The priority of FTN in working with communities is to restore the lives of vulnerable children. At the same time, we also address those underlying issues adversely impacting the well-being of the entire community. Once those issues are identified, we look for innovative solutions and programs to help that community achieve greater progress and prosperity. This not only helps boost the existing community, it brings hope and encouragement to the next generation that a brighter future is indeed possible.
In general, we emphasize better education in the areas of economic development and sanitation habits by developing programs that can be easily duplicated and scaled to fit each situation. We don’t try to remake the existing cultural structure but try to build on what is already working. To paraphrase the old saying, we don’t want to tell them how to fish, but how to fish better.
Although, initially, we focus on immediate physical needs – providing food, water, and medical care – we know the way to truly make a lasting change is to transform hearts by making Christ the cornerstone and foundation of their daily lives. To accomplish this goal, we strive to identify and train potential indigenous Christian men and women empowered by God’s Spirit who can take the baton and run with it. As we have discovered, establishing a cornerstone of godly leadership is the key to a strong foundation that a community can build upon.
Malnutrition is a constant threat to a child’s survival. It can affect their entire lives, stunting their mental, physical and emotional development, hindering each individual and community from achieving their God-given potential. Drought, frequent storms and tribal wars greatly exacerbate this food problem. Starvation is not uncommon in many parts of the world?
That’s why we pay strict attention to nutritional care by screening children and pregnant mothers for acute malnutrition and providing medical attention as needed. Hundreds of children and their families in our compound are served three healthy meals every day. A regimen of good nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and first-aid is basic to every program we introduce.
When it comes to schooling, we are careful not to overlook the most neglected children in a community. Some children can’t attend because they are needed at home for such basic chores as fetching water each day. Others must travel long distances and therefore have to attend a boarding school where the fees are higher. For them we provide mattresses, uniforms, and supply of food for the length of each school term.
For the most impoverished, we pay school fees in addition to uniforms and supplies. It breaks our heart that sometimes we are forced to choose one child over another due to a lack of funds. We do everything we can not to have to leave anyone behind. That’s why we‘ve initiated a child-sponsorship program to allow all who share our heart for these children to participate in their support.
When you contribute, know that your sponsored child, like all children in our programs, are loved, fed, educated and introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Gulu, Northern Uganda, our partner ministry is World Embrace. They have begun building a first of its kind on 22 acres of land what will be the social hub of the city. Here thousands of children and youth will visit weekly and holistically experience much and grow in the opportunities given to them.
In Uganda, over fifty percent of the population is under the age 15. There are more than 150,000 children in Gulu, which is the second largest city in the country. Unfortunately, there are no adequate, safe public playgrounds or community spaces for these children and youth. Homelife is very simple for most and opportunities are rare. The children have not been given the community spaces to hope and dream. They mostly see parents and family that live a life of struggle and disappointment. The path to advancement is not clear as most children live in the countryside in mud huts covered with grass roofs. The majority have no electricity, no running water, and no hope for a better future.
The goal of Gulu community park is to create possibilities and opportunities. This will be a place where kids will dream big dreams of accomplishing great things. In this nurturing environment, young people and children will be inspired, mentored, and encouraged to launch into their dreams. Most importantly, these children and youth will encounter the love of Jesus and discipled by caring staff. Though poverty is prevalent in Gulu, it will not be a barrier to Gulu Community Park as the facility is free to all.
Gulu Community Park will have nine unique areas for children to play in and explore. Some of the activities will be art, sports, music, dance, science, entertainment, education, and much more. Kid City mixes fun with learning, giving the kids opportunities to explore career paths of interest. In addition, there will be a library, and gathering places where volunteers will sit and read stories to the children. Add to that, the children will have the opportunity to get involved in athletic programs such as basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Gulu Community Park will also provide medical services and seek to help those with nutritional needs.
The leaders, trainers, and coaches will engage the youth in holistic ways – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Youth will build their self-esteem as opportunities lead to excellence. All will be welcomed unconditionally and will encounter loving staff that is compassionate and understanding. Through our sports chaplaincy program, thousands will encounter Jesus Christ. Follow The Need invites you to join us and be part of this amazing project that gives the children of Gulu a chance to have a brighter future by helping them discover and develop their God-given talents. Help us change lives forever and develop a living relationship with Jesus Christ now and into eternity.
Locating and equipping indigenous leaders is the way we maximize long-lasting impact in communities. We look for men and women with leadership qualities who have a heart for the people – and for God. Those who have a true passion to bring the lost into His kingdom. We then equip these leaders with the necessary training to carry on our programs. And at the same time be able to teach Biblical truths and pray for their needs. Since these leaders know the culture and speak the language, they can travel far and wide to influence even remote villages.
Some leaders in our programs focus more on becoming personal mentors. Women especially step up to become mamma bears to the youngest children. While other leaders are better suited to act as project leaders. They already know what works best in their culture. We just equip them with all the necessary tools to be successful. Others are natural teachers who are able to impact the next generation through education. All together, they get the job done.