know women who are empowered and making a living to support themselves and their families.

Thus far, we've been hearing amazing stories from the girls. They are so excited and encouraged! Not only have they learned how to make hats and beads, but they've also learned valuable life lessons from the awesome ladies at Krochet Kids and 31 Bits. The women have taught them the value of working hard, saving money, supporting their families, and going to school. Our girls are now asking us to help them find ways that they can earn money so they can save for University. How cool is that!?

It's a beautiful thing to see our girls interacting with the women of these two organizations. They have grown up in the same town, lived through the same war, and have faced many of the same trials. Our girls have now seen, first-hand, that's it's possible to rise above their past circumstances and become powerful agents of change in their community. The smiles on their faces, their growing love for one another, the worship that fills their home, and the stories from the these internships reveal that with each day, each program, and each prayer, the hope for the future our girls have is growing like wildfire.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Where Angels Sleep

In sharp contrast to what beds represented a year ago, these beds symbolize safety, love, and a space of the girls' own. Thank you, supporters, for helping us continually meet such fundamental yet momentous milestones.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tutoring Program Update

The Tutoring Program at the Total Impact House is in full swing!! This month we are learning all about Grammar and really focusing on: Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Verb Tenses, Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, and Sentence Structure. For a fun activity, all of the girls are making Grammar Books, which they will be able to keep and use as a study aid for school. The girls are incredibly bright and we are already able to see visible improvements during each tutoring session, as they gain more confidence and increase their depth of knowledge. The girls at the Total Impact House are well on their way to becoming the world's next teachers, journalists, and lawyers!

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Beds!

The girls in Bwaise send their thanks for the 12 new beds we were able to purchase!!! I've never seen anyone so excited and thankful for anything in my life. The girls danced and worshipped for hours! Thanks to all who made this purchase possible! The girls are no longer sleeping on the floor, but in beautiful turquoise triple bunk beds. They're so happy : )

Bwaise Clean-Up

Pauline and Maureen share their excitement and explain how they are going to give back to their community by cleaning it. The Purse of Hope girls in Bwaise asked for matching shirts and cleaning supplies so that they could hold a community service event. This is an incredible request considering that the women who come into our drop-in center lack money for even the most basic necessities.

Words can't express how beautiful it was watching 50 girls cleaning the very same slum that exploited them for years. The youngest girls led the group in worship as we moved around the foul smelling streets, sewers, and drainages, picking up bags after bags after bags of trash. Many people in the community joined in or approached the girls with words of thanks and encouragement. This was something this slum has never seen before!! Our girls responded to their thanks by explaining that they were serving in order to show love to their neighbors. Isn't that incredible!

We finished the day dancing, singing, and worshipping together. It was amazing that they girls still had energy after long, hard hours of cleaning in the hot Ugandan heat.

Their actions had such a huge affect on the community that the next day, government officials in the area approached the center offering to donate a truck for hauling away trash to our next clean-up day. We can't wait to see how these girls continue to shape their community and bring positive change into one of the most broken places in the world.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bwaise Clean-Up Project 2

The Bwaise Clean-Up Project is slated to commence tomorrow. This video is a portion of an interview I conducted with Robinah in June. Here, she speaks of how she's believing for the project to happen and what it will one day look like.

Tomorrow is that day!