We are excited to announce that Walk In Love is expanding to Kampala, Uganda. The Erdman Family, who are the directors of the daycare projects, will be relocating to Kampala in August (Click here to read their personal story on the move). The plan is to open Walk In Love Uganda. This will be a Non-government Organization (NGO) under the existing American 501c3, Walk In Love International.
It is important to be clear that all of the work that is ongoing in Tanzania will continue without disruption. The two existing daycare centers are running very well, with 69 kids attending. With some additional training, the two current centers will be capable of running independently. We are excited to make this leap in sustainability for our project and believe that independence should ultimately be the goal of any foreign aid project.
Here is our rationale for this decision: First, the basic need in Uganda is great. Uganda has the second youngest population in the world, with 55% of the population under the age of 18. Women have, on average, 6 children. Uganda is still recovering from war, which ended 1979 and the HIV crisis, which severely impacted the country. The GDP of Uganda is lower than both Kenya or Tanzania. These, and many more factors, add up to a country that would benefit from family strengthening resources that are the goal of Walk In Love. Second, the visa requirements and legal requirements for starting an NGO in Uganda are much more straight forward and friendly toward foreigners. From Uganda, we can support the Tanzanian staff in running the Kisongo Center and Market Center, returning to Tanzania as needed. Finally, Uganda is one of the leading countries in Africa in moving away from orphanage-based care towards family-focused care. They are forward thinking in keeping children with their family, or fostering. We believe that our model has a lot to offer that movement in the developing world.
We have spoken to Walk In Love founder, Aubree Packard, about our plan and she has enthusiastically agreed that starting a Walk In Love branch in Uganda is consistent with the organization’s long-term vision.
The Erdman family made a two-week survey trip to Uganda April 21-May 3. It was very enlightening. Here were our goals/questions for the trip and a brief summary of what we discovered.
- Is our model a good fit for the need in our targeted area?
Yes, according to the many people that we met with, both Ugandan and foreign, we were able to confirm that our model is a great fit for the needs of people in Uganda. We met with multiple directors of organizations doing work in Uganda, specifically the cities of Jinja and Kampala. Overwhelmingly, their response was that the model of high quality, low cost daycare is greatly needed, and not being done by anyone else. It is estimated that over 45,000 children currently living in orphanages in Uganda have family who could take care of them with the proper resources, such as daycare. (https://www.wearelumos.org/news-and-media/2019/01/15/ugandan-orphanage-business/)
- What are the logistics of opening an NGO in Uganda?
We met with a lawyer who was recommended to us by another NGO. He was able to outline the legal process of starting up Walk In Love Uganda. This NGO would be the Ugandan branch of Walk In Love under the 501c3 in the States. The lawyer believes we will be able to complete the process before October. The cost of starting an NGO is approximately $1500 USD.
- In what area would we establish ourselves and start our new centers?
We have identified Kampala, Uganda as the city with the most need for our model. We are planning to move to Kampala in August (3 months!!). Kampala is the capital. It is intimidating in size and busyness. We visited both Kampala and Jinja. Although Jinja is beautiful, both Matt and I felt strongly that the greatest need is in Kampala. Kampala is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with an estimated population of 2.4 million people. The poverty is intense. It is a paradox of wealth, punctuated with slums that lack running water or electricity. Everyone we talked to indicated that Kampala is in the greatest need for family support.
Thank you so much for reading this far! We have come to the part where we turn to you and ask, will you join us in this move? We are so incredibly grateful for each of you. Through our programs, Walk In Love has helped over 100 families since 2018. That is 100 families that have been strengthened and stayed together. We could not have made the impact that we have without your support.
We need you now, more than ever, as we expand our work to Uganda. We believe that we have been called and trained to help families stay together and thrive. We know that our model works. We would like to see the current projects in Tanzania funded at 100% before the Erdmans leave in August. To do that we need to raise several hundred dollars in monthly support for both the daycare project and Maisha Matters. We also need to raise the legal costs for opening the NGO in Uganda. We estimate this cost to be $1500, which includes travel fees for Matt to return to Uganda to do the legal work required in person. Would you be willing to join our support team? It is easy, just click this LINK or the picture below to set up a Paypal donation. Families across East Africa thank you for your love and generosity.