Tomorrow’s Heroes Accounts

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Below shows Tomorrow’s Heroes accounts from 1st Aug 2012-31st July 2013

INCOME
 £
Monthly Sponsors 5926.31 53%
One off Gifts 4966.95 44%
Gift Aid 11.25
Justgiving 375.98 3%
Total: 11,280.49

The Gift Aid is low because we only started our sponsorships through Abaana in Feb so the gift aid on the table above is from Feb-Mar 2012. We will receive April-Aug gift aid in the new financial year.

EXPENDITURE
 UGX £
TH Home 31324500 7831.12 73%
Sunday Program 1,855,500 463.87 4%
Street School  1,711,500 427.87 4%
Uncles’ Living Allowance 4,600,000 1150 11%
Other 2,382,200+ £214.76 810.31 8%
Total: 10,683.17
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Katonda Mulungi

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As I am sitting here, I am thinking about the last few months and the journey that God has taken us through. It definitely hasn’t been an easy journey. When I was at home I was talking to my sister who is living in New Zealand at the moment, because of the awkward time difference unfortunately I don’t get to speak to her that much. So I was talking to her and telling her about the last couple of months. Half way through I realised that I had not said one positive thing that had happened, it was negative after negative. She ended the conversation by saying, Kate I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight, worrying about all your worries! How sweet! Miss you sis!! But it was at the point that it dawned on me how hard that last few months have been. But our God is bigger than our worries and our God is stronger. I think of those worries now, that caused so much stress and now I wonder what I was worried about, where was my trust that God could bring us through? And God has brought us through, each day a new door is opening and we trust that God will lead and guide us through each open door.

Being able to write this, in the middle of the day, is one door that was flung open. I waited for 5 years and God finally answered my prayer and I was in a position to be able to work full time for the street kids and I LOVE it! I’m living out my dream. Last week I was all over the country taking our home boys to their families, I got to see the smiles of parents as boys were returned home. We were in slums, we were in villages (deep, deep into the villages!), we met mums, grannies, brother and sisters. Most time the families didn’t speak much English but I could see the smiles on their faces appear as uncle Amos or Charles told them that their child was in school and doing well.

Being able to attend Street School and be a part of this is great, we have around 18/20 children attend every Tue and Thurs. We had a chat with them and asked them what they enjoyed about school and what they think we could improve on.  I was predicting- more food, more clothes, taking them to the TH home…etc, but not one boy mentioned anything like that. They said, ‘we want school to happen more often, we want longer days, we want to learn science and social studies, we want more teachers, we want homework!’ The last one made me laugh, what child asks for homework! Yesterday I sent them home with the 4 times tables; it will be interesting who will have learnt them by Thursday! These kids love being in school and learning and it is a real pleasure to be teaching them. One of the main focus of the school is to find the best possible placement for each child in the school, this could be the TH home, resettlement with their families, boarding school, or connecting them to another charity, like the Abaana home. Over the summer Rajab went to the Abaana home and we are excited to see this partnership work.

Katonda Mulungi, God is good, all the time!

 

some photos to enjoy!

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William

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today is a special day for us; today the first child we took in makes the long journey back to his family. This is what we stand for, this is why we do this work, this is what it is all about- reuniting these children back to their families (if it is appropriate). These children run away from their families for many different reasons, William ran away because he saw his dad being killed by the Lords Resistant Army and he thought Kampala would give him a better life. He thought that he could work and send his mum money, but when he got to Kampala (when he was 11), he found no work, all he found was the pain of life on the streets. We met William in 2010 and talked to him about the importance of education and then invited him into the Tomorrow’s Heroes home.

William came into the TH home 2 ½ years ago, we could barely talk to him as his English was so poor. Since then he has completed his primary school, learnt English and developed into a fine, young man. Every holiday he would go home to his mum in Northern Uganda, he loved these trips; he loved seeing his mum again. But deep down he was sad, he could see his mum getting older and he wanted to help her.

William is now 20 years old, he has decided that he is now the man of his family and it is up to him to provide. William was in the first year of high school and was struggling with the work; he was finding it very difficult so we gave William many options as to how we can help his future (vocation school, setting up a business, adult classes). He decided that he needs to go home to help his mum. He wants to start farming and support his family through this. So today Uncle Charles and William make the long trip up to Gulu and William will be reunite with his family. William will be given all the necessary tools to be able to start his new adventure. Please pray for William today.

 

 

Musa

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The last few weeks have been the toughest time we have spent in Uganda. It has been a month of betrayal and heart break.

To cut a long story short, Musa, one of the oldest boys in the home, ran away from the home and stole stuff from the boy’s house. This in itself was strange; he has been with us since the beginning in Aug 2011 and was a stable and obedient child. He very rarely got into trouble, we knew that he had a problem with his temper but usually he handled this well, he was open and talk honestly about this. He seemed happy and content and keen to work hard to have a good future. He always told us his dream was to become a soldier, not to fight and kill but to protect people. So when he left it was a big surprise, however when working with street children this is to be predicted. Sometimes the routines and the structures of homes become too difficult and they think of the freedom they had on the streets and can’t help but want to return. We have been very blessed so far with the boys that have been in the home and this has been our first incident of a child running away.

After a few days Musa called us to meet up, this was a step in the right direction and it showed that he was prepared to ask for forgiveness. We had arranged to meet at church but before we got their one of the other boys (I don’t know why he said this as it was not true) told Musa that we were going to take him to the police.

In anger, Musa then came to our home, whilst we were at church and broke into our house, stealing laptops, money and phones. Later that day he phoned us and admitted to us that he had done it. The whole situation was very strange.

Obviously, we were heart broken that a boy that we have put so much time, energy and money into could do this to us. In this world, we are probably the only people who care for this child, the only people that love him and want the best for him, but I don’t think he understood this. Hopefully in time he will.

About 2 weeks later Musa was found and put into prison, as we walked into the police shack, I see Musa with rope round his wrist, he looks like a man now, when did he get so big? I think to myself. I want to shake him and scream at him, not for what he did to us, but for the fact that he has ruined his future. My heart bleeds as I realise we have lost this boy, that maybe, he is unhelpable and that maybe we can’t help them all.

After a few days he is out of prison, and somehow ends up back at the boy’s house. As soon as work finishes we go round and know that this is going to be a hard night. We talk to Musa and find out the story; apparently he was finding school hard and getting bullied, an 18 year old boy in p5, quite understandable. Again I want to scream at him and ask him why he didn’t talk to us about it. After talking to the uncles and making a decision we knew the only thing to do was to tell Musa that we still love and care for him but that he can’t stay in the house after what he did.

As he is about to leave, he comes to me and puts his hand out for me to shake, I give him a hug and the weight of what was happening dawned on me. He walks out the door, turns round and says, ‘I’m sorry Auntie Kate’. I want to run to him, to tell him that he can stay… but deep down I knew that I couldn’t, I knew that he needed this to happen to teach him a lesson, I knew I needed to do this to protect the other 12 children… but as he walked out that door… my heart broke.

Big News…

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In July 2009 I came home from my gap year with a real longing to go back to Uganda, I was sure God was calling me to work full time with the street children. So I looked and looked for opportunities and whilst I was looking, I spent a long time reading and researching street children and those 6 months at home formed the foundation of what I know. I knew God was leading me, so I keep knocking on doors but none opened. I chatted to my pastor about it and before I went in I prayed, God if this is your will, he will be supportive. As I was chatting to my pastor a smile came across his face and at that point I knew God was confirming what I knew he wanted me to do. So I kept looking. I went on a mission weekend away and I was chatting with one of the missionaries and she was giving me some advice, she told me to look into my career and find a job as a teacher and then when I got to Uganda I can work with street kids on the side. I took her advice and a month later I was in Uganda working at an international school. God open a door, just not how I had expected!

That was over 3 years ago and looking back I realize that it has all happened in God timing. I remember during my 6 months at home, I created a scrap book about the street kids and on one page I had made a diagram outlining how I felt effective street work should happen. I had imagined a drop in centre being the main part, but before that there needed to be an outreach stage and then through the drop in centre the street workers could assess how to help each child. And now as I look at Tomorrow’s Heroes (which didn’t even exist back then) I realize that we are implementing the exact drawing that I had drawn so many years ago. I can see God’s hand at work in everything that has happened, I can see Him working when I first went down to the slum with a pack of cards, I can see He brought Luke into my life to support and develop the work we do, I can see how he blessed us with such amazing and dedicated leaders and a fantastic place to lead a program and throughout it all we are so thankful, that He is in control.

So the exciting news… the next step in the journey, from Aug 2013 I will be working full time for Tomorrow’s Heroes and will no longer be working at school. It has got to the point where it is impossible to do both, the work load is becoming too much and if I don’t stop one, both will be affected. So, with a lot of trust in God, I handed in my letter of resignation. I couldn’t be happier and I am so excited about the year ahead, I’m excited to see how things can grow and develop but most of all I am looking forward to deepening the relationships with the children. I have always said that I am in Uganda for the street kids and now I will be able to dedicate all my time and energy to them. And although I can’t wait for this to happen I’m also nervous and anxious at what lies ahead. As always my prayer is that God will lead and guide us in everything we do.

Looking back…

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It’s that time of year again when we think about what has happened and then think about what is to happen. As I think back on the year I marvel at all God has done! Obviously, personally, walking down the aisle towards a very handsome man tops the list. But as I think about the boys and all that has happened within Tomorrow’s Heroes my heart jumps for joy, as I know that Gods hand has been upon us.

 

Every time I see the boys in the home I am amazed at how they have grown and developed. Some of them came to us with real anger issues and although they have not fully overcome these problems, they have dramatically improved. Their smiles brighten up my day, as I realise that these boys are happy loved and most importantly they now have a future ahead of them.  A definite highlight of the year was when Peter, one of our older boys, spent  2 weeks in Luke’s international school learning how to become a chef. It will be a while before his dreams come to reality but at least he knows what he wants to become and is starting the process to begin it. Peter has a bright future ahead of him.

 

The biggest adventure that we set upon last year was to open up our Street School, and what a success that has been! The idea is that this school is used to build up relationships with the kids and get to know them to find out how we can help them. We keep the numbers low (around 15kids) so that we can concentrate on that group of kids. If they commit to the program we try to find a placement for each individual child, this will differ depending on each child’s circumstances. Three children came through the school and into our home last year (Vincent, Fred and Daniel). All three has settled well into the home environment.

 

Its very easy to see the street kids every Sunday and forget about the situation they face everyday, about their challenges and struggles, we see them at the programmes and they are happy and having fun, their bellies are full and if they are tired they can rest because at the programmes they have nothing to fear (except maybe getting beat in football!) We look at some of the kids and if you look carefully enough you see their hurt and their pain.  As I look back at the year I can think of numerous times when my heart has broken from seeing these kids. But i know these kids lives can change, but it can’t happen without help from you. This year we are talking another four kids of the street, we need sponsors for this. We need people, like you, (because if you have read this far, it is obvious you are interested in helping these kids!) to raise money for tomorrow’s heroes, to fundraise and organise events and to get your friends involved. We can’t do this alone. If you would like to run an event get in touch and we can brainstorm some ideas. Together, we can change the kids lives, so that like Peter, they will all have a bright future ahead of them.

 

As we look to this year we are going to strive to

‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances’

Please join us in this.

News from the last couple of months!

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It feels like a long time since I have updated this and so much has happened that I don’t even know where to begin. Life has been very busy!

The most exciting news is that the boys moved into a new house, God worked ahead of us on this one and we found the perfect place for them. We wanted 2 houses (next door to one another) so that we could bring more children into the TH home. We looked and looked and almost gave up! But then our broker brought us to the most amazing house. An old woman has build 5 houses on her land (about an acre) and is renting them out so we took 2 of them. The best thing is that they are in a secure compound and that there is lots of land that the boys can farm and grow crops. The old woman is a Christian and is going to be a great motherly figure for the boys. Each house has room for 8 boys and an uncle, the first house is full and at the moment we are moving boys into the second house. We don’t want to rush this process and are taking our time so that we find the right boys. We also have 2 new uncles- Uncle Amos and Uncle Charles; they are living with the boys alongside Uncle Kevin.

 

Below is an article I put in our Newsletter about Daniel, if you haven’t received the newsletter and would like to, please send me your email address. Daniel is the newest addition to the house…

Meet Daniel…

Daniel has been attending our street school for the last 3 months. Daniel came to Kampala streets about 4 months ago and is finding street life very difficult. Unlike, most street children he is struggling to cope and survive. Street children find ways of surviving, they collect scrap metal or plastic bottles and then sell them, they beg, they eat food from dustbins, they work or they steal—all these, none of which are great, allow a street child to survive. Daniel has not learnt any of these things yet, so he is finding life very hard. The only time Daniel gets food is when a street children’s program is on and they give out food (for example, our Sunday Program or Street School) or when one of the other boys shares their earnings.

What makes Daniel’s life even harder is that he is not from Kampala, he is from a very tribal area called Karamoja in Eastern Uganda, so Daniel cannot even feel part of the street life because he cannot speak Luganda, the local language.

As I was talking to Daniel about his family, I asked him (he speaks some English) if he told his parents he was going to run away, he said, ‘yes I did, my mum thought I was joking but then turned serious, she said, if you do go to Kampala you’ll find a better life and when you find it come back to us if we have-n’t died and help us.’ I asked Daniel if he had found a better life, he said, ‘life here and life in the village, it’s the same, they are both difficult.’

Everyday, life is hard for Daniel.

 

Life became too hard for Daniel and we actually had to move him into the house a week before we had planned because he was sick and had malaria. Daniel was delighted to join the house and now every time I see him he has a big smile on his face! At the moment we are focusing on another 2 children to bring into the house(these children have been attending the school since Sept), before they move into the house, we take them back to their village and reunite them with their family (if this is possible) and then we talk to their parents about the child’s future. Please pray for these 2 children and their families.

 

Other exciting news…

  • On Sunday 9th Dec we celebrated Christmas with the boys on the streets. We had around 100 children come to the program to hear more about why Jesus came as a baby. They all enjoyed some great food, played some Christmas games and got a Christmas gift.

 

  • Peter, one of the eldest boys has a passion for cooking and  is very good at it! When he finished school this term he started some work experience at one of the biggest international schools in Kampala (Luke’s school), he is learning how to cook and become a chef- we are excited to taste what he is learning!

 

  • 7 of our younger boys went to the annual Christmas Scripture Union Camp. They got to learn more about Jesus and explore the bible in more depth. They also had a lot of fun!

 

  • All the boys finished school and received their reports, they all did extremely well, with Mathew and Peter coming 2nd and 3rd in their class.

At the moment the boys are all preparing to go home to their villages for Christmas, we are doing the same and can’t wait to feel the cold air of England and Northern Ireland!

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