Here at Wando, you hear us talk a lot about extreme poverty, but just what is it. Before we dive into extreme poverty, here’s what it isn’t. It isn’t missing an occasional meal or working several jobs to make ends meet. No, extreme poverty is much worse.
It plagues about 25% of the world’s population and over 50% of the people living in Uganda.
Extreme poverty is trying to support your family on less that $1.25 a day. It’s going days without meals, committing to hours of hard labor for menial pay and, for many women, turning to prostitution to try and make a little money. Many times the women who find themselves turning to the sex trade often end up pregnant and unable to care for their children, thus the cycle of extreme poverty continues.
When Michelle and Hans, our founders, saw the conditions that widows and orphans (Wando) faced in Uganda, they became determined to tackle the issue head on. Out of their determination grew our babies’ home, women’s bead initiative and primary school. Each of these programs help to strengthen the community – primarily through partnerships with elders and leadership.
Our babies’ home takes in children whose mothers cannot care for them. We take a unique approach to nurturing the babies who come to our home, assigning each one a live-in foster mom who never cares for more than five or six children at a time. This means that they get the attention, love and spiritual care needed to grow into healthy children.
At Marah Christian School we take in children from the community whose families cannot afford a quality education and provide them with that and healthy meals, something they might not get at home. We have over 275 children at Marah Christian School and are excited to continue to grow the program.
At the crux of our goal to eliminate extreme poverty is our women beaders’ program. This program trains women in how to make paper beads and then partners them with sponsors who help them sell their jewelry. This program gives women the confidence needed to run their own business and because we deal directly with their sales, they make the most money possible. Thanks to this program women are able to make money to feed their children, put them through school and change their paths.
Each initiative we’ve set up is designed to eliminate extreme poverty and help widows and orphans see their potential through spiritual and notional mentoring.