Africa! The land before time where exotic creatures still roam and nature paints breathtaking views that render one speechless. Yet this beautiful backdrop display is only an illusion as you whiz by in your tourist jeep, for just beyond the safari trails, lurks devastation. Tragic scenes of severe poverty, war, famine, and disease leave millions of orphans to fend for themselves.
In Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, there are an estimated 2 million orphans - with projections of the number of orphans rising to 9 million within 10 years. Although the LRA rebels of Northern Uganda have ceased fire and the horrific child soldier abductions for the last few years; AIDS, malaria, and disease continues to kill thousands of people a day and the orphans remain, desperately crying out for their lives. The plight of these orphans, along with many more marginalized at-risk and impoverished children who have only one parent or sick parent(s) who are often unable to properly care for them is truly alarming.
That's where FISH International comes in. After the crisis organizations who rush in to assist in the initial trauma the region may have had to endure, move on to the next critical call, FISH comes right behind them, rescuing orphans, at-risk, and impoverished children and implemented long term solutions. FISH is only able to accomplish this by joining hands with donors, local leaders and compassionate villagers to rebuild communities to become safe, self sustaining, self supporting educationally based, life-changing environments for the children to be trained up to become transformational agents in their world and beyond.
You've heard the ancient Chinese proverb, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." That is the foundation of FISH International, "Casting the net... for a lifetime catch!" Along with our compassionate worldwide partners, donors, local leaders, teachers, and villagers, FISH is committed to establishing HOPE through establishing educational centers, self sustaining agricultural programs, self-supporting cottage industries, digging wells, planting community gardens, building schools for hundreds for at-risk children, as well as safe homes for orphans in these impoverished communities, working as an all inclusive team with many others, for as you know "it takes a village to raise a child."
FISH International came into being after working several years in Africa and seeing global aid disappear into the coffers of corrupt leaders. It dawned on us that the only way to make a real impact on changing those children's world, was to partner with the local people who were already giving the shirt off their own back for their own people. Together with these compassionate local partners, FISH chooses to give at-risk children and impoverished communities a hand up, not a hand out, to work with them side by side in caring for the at-risk children as a "village" to together transform their community one challenge at a time, knowing it all begins with education.
FISH began rescuing at-risk, orphan and underprivileged children with our 1st "Project of Hope" 2009-12 by raising funds to purchase land in an impoverished community 15 miles outside of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. With the help of our generous European Partners, we were able to purchase building materials to enable the villagers and volunteers to labor together to make the bricks to complete a large Schoolhouse to provide education for the local at-risk children to attend. In addition, a borehole (well) was drilled to provide water for the both the school and community.
This past Summer, FISH was privileged to spend time working hand in hand with the local partners on the ground in Uganda to expand this project. We're extremely excited to report that the amount of at-risk children coming through our doors at this 1st "Project of Hope" has increased to the point where we will be needing to purchase more land and build more school buildings soon, as these precious children continue to stream in. Already we have had to put up a temporary wooden structure to supplement the influx of children. At present, there is a waiting list and we still have room to accommodate them, but need Sponsors to bridge the gap until we are able to get small business set up to support the school long term.
While the numbers grow constantly, at this time FISH is requesting Donors to come forward to join hands with us in supporting the expansion of our 1st "Project of Hope" by pledging to become a Sponsor as we need 37 more Sponsors to commit to supporting 37 of these at-risk children for the next 3 months, which is only $1/day or $30/month. We also need 14 more 3 seater-desks ($30 each), $150 to hire truck to transport them from the city, $136 for teachers desks, $250 for storage cabinets, $100 for blackboards, $450 for teaching materials, textbooks and school supplies, $350 for cooking pots, stove and firewood as meals being served at school is mandatory in Uganda.
While our African brothers and sisters have much to teach us about the joys of the simple live, the practice of gratitude, and how to really dance, we have much to share with them as well. North America and most of the European countries were built on the backs of entrepreneurs and that wealth of knowledge is what FISH seeks to share with our African partners and villagers to together join hands to rebuild their community and raise up this generation of at-risk, orphan and impoverished children with a new vision to impact their world.
Our exciting 2nd "Project of Hope" 2011-12 has taken FISH over 200 miles northward, near Gulu in Northern Uganda, where the aftermath of a two-decade long guerilla war has left thousands of children wounded and abandoned. FISH is once again teaming up with local partners who have purchased 8 acres and built a Schoolhouse to enable at-risk children to become educated and receive life skill training together. A garden of banana and cassava has already been planted to feed the children and workers. We've been able to drill a borehole (well) on the land to provide water for the school and community.
Thanks to our generous donors, FISH has recently raised sufficient funds to build a chicken/egg hatchery to support more at-risk, orphan and impoverished children to be connected to guardians for their care and provide tuition for them to attend school. In addition, we are very grateful to our Donors for raising support to providing more desks, which we purchased recently. At this time, we are continuing to raise funds to plant more produce and start more small businesses to allow for the School to become self-sustaining and self-supporting and also to build another classroom structure ($12,000) to accommodate the children on our waiting list. In addition, our goal is to build mini-homes to house approximately 6-12 orphans and their respective caretakers in each mini-orphan-home cottage. Other needs include bicycles for teacher transportation ($100 each) and uniforms ($15), and special school shoes ($28) as these impoverished country children run barefoot.
When you choose to partner with FISH, in addition to supporting ongoing "Projects of Hope," you may also engage in the wonderful opportunity of choosing to "adopt" an at-risk or orphan child, to support their needs physically and emotionally by becoming involved in their lives, providing funds for their housing, food, and tuition, along with caring letters of encouragement to be sent to them on a monthly basis ($1/day or $30/month for primary age or $75/month for high school age). You may specify whether you would like to choose to "adopt" an orphan, at-risk child, displaced refugee child, impoverished child or the entire family, as there is a ever increasing waiting list of those in need! In each situation, FISH has the ultimate goal of sponsorship being only a temporary "bridge" to then implement more permanent solutions, through agricultural plans to allow them to become self sustaining solution, in addition to establishing cottage industries to ensure they become self supporting.
Our desire is to continue to bring greater global awareness to the plight of these at-risk and orphan children and partner with like-minded charitable causes, not only in Africa, but in other impoverished countries like India where thousands of children are needlessly suffering daily. With that goal in mind, FISH is thrilled to announce our 3rd "Project of Hope" which will bring these beautiful needy children right to our front door! During our most recent trip to Uganda, FISH had the honor of joining with one of our local partners on the ground to become affiliated with an amazing African children's choir comprised of at-risk and orphan children, who will be coming as ambassadors to tour America in the Fall of 2012! Please contact us directly through the FISH web portal to submit formal invitations to book the choir to come perform in your cities and communities, with the goal to partner with local charities here in America to share in raising funds for desperate needs both here and abroad.
As FISH continues to expand this model of establishing educational centers for at-risk, orphan, and underprivileged children, as well as raising support to rebuild impoverished and war torn communities, building up various other "cottage industries" to generate supplemental income to enable these schools and communities to be thrive, as well as implementing agricultural programs to teach the children and villagers critical life sustenance and entrepreneurial skills for their future, we believe we can transform entire communities to become 100% self sustaining, to then duplicate that model over and over again, bringing hope to many.
With your valuable support, FISH will continue to work alongside these impoverished communities and at-risk children to give them a hand up, not a hand out, to teach them viable self sustaining and cottage industry skills to become 100% self supporting as they join together in helping raise up at-risk, orphan and destitute children in these impoverished and war torn areas to positively impact their lives and future global community.
Each at-risk, orphan, and impoverished child has a big dream of becoming a doctor, a teacher, or a leader in their country. It is truly our privilege to be part of raising up the next generation. We truly believe the FISH model of "casting the net, for a lifetime catch" will be duplicated over and over again in many communities, creating 100% self sustaining, self supporting villages, where at-risk and orphans are cared for and raised up with futures filled with hope, not only in countries in Africa, but in countries all over the world.
We're thrilled to have you join FISH in bringing global change for the next generation, one at-risk child and impoverished community at a time. Thank you for your compassionate heart to reach out to give these at-risk, orphan, and underprivileged children a hand up to give them hope and transform their future and the world!
All donations are 100% tax deductible