“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” - Micah 6:8
JENGA Projects: An Overview
Income Generating Activities and Entrepreneaurship
JENGA's ministry is focused in 3 key locations which represent the poorest communities within Mbale. These communities are: 2 slum areas, Namatala and Musoto and a mountainous rural area, Mooni. However, as we seek to daily fulfil our mission statement, to demonstrate God's Love in action, we are finding the breadth of God's calling on us in reality is much wider than these key areas.
75%* of people in Uganda rely on agriculture for survival, and this is especially true of those who qualify as the poorest of the poor.
The Food Storage project provides an affordable supply of food through the building of storehouses for local farming communities helping to prevent malnutrition, providing a better price for local agricultural products, minimising unethical business practises & providing a model of fair trade business. These storehouses also create an income generating business for a local partner organisation that is responsible for owning and managing the project for the benefit of the local community.
(*Uganda Census of Agriculture 2008/2009)
Farming God’s Way
Partnering with international NGO ‘Farming God’s Way,’ JENGA facilitates the training of local farmers in effective alternative farming methods which are environmentally friendly and more sustainable. Subsistence farmers, who have been struggling to grow enough food to even sustain their families, are seeing their harvest increase significantly in quality and quantity resulting in satisfying their own needs and having surplus to sell and create an income generating business.
The Goat Project
By providing a quality cross-bred goat to vulnerable children, orphans and widows they are empowered to generate income through breeding and selling of goats which can provide for school fees and uniforms, improved food, shelter and health care. The sustainability of this project is ensured by returning the first born kid of each goat back to the project so it can be given away again to another family in need.
By providing access to savings and loan schemes, people living in the slum and rural areas of Mbale are being encouraged to begin local cooperatives that enable them to save and borrow money to start up small businesses. The project provides participants with a safe and sustainable way of saving and borrowing, avoiding bank fees which would negate the small amount of money that they are able to save. This empowers them to provide for themselves and their families by paying for school fees, medical expenses and improving their general living conditions.
This project is focused on two key groups, one being specifically women only, and the other being for the whole family unit.
Children and Youth
Child Education Sponsorship
With less than 60%* of children completing primary school and only 12%† enrolling into secondary school, a focus on education is essential for Ugandans to make a sustainable impact on their own communities.
Sponsoring over 60 children in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education, JENGA covers the school fees, uniforms, meals and all other school expenses for orphans and vulnerable children. Support is given right throughout their school career with the aim of developing young leaders who will make a significant contribution to the future of their nation. (*World Bank)
JENGA has been involved in different ways with the construction and administration of a number of primary schools enabling thousands of deprived children to access previously unavailable education.
Children’s Bible Clubs
Through the Bible Clubs children of all tribes, religions and backgrounds are being provided with a safe place to learn and play together, gaining a genuine sense of self-worth, understanding Christian values and behaviour and learning about God. Through positive ways of expressing themselves and by addressing issues in their lives they are becoming young leaders and role models at home and in their communities.
Nearly 2500 children, in 17 different Bible Clubs meet every weekend and are run in partnership with 16 local churches and the street children ministry, CRO.
Street Children’s Project
Since 2008 JENGA has partnered with the largest street children’s outreach organisation in Mbale, Child Restoration Outreach (CRO), which cares for up to 700 needy street children. JENGA provides discipleship through sports training and counseling as well as Young Leaders Training and a Bible Club for the younger children.
JENGA supports church youth groups to reach adolescents in the community with relevant guidance and counseling covering topics such as health & hygiene, morals, sex & relationships and positive life choices.
In a country of very few resources and services, clubs for the youth and sports facilities are non-existent. JENGA supports seven football teams on a regular basis through training and conferences and the provision of football kits, balls, other sporting equipment and qualified trainers.
In partnership with KitAid UK we have also been able to give away nearly 80 football kits to other teams and partners.
Community Health Project
Having educated and qualified Community Health Promoters (CHPs) working in the villages is the most effective way of ensuring that the local community is sensitised and empowered to reduce common illnesses such as malaria and diarrhoea through health education.
The CHPs increase access to health care which facilitates early disease prevention, referrals to hospital, and also establish a more effective health reporting system between local communities and the Mbale District Health Office.
Over 200 CHPs have attended the training programme and been accredited by the Local District Government. This programme provides both theoretical and practical training, and has led to the establishment of Village Health Teams in four locations.
“Naomi’s Daughters”, the JENGA HIV Project, supports women who are HIV positive with counselling, medical treatment, health education, food, and support in the home. The programme also looks to change negative mindsets and the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in local communities through raising awareness and health education and by offering HIV tests and pre and post counselling.
Hands of Love
The Mbale Regional Referral Hospital is a government run medical facility and is one of the largest hospitals in the country serving around 5,000,000 people from Eastern Uganda. Despite record international investment over the past five years, Uganda's healthcare performance is still ranked 186th out of 191 nations*.
The chronic lack of resources means the hospital cannot meet the full costs of staff, surgical treatment, X-rays and essential clinical items such as needles and medicines, or daily meals. Working with hospital staff to identify the poorest and most at risk patients the “Hands of Love” hospital project seeks to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people. We provide patients with medical assistance and testing, medicine, blankets and food, transport home and general love and support during this traumatic time. (*WHO / www.guardian.co.uk)
Hospital Feeding Project
In partnership with this hospital’s child malnutrition ward, JENGA works to improve the immediate health and long-term well-being of malnourished children and their guardians by providing high sustenance food on a daily basis. We employ someone to prepare meals and to counsel the mothers and a qualified nurse to oversee this programme.
With 33%* of Uganda still without easy access to safe water, investment in a variety of water projects is a critical part of the work of JENGA. Partnering with local communities we have provided over 20,000 people with cleaner water through gravity flow systems, bore holes and rain water harvesting. Education on hygiene and sanitation goes hand-in-hand with developing these projects in the communities.
(*Uganda Water and Environment Sector Performance Report 2012)
Women’s Community Groups
Empowering women in the local communities through the Women’s Community Groups helps to build gender equality in line with the Millennium Development Goals. Support, training and personal development is provided in topics such as:
Health and hygiene
Diet and nutrition
Natural herbal medicine
Men's Community Groups
Due to the success of the Women’s Training Programme a Men’s community group has been established for training and discussion on topics such as health & hygiene, HIV & AIDS, marriage, family planning and natural remedies for common diseases.
Alpha is an international discipleship programme teaching the basics of the Christian faith. JENGA is the Alpha Regional Coordinator for Eastern Uganda, training leaders and facilitating multiple Alpha courses in numerous districts. JENGA also hosts Training Conferences and provides Bibles and other resources to those hosting the courses.
In the last five years JENGA has been able to provide over 3000 Bibles as gifts to its partners for discipleship.
Since its formation back in 2005, JENGA has regularly visited and ministered in prisons in and around Mbale. We recognise the need to restore hope to the inmates by telling them about the love of God and supporting them through essential items such as soap, mats, food, medical assistance, t-shirts and games.
With almost half of Uganda’s population under the age of 15(UNICEF) JENGA believes that, in order to truly make a positive and sustainable impact in Uganda, we must reach out to and invest in young people, the future leaders of this nation.
Through training and intentional mentoring, fifty carefully selected young men and women are part of a one year discipleship programme, equipping them with the necessary knowledge, skills and inspiration to make a positive change to bring transformation to all spheres of society, both within the church and beyond.
Oaks of Righteousness
Many of Mbale’s local pastors and leaders whom JENGA partner with are desperately overworked, undervalued and most of them receive no real salary or support. We understand the significance of honouring and supporting true Godly leadership and also in bringing leaders together in unity for building God’s Kingdom. JENGA works closely with the governing body of Mbale Church Elders Fellowship to facilitate for this to happen through conferences, prayer events, leaders training and support in times of need.
As Christians we believe in sharing the truth and love of Jesus Christ through both words and deeds and in a culturally sensitive manner. The Bible says “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul?” (Matt 16:26). As much as we are fiercely passionate about demonstrating love in action through development projects we also believe we have a spiritual responsibility as well. We are firm believers in the power of prayer and where possible and appropriate prayer is offered to anyone who wants it.
Project Administration and Consultancy
This is a new and rapidly growing service that JENGA offers to international and local partners of shared vision, heart and methodology. Sadly much of the development done in Uganda is of poor quality, corrupt, unsustainable and delivered with selfish interests and unfair expectations. JENGA looks to serve its partners in potential areas of need, inexperience and weakness by filling the gaps to offer a complete successful solution. Services vary from general advice and consultancy on project delivery to acting as a hub for finances, resources and personnel right down to actual project implementation and management.