Who will care for the children?
Since 2003, TEAR Fund has proudly supported the work of Watoto; an incredible church-based ministry, caring for parentless children in Uganda, Africa.
In the past Uganda has been devastated by the tyrannical rule of dictators such as Idi Amin, civil war, poverty and the AIDS epidemic. Over 30,000 children have been abducted and forced to serve as child soldiers.; Another 2 million children have lost their parents to AIDS, war, or other calamities. Today, Uganda is slowly healing the wounds of a bloody and violent past. However, the question remains; who will care for the children?
Watoto Children’s Ministries was established in 1992 in response to the needs of children in Uganda. Born out of KPC Church in downtown Kampala, a 17,000 strong cell based community church, Watoto is committed to restoring hope, dignity and purpose in the lives of Uganda’s children, and raising them to be the future leaders of their nation.
Watoto is taking the most destitute of children and placing them into safe and loving homes in Watoto villages where they will receive the necessary love, care and attention to fulfill their God-given potential. Watoto Villages are not orphanages. A children brought into a Watoto joins a family of 7 siblings and a mother. This will be their family for life! A family in which they will live together, play together, and grow together.
There are three Watoto villages built around the outskirts of Kampala: Buloba, our most established village, Bbira Village, and Suubi our youngest village. Currently over 1700 children are living in these village. Here, in the villages, the children attend school, enjoy community activities, receive healthcare at a village clinic, and attend church. The villages are beautiful, with trees, gardens, playgrounds for the children, and open spaces to play football or netball.
Building teams from around the world visit the Watoto villages and help build homes, classrooms and other facilities for the children. Follow this link to learn more about visiting Watoto.
There are many vulnerable babies in Uganda who are abandoned or orphaned due to poverty, lack of education, and the HIV/AIDS crisis. Many of these babies need intense care and medical attention. Baby Watoto was started to provide the specialized care that these little ones need to give them the best possible start in life. The preemies and newborns who come to us often need an incubator, treatment for jaundice, oxygen, tube feeding, or IV drugs. Older malnourished babies can need special formula , tube feeding, and treatment for the many illnesses they come with. Some of our babies have been badly abused or neglected and suffer from major emotional trauma. Others just need lots of cuddles, clean nappies, and warm milk, before they are ready to move to our villages.
Moses was our very first baby and spent his first night with two staff members attending to his every need. He is a very healthy baby who started walking a few months ago. He smiles easily and particularly enjoys the attention given to him by adults. We think he has figured out that he’s not an only child any more!
More than 30,000 children, some as young as 8 years old, have been stolen from their homes and forced to join the LRA, where they are brainwashed and placed on the front lines against government troops. Often, little girls are sold as sex slaves to warlords, traded for weapons or given as gifts to rebel commanders. Alarmingly, children make up over 80% of the LRA.
TEAR Fund and our partner Watoto, are committed to caring for these war-effected children. Peace talks are underway between the LRA and the Ugandan Government. God willing, in the very near future, these children will be released from the army and will be able to return home. However, having been traumatised and brutalised, who will care for these children when they finally stumble out of the jungle and try to return to normal life?
With your support TEAR Fund and Watoto will care for these children and help rehabilitate them into Ugandan society. We will find homes for the children who have been left orphaned. We will care for the young teenage mothers who have been raped, become pregnant, and now, who have no-one to help care for their children. We will do everything we can to restore hope and dignity to these children so that they may enjoy life, and life to the fullest.
To support TEAR Fund’s partner Watoto, working in Northern Uganda, please follow this link and make a donation to support our work with Uganda’s war effected children. Thanks for your support!
In January 2013, you are invited to join a team from New Zealand, to visit Watoto Children's Village to take part in looking after babies at the Baby Watoto Homes near and around Kampala, Uganda. There will also be the opportunity to visit one of TEAR Fund's child sponsorship projects to see first hand where child sponsorship money goes, as well as seeing a little of Africa on a short safari (additional cost). For more information including some great fund-raising ideas contact Diana Judge at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.breakfreeexpeditions.com.