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Shirts for Uganda

We got an opportunity to catch up with Molly Greenfield!  Molly created a Bonfire fund to help pay for her mission trip to Uganda.  See what she had to say about her awesome fundraising campaign.   Also, you can check out her campaign at the following link:

Q:   Why did you start your campaign?

A:   I started my campaign with Bonfire because I knew that I could not only raise funds for Empower a Child, but I could also advertise the Hope of Africa through these shirts. I needed to raise $3,000 to fund my trip, my stay, and the ministry of Empower A Child.  Outside of donations, these programs remain running because of the volunteers that come from all over the world to spend anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 years or more on site.  I will be in Uganda for 6 weeks this coming summer.

Q:   What is your campaign’s story?

A:   Empower a Child is a nonprofit organization that began when a Ugandan man who was given the gift of education as a child had a vision that all Ugandan children would one day have that same opportunity. Wilson Kabeera traveled to United States in 2007 with a list of 15 orphaned and vulnerable children who needed sponsors. By early 2008 all 15 children received sponsors and were the first children under the Empower A Child sponsorship program.

Education was a great step, but it was not enough. These children needed skills of post-education where they could offer services to their community. In late 2009, Empower A Child purchased 40 acres of land in a remote extremely poor village, Zirobwe, an hour outside of Kampala to begin work-training programs.  In 2010, Empower A Child launched a community outreach program in Kenya where witnessing, disciplining in slums and teaching English in street kids homes took place. All the while, they connected with community members in Zirobwe, Uganda by providing livestock and basic needs to families in the village.

Empower a Child now sponsors over 200 Ugandan children and has just launched a sponsorship program in Kenya.  Teams of workers are on-site and made up of Ugandans and international volunteers from across the globe.  The team ministers to different projects and schools where children and youth live or go to school in both Uganda and Kenya.  Each week the team goes on 6 to 8 outreaches and minister to 200-500 children whether that be through construction projects, helping in primary schools, providing an extra set of hands in the babies’ home, or doing sports ministry.  Empower A Child is working tirelessly to bring self-sustainability and empowerment to orphaned and vulnerable children throughout East Africa.

Q:   What is the core message that you want to come across to readers?

A:    As a social work major at Hope College, I have had a developing interest in how social justice, self-sustainability, empowerment, and advocacy apply to developing countries and what my role as a social worker and Jesus follower can be in international develop. Africa has intrigued me for as long as I can remember and I have spent an increasing amount of time reading about many of the countries, especially Uganda. Uganda is a country with passionate, hard-working people who lack many of the resources and opportunities that we take for granted- namely education.  Africans do not need to be taught how to be successful, they are more than capable of doing that on their own, they simply need to have a chance to be successful.  By investing education, capitol (land, startup money, textbooks, etc.), and a general cross-cultural partnership, we can help Ugandan children to flourish and dream big dreams. Talking about it is one thing, but being involved is another.  This fund gives me the opportunity to get the funding I need to be involved first-hand as well as giving others a chance to get involved through the purchasing of a T-shirt or gaining new information that they might not get otherwise.  I do not want my trip to Uganda to just be my journey, but I want to invite other people to do the journey with me. This is a great way that people do just that, whether they have heard my vision and passion from talking to me or whether they have no idea who I am.  This shares my love for this amazing continent.

More than 50% of the population of Uganda is under the age of 16 and over 2 million of those children are orphans due to war, AIDS and other diseases.  One million children alone are orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic.  These children are the future of Uganda and Africa.

If the leaders of tomorrow are growing up in extreme poverty, not much will change in their future.  Empower A Child believes in breaking not only the physical cycle of poverty and the mentality of poverty in the future leaders lives.  Empower a Child works to do this through academic education, healthy living, vocational training, community development and spiritual discipleship.

Q:   If you reach your fundraising goal, can you give us an idea of how you will spend the donations?

A:   $3,000 will get me to Uganda, cover my 6 week stay, and go towards funding the work that the nonprofit is already doing to alleviate poverty among the children in Uganda.  This includes building a new school, work-training facility, and medical clinic in Zirobwe, Uganda.