This summer we are planning to establish a vocational school that will train members of the Busia community in computer and tailoring skills. The school will also serve as an internet cafe that will expand internet access in Busia while at the same time generating income to support the children under New Hope's care.
We will also be expanding New Hope's agricultural project with several cows and additional farmland for the production of crops like corn, beans and potatoes.
We are also researching the possibility of purchasing a large truck that will serve as a source of income for New Hope Africa Children Ministries. New Hope is located in Busia, a border town that straddles the Ugandan-Kenyan border and is a major commercial center. A truck would be a very valuable asset since it could be rented out to local traders and used to generate a steady stream of income for New Hope.
The vision behind these projects is to make New Hope financially self-sufficient. Ever since it was founded in 2003, New Hope Africa Children Ministries has been plagued by underfunding. As a small, grassroots NGO run entirely by Ugandans, New Hope is entirely dependent on donations from abroad. If the Friends of New Hope Foundation were for some reason unable to raise enough funds in any given year (because of, say, a severe economic crisis), then the kids at New Hope would suffer--inadequate diet, no money for books or school fees or doctor visits...the list goes on. By funding and implementing income-generating activities, The Friends of New Hope Foundation seeks to provide long-term financial security for New Hope and the children under its care. In time, New Hope will no longer be entirely dependent on foreign aid. This is perhaps part of the bigger picture of what needs to happen in Africa--less dependence on Westerners and more empowerment of Africans.
Furthermore, implementing income-generating activities is a far more efficient use of donor funds than simply underwriting operating costs. Forgive the cliche, but it's analogous to teaching a man to fish instead of giving him one everyday.