Beauty for Ashes Isaiah 61:3 Part II

The Home of Love and Dreams is where I spent my spare time while I was on my PULSE assignment.  I was also able to participate in community outreach activities alongside with David, Esther and the children.  This enabled me to embed myself into the culture more and learn how Ugandans live from day to day.

The Home of Love and Dreams was founded by Pastor David Kamanzi.  It is a home for children who have been abandoned, orphaned, abused and robbed of their rights leaving them in a state of hopelessness which only God can rescue them from.  The home is situated in the Nyamitanga division of the Mbarara District in the western part of Uganda.  It’s a safe haven for children where they are provided with shelter, food, education, medical help and spiritual development.  Esther is gifted with hands on skills and makes a variety of crafts which have helped to boost the home income. Esther also has a ministry for girls and young women who have been trapped or forced into prostitution. Thus, the Home of Love and Dreams also serves as a rescue point for girls who have been in prostitution and sexual slavery.

Out of the forty-seven children, the home currently reaches out to 19 who are getting basic needs and educational benefits and the other 28 receive the basic needs depending on the available resources.  In Uganda, students have to pay for their education.  There is no public education, everyone has to pay school fees or they do not go to school.

Here are a few profiles of children who were rescued and now live at the Home of Love and Dreams.

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Joseph.  Joseph was born in May 2003.  Joseph joined the home in 2008. He had been abandoned by his mother in a city dump when he was two years old and had a sign around his neck saying he was no longer wanted.  His favorite sport is football and he plays on the school team. I have seen him play and he is very talented.  His favorite subjects are English and science.  Joseph is an excellent student in school and his most recent final exam scores placed him among the best students in Uganda.  His dream is to be a lawyer and get justice for the less privileged children. Joseph portrays a true picture of adoption- he is very secure in the home.

 Arafat and Afusa.  Arafat was born in February 2006 and Afusa was born in February 2007.  Arafat and Afusa joined the home in 2009.  They lost their father due to HIV/AIDS, and their mother abandoned them in their house.  They were left in the custody of their grandmother, who often beat and tortured them, withheld food from them and severely bit them all over their bodies when they would say they were hungry. Arafat and Afusa were severely malnourished and they were not in school during these times. Afusa was filled with fear.  Her fear had been caused by the severe beatings and harsh treatment from the grandmother. She had fear of all woman, but her time at the home has been of healing and transformation from having constant love and care on a daily basis.  Arafat is very protective of his little sister and his dream is to become a police man.  His favorite sport is football and his favorite subject is English.  English and math are Afusa’s favorite subjects and she enjoys skipping rope.

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Emmanuel was born December 25, 1998.  Emmanuel joined the home in 2008 after the death of his father due to HIV/AIDS. Emmy (as we usually refer to him) is very hard working and he does it silently. He is a very talented dancer and is in the Home of Love dance force group. His dream is to become a doctor.  I love Emmy’s humble and dependable personality.  He is very pleasant to talk to and be around.

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Keith was born in September 1999.  Keith joined the home in 2009 following his father’s health situation with HIV and who was very sick. During times that his father was hospitalized, Keith was left alone in the house. As a young boy, he found himself on the streets in search for food in the absence of his father. This is how David met him. Keith loves making jokes and is very entertaining. When you are around him you can’t miss laughing because of the fun he makes. He interacts well with others and loves cooking. He is a very talented dancer and loves working with his virtual DJ program on his computer.  He and I share passions for dancing and running DJ software and this is how we were able to connect and become to know each other very well.  His favorite subject is English.  His dream is to be a pilot.

I personally know each and every one of the above children, and regret that I cannot post each and every child’s personal story.  What God, David and Esther have done and provided for these children is amazing and miraculous.  Providing food and school fees for over 20 children is a great hardship and if you would like to help, donations are welcome.  All of the children study very hard at school and make very good scores on their semester exams.  They realize that it is truly a privilege to attend school and that it is essential that they complete their education through senior six in order to have the chance of a life without poverty.  These children have become my children too and I love them very much.  It is now my life’s dream to visit them as often as I can and stay a part of their precious lives as their “Auntie Amanda”.

The Home of Love and Dreams teaches reliance on God, biblical family values and life skills to set the foundation for the children to become Godly and productive citizens of the Kingdom of God and the nation of Uganda.

If you would like to make a donation to the Home of Love and Dreams, you can use an app called wave.com.  There are no fees.  The app makes money from the currency conversion- converting the US dollar to the Ugandan shilling.  Once you are in the app, you can put the recipient’s name as David Kamanzi and the recipient number as +256772886663.