This Christmas, remembering how God generously gave us the gift of his son, the gift we most needed, AID has given a one-off gift to Mercy Alive Africa (MAA). Following their motto of ‘We love because he (God) first loved us’ 1 John 4:19, MAA is a charity which shows practical mercy to some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Uganda; Kampala’s 10,000 street children.
Thousands of children in Uganda move to the streets of Kampala, to escape violence, neglect and poverty at home. They believe that they will find a better life in the city, however the reality is quite different; they end up sleeping rough and are vulnerable to attack, abuse and drug addictions.
Wanting to help the thousands of suffering children, Mercy Alive Africa was set up to give street children a brighter future. The charity is run entirely by volunteers who devote much of their time, energy and love to caring for the boys. They have 4 main objectives.
As much as possible Mercy Alive Africa will seek to resettle street children with their families, believing this is the best place for them.
2. The Transitional House
When it isn’t possible or safe to resettle children MAA will try to place children in the transitional house. They can currently host about 10 boys at a time, but would love to expand. Whilst boys are in the house they are fed, clothed, given structure, chores and cared for.
“MAA has changed my life a lot because I had no hope at all… Since I started staying at the house, I have not used drugs at all, not stolen a thing or fought. I feel loved and when I hurt, I have someone to go to.” – Pandol
MAA aims to get sponsorship for every boy to be able to go to school or enable them to learn some vocational skills before they leave the house. Also, because MAA is motivated by Christ’s love, they run daily devotionals and prayers for the boys. Wycliff is one of the boys currently living in the MAA house, he says,
“School has helped me be a normal person because I am letting go of the gangsta-street behaviour and today I am a prefect of the school library and the second best student in mathematics.”
The volunteers of MAA also run weekend outreaches in the slums. These are open to any child living on the streets and is a time when they can enjoy games, be fed, helped with minor medical injuries and learn from the Bible. Mercy Alive Africa would like to develop this into a more structured and effective weekly ‘drop-in’ centre at a local church.
4. Future plans: a Drop-in centre and Field
As mentioned above, MAA would like to develop a weekly drop-in centre in a local church where boys can come each week for Bible teaching, care and games. It would also be a place where MAA could have an office and where volunteers could be trained and supported by church members.
“I feel like a son now, because I don’t have to sell or use drugs to survive, because at the MAA house, I get food and a bed to sleep in.” – Wycliff has been helped by MAA.
The charity would also like to buy a field which where they can grow food such as cassava and maize which would provide food for the transitional house, but also more which could be sold to support the charity’s work. It would also provide an opportunity for boys to learning farming and business skills.
AID’s Christmas gift has gone towards providing food, shelter, education and Christmas gifts for the children in the transitional house. Please join us in praying for the project and that their needs will be met for the long term.
Could you Support Mercy Alive Africa?
If you or your church could partner with and support Mercy Alive Africa, or if you know of any churches in Uganda with whom they could work, please do get in touch with us: email@example.com.