2022 was an exciting and memorable year for the work of Homes of Promise. Last Easter we moved the project to Garuga. It is outside Kampala and not far from the Entebbe Expressway, although we have kept a small office in Kampala. I am happy to report that the boys have settled in well at the new George’s Place. The home has plenty of space for relaxing with a pleasant garden and is in a much better environment, near to the shores of Lake Victoria. There are football fields nearby, a small swimming pool they are allowed to use and activities such as basketball, large board ludo, table-tennis and badminton. The boys look after chickens and a dog named Peanut and have started growing vegetables. There is a real peace about the home as soon as you enter the gates and are greeted by all the boys. The younger ones attend a local school and church on Sundays.
Towards the end of 2021 we received three new boys. The youngest, Dan, has been reunited with his family and we have helped them by supplying iron sheets for roofing their home as well as bricks, cement and sand for building a latrine. We are supporting Dan with school fees locally and will also pay fees for his younger brother, George, when he starts school in February. The other two boys, Robert and Derek, are in vocational training. One is doing hairdressing and the other, car mechanics.
In October we had another four boys join the project. We have traced the families of these new lads and they will be going into primary school or vocational training during February. Four young boys (Congolese refugees) were given to us unexpectedly by City Hall in December and stayed for about 10 days. Three were then reunited with their parents but the fourth, Bethel, is still with us.
Some of our older boys are now back with their families or in independent living. Shaffick stays near his mother and works as a hairdresser. Asaph is in industrial training, following his carpentry course.
All our younger boys now go to a local primary school in Garuga and are doing well. Some don’t find studying easy but their school reports say they are well behaved and doing their best. Nine boys are undertaking vocational courses in car mechanics, metal fabrication/plumbing, hairdressing, catering and tailoring. We now have 22 boys in the home and another 10 we partially support in independent living.
Last year we re-registered as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) and have a 5-year permit to continue operating.
One of our boys took his S4 examinations (10 ‘O’ levels) and is wanting to go on to further education. Two younger boys took their P7 examinations, one achieved Grade 1 and the other Grade 2. They will go into Senior School boarding shortly.
There are two more items of news to share. We are considering buying or renting a small plot of land near the home to grow vegetables and fruit and possibly to keep goats. Also, we now have a savings scheme whereby the boys receive small amounts of interest on money they save. Two boys have already bought pigs for their families after they worked and saved during holiday times in their home villages.
God has been blessing our work, the boys are maturing into responsible young adults and we give God the Glory.