For the last 10 years, Awinjo House has functioned as a long-term, residential care home for orphans and vulnerable children. What that means is that all of the children who came here, arrived with the expectation of living at Awinjo until they turned 18 or graduated from high school. The children here and their families back in the village mostly viewed Awinjo as a type of Christian boarding school.
While some of the children at Awinjo are ‘True Orphans’ (no mother and no father), many of the children come from families who genuinely love the child but are simply to poor to provide for her (also known as ‘Economic Orphans’). However, in the Fall of 2016, the District Probation Officer came to Awinjo and told us about a plan to begin working with the families of the children living in the village to prepare them for the resettlement of their child from orphanages in Tororo – including Awinjo House. It wasn’t a promise to resettle *every* child, but primarily focusing on those with loving family who were simply too poor to provide for their child. The families will be trained in an IGA (“Income Generating Activity”) and given a small grant to begin a new business. And the children who are either ‘True Orphans’ or could not be resettled into their family situation in the village will be placed into qualified Foster Homes in Tororo.
While we were immediately overwhelmed with the amount of work involved with transitioning to this new plan, we agree that working with the families in the village to prepare them for reuniting with their children & preparing foster homes is the best way for us to care for the long-term health of each child. So we are already working to transition Awinjo House from operating like we have been for the last 10 years, to what the new vision and purpose of Awinjo will be.
Once Awinjo House fully transitions into where we’re going, we will devote all of our time, energy, and resources to walking out our vision in 3 specific ways:
We will become a 6 to 12-month home for children who are rescued from the street or whose family is not able to properly care for the child.
During the time that the child will be here at Awinjo House, we will focus on their physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, as well as helping them get caught up in school so they can perform well when they return to their school in the village. Our goal is to see each child be brought to a place of health and stability so that they can thrive when they leave. After their time here is complete, they will either be reunited with their family back in the village or they will be placed in a local foster home.
While the child is in Awinjo House for a time of healing and restoration, we will have a team that is dedicated to ministering to and working with the family back in the village. Our goal in working with the families of the children is to help the family overcome any bad habits that created the need for Awinjo to take the child, train the family in an Income Generating Activity (“IGA”) to achieve financial stability, and see each member of the family enter into a personal relationship with Jesus and connect with a local church community. After the IGA training is complete and the business is started, our team will be responsible for following-up and helping the family operate the business in a way that is sustainable.
While the ideal outcome for each child is usually personal healing followed by reunification with their biological family, unfortunately that is not always an option. Whether the child is a True Orphan, their family is not showing enough progress in overcoming bad habits, or the family is refusing to participate in the program altogether, transitioning the child into a qualified Foster Home is the next option. We will have a department of Awinjo House that is dedicated to working with local pastors to cultivate, train, and equip local families to become Foster Families who are prepared and excited to take-in and love the children transitioning out of our short-term program. Our responsibility will be to provide these Foster Families with support and follow-up assistance as they do the hands-on work of raising the children.
Without a team of financial partners, we will never be able to turn this vision into a reality. Would you consider partnering with us in this endeavor so that we can fully walk out our calling of seeing these children loved in family environments, receive healing, provided a quality education, and prepared for their future?