Hope for Life started in Katanga Slum giving Education to 15 children. We wanted to invest in these children’s future, helping them to attain more in their lives. Our goal is to provide a basic level of education in our school, to get them to a level where they are able to attend school themselves. We would then find people to sponsor this children to attend a local school for them to get their accredited education.
We then decided that it was great to invest in the child’s future but the parent needs to earn money to feed the family today, not just in the future. So we started up the Livelihoods project looking at ways we can support and encourage the families in earning money and supporting their families.
The Livelihoods project still has a time frame attached to each family; time to learn the theory of how to run a business and money management skills, time to then actually run a successful business to be self sustainable and earn enough money to provide for their families.
Whilst we were working with these families we has instances where a boy in our school broke his leg (a collision with a motorbike), another boy in our school and his younger sister got very serious 3rd degree burns (the boy is still alive but the 1 year old girl died whilst Megan and I were in Uganda in August 2012), various children and members of their families were still getting ill with Malaria and other diseases.
We then started thinking about the project Health to help with these situations. With the aim to produce malaria nets, medical help from trained nurses and doctors, an emergency medical fund, which means we can pay for life saving treatment when there are serious illnesses and injuries with the families we work with. Education also plays a huge role in the health of the Katanga residents, so we look to address these issues in our school and Livelihoods program.
Our whole ethos at Hope for Life Katanga is to be a support to the families, helping them to earn money for themselves to be able to provide for their own families. The last thing we want to do is to give money to the families as we know this is a short term fix to a long term problem. The only exception is when a family we work with has a life threatening, or serious, illness or injury.
A huge part of bad health is dirty, stagnant Water being the main problem for diarrhoea, malaria, cholera, E.coli, typhoid, salmonella to name a few. For as long as people are forced to drink, bathe and live around dirty water then they continue to get ill. We are currently doing some research into the cleanliness of the water, before we know what to filter/safe guard against.