Sticks to Bricks!
We are proud to announce the kick-off of our annual fall fundraising #GivingTuesday campaign: Sticks to Bricks! We are raising money to build permanent brick homes for several Batwa families.
Each house will come with a new eco-stove and a pregnant female goat that will be used to build wealth for their families. We will transfer over the solar panel they already have and the roofing, but the new house will have a concrete foundation, 3 rooms, and outer and inner doors. This will help in hygiene and sanitation and just provide more dignity.
The Batwa forest tribe were evicted from their ancestral forest in just 1991 when Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks were established in SW Uganda, Africa. They were given no land or money in compensation and have struggled ever since. While churches and charities have helped, they still face an uphill battle to gain respect in society and a better way of life with money-making opportunities.
First, the Batwa lived in "huts" like the one in the photo.
Then we built mud/clay homes that used a kind of "sticks" to create semi-permanency.
NOW, we want to build permanent brick homes for the stable families of Kalehe village.
I came to Uganda in Jan 2014 as a journalist (wendeenicole.com) and was so moved by the plight of the Batwa tribe that I sold my house in the U.S. and moved there to start my nonprofit charity/ministry Redemption Song Foundation (redemptionsongfoundation.org — a 501c3 U.S. nonprofit). The Kalehe Batwa were the "forgotten" village that no one felt could be helped.
We've gotten kids in school, gotten clean water, started agriculture projects and planted 1,000 trees. We need your help to keep going. Each home will get an "eco-stove" that reduces their need for firewood and they will also get goats, which will help with their protein needs and also provide manure that can fertilize the crops we recently planted — coffee as well as vegetables, beans, and more. They already have solar panels from two years' past Power to the People campaign, and these will be transferred over to the new homes. We are also working on livelihood projects so they can sell vegetables and other items to make enough money to support themselves independently. That's the goal! We need your help!
We want to build three brick homes and maybe four if funds allow. Each home is $1500 and any extra funds above what we need for homes will go to agricultural education, staff funding, supplies, and food relief.
I believe our work is inspired by the calling of Jesus Christ on my life and to serve and while I'm now living back in the U.S. we have an amazing Ugandan staff (including one Batwa young man) and we have seen such great changes in cooperation, physical health, hygiene and how they care for their children and one another!
The Kalehe Batwa have become my family. Let's improve lives and spread God's love.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me." -Matthew 25:35-36
You can also donate at the RSF website donate page, or mail a check to Redemption Song Foundation, PO Box 876, Frisco TX 75034.