Category Archives: Livelihoods

A Fresh way of giving…

Perhaps you can relate: When I was younger I felt quite hesitant to give to charity because I was never really sure where my donation would go, whether it would get lost in increasing admin or wages in the 1st world, or simply to a project, the charity ran, that I didn’t feel passionate about.

So, assuming there are more people like me, we have created 4 individual ‘giving pages’, one for each of the projects that we run; Education, Livelihoods, Health & Water, so that you can choose which area of cause you feel most passionate about and would like to donate to. 

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We also want to tell you that 100%* of your donation will go straight to the project you donate to and will not be used for… paying for my new Mac computer, Air travel or even something as little as printing costs. This is the same if you want to simply donate to the charity as a whole too.

Oh, and when we say 100% we mean 100%; for example, if you donate £10 to the Health project then that full £10 could be used on buying 2 mosquito nets for 2 families in Katanga Slum.

Simple really. Giving that changes lives.

So you can click on one of our projects below, where you will be able to securely, donate to the project you wish to donate to.

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* Yes 100% and we are able to do this by partnering with a charity called Golden Giving who do not take a percentage of money from each donation and do not charge the charity, unlike other giving websites e.g. Justgiving or Virgin money giving, Instead they, like us, find other ways to pay for admin, marketing and wages.

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Livelihoods at work…

Livelihoods TrainingToday was Livelihoods training day for our neighbours and carers of the children we work with. We have done a variety of sessions previously including cookery classes but today we were going a bit deeper into a pre-studied subject of business and savings management. We had a day of good teaching from our 3 knowledgeable Ugandan trustees on the subject in which the women really learnt from.

It is great to invest so much time in to the children but the parents appreciate even more the time and effort we invest in them and their careers too. We have had various comments thanking us for our work with the parents, as what they need is people showing confidence in them to succeed. We hope not only to be a voice to encourage them but also we want to really practically encourage them, weather teaching them new skills or even help writing a CV.

Some people think of work in Africa and immediately think of farming crops, fruit &veg etc. and although that is the truth for a huge percentage of people in Africa, we at Hope for Life Katanga are working with the very small percentage in a very urban setting. So jobs in the city centre are unlikely to include farming skills but instead selling produce, sewing, computer, hospitality and presentational skills.

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A huge population of people move from their rural homes, where they grew up, in search for a better career and future for their family only to be met with expensive living and jobs that need skills they haven’t previously acquired.

It is in this setting that we are working; helping to encourage and support these families in living self sustainable through income generating activities. We support these parents as they write out business plans, draw up a proposal and give them loans to start them out on their new venture. They come into our offices once a week so we can continue to support them, being a consultant of sorts to their businesses.

Some of you may recognise the bowls these women in Katanga slum made as we brought them back to the UK and sold them here at various markets and fairs, where 100% of the money paid, for the bowls, went straight to the women who made them so they can continue to grow the business further.

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New sewing machines

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We work with many families in Katanga slum, teaching the parents how to live self sustainable lives, through various income generating activities, including; weaving bowls (picture below), cooking and hairdressing but we are now able to increase our teaching potential by a very generous donation of 15 sewing machines for us to use in Katanga Slum.

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A great guy called Duncan found a number of neglected sewing machines that have been sitting in garages collecting dust, and decided he was able to refurbish and fix them were needs be.
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As he collected more and more sewing machines he thought it would be a great idea to make use of these machines, which have gone through a ‘re-birth’ of such, and give them to a charity that could put them to good use..
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He drove many hours to transport the machines and spend the day with us, talking through how each machine worked and how to maintain such a machine.

I used an electric sewing machine to sew a cushion when I was about 12 years old in school, and a friend who was also learning said she was never good enough at sewing to get past sewing on paper. She finally got her chance to go beyond paper and use real material to sew on.

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These are all very different machines to the modern electric sewing machines that we had seen before, but would be perfect for use in Uganda, where the power gets turned off every other day.

The Ugandan women will continue to be able to make their clothes, with hand sewing machines, despite not having consistent electricity.  
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We invited a ‘sewing machine expert’, called Margret (click on this link to find her vintage sewing website) who lives local to us to come and talk us through some of these models as well. The sewing machines were mostly Singer machines that you use your hand to control the speed of the stitch. We found out the dates of each of these machines, which ranged from the newest, which was about the 1960’s, to the oldest, which was made in 1895.

These are unbelievably old machines, and it wasn’t until we were walked through how these machines worked did I realise how intricate, clever and durable they were.

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Our plan is to learn exactly how these machines work, so that once they finally arrive, after being shipped to Uganda, we will be able to instruct our team and women in Uganda as to how to use/maintain them.

IMG_9436We have really enjoyed our day today and really appreciate both Duncan and Margret, who took time to refurbish and instruct us how to use the machines. What do you think… Do you think they look good?

Education Livelihoods Health Water

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.

Uganda August 2012

We are continually updating the website about the visit to Uganda Megan and I went on in August. To find a day by day write up and pictures of our trip then click on the following link https://hopeforlifekatanga.com/uganda-august-2012/.

Be sure to share these pages with those who you think will be interested.