In 2010 we (Caleb and Sonja) went to live in Uganda to study with the World Learning Institute. After our academic program ended one of our academic directors introduced us to Patrick. Patrick was 19 at the time and was running an organization called Raising Up Hope. We decided to spend our last month in Uganda with Patrick and the 42 children that were housed by Raising Up Hope.
We spent our days teaching English and getting to know the kids. In just a few weeks we discovered how badly the children wanted to learn. But with barely enough money for food, going to school was not an option. As our time to leave Uganda approached, we began to wonder what it would look like to partner with Patrick and the kids. It was easy to come up with all the reasons why we couldn't or didn't need to help. But we had the ability to do something so we chose to respond.
Back in America we represented a community with financial resources far beyond any of those kids' imaginations. Those resources, we knew, had the potential to change these kids' lives. If they could go to school they would have a chance of making it as self-sufficient adults.
We returned to the U.S. and began to share the kid's stories. People responded quickly and more generously than we had imagined. We were encouraged by people's willing and eagerness to share in the life of someone on the other side of the world.
With the support of a handful of family and friends, we were able to begin supporting RUHU monthly. Our relationship with Patrick and the rest of the staff at RUHU has evolved over six years of partnership. It all began out of Patrick's heart. It was his vision, shared by the staff at RUHU. Our hope is to continue to empower this organic effort.
We believe there are people all over the world working within their communities to meet very real and desperate needs. Our hope is to develop a partnership that strengthens their cause. By sharing their stories of hope, courage, and sacrifice with our communities in the U.S., people respond and lives are changed.
And when we respond, something beautiful happens.