About Acres of Hope Uganda -- www.acresofhopeuganda.org
After years of being terrorized by the Lords Resistance Army and becoming the worlds epicenter for HIV/AIDS, Northern Uganda is working to get back up on its feet. Public education is limited and the quality is poor, clean water and electricity are rare, and most people call mud huts with a grass roof, home. Thousands of children have lost one, if not both parents and their opportunities to obtain lifes basic needs are few and far between. Daily, children wake up before the sun, walk miles to fill up dirty jugs with even dirtier water, and trudge back home with the heavy containers on their heads, only to go to bed fighting hunger pains.
Located in Nebbi, Uganda, Acres of Hope provides hope for a future to orphans and vulnerable children by providing them with basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, and an education. The goal is that these children will mature and become productive, generous citizens who will pay it forward and be bright lights in the community.
Odongo Geoffrey Keronga is a pastor, husband, and father to his biological children. Additionally, over 100 children and young adults call him "Dad". His faith and relationship with the Lord can be compared to that of Noah. When he began planning Acres of Hope, people thought he was crazy. Locals told him it was not possible, but Geoffrey forged ahead. Geoffrey knew that God allowed him to survive an awful childhood so that he could help hundreds, if not thousands of other orphans and vulnerable children know the love of Christ and live a better life. Geoffrey is an example of what it means to be selfless, compassionate, faithful, determined, patient, and incorruptible. He is a man after Gods own heart.
The first structures built at Acres of Hope were pod houses. Three of the houses are home to about eight young children and a house Mom. The other two homes are for teenagers. Over 20 young men live in one, and over 20 young ladies in the other. They live with a patron and matron respectively. Collectively, over 70 children consider Acres of Hope home. The other Acres of Hope students live in the community with family members or guardians who receive support from AOH. Eventually, Pastor Geoffrey would like to add many more pod houses to accommodate more children and to ensure their needs are met.
Before Acres of Hope, most of these children prayed for school fees so that they could attend school. Now, over 200 children have had their prayers answered as they attend school at Acres of Hope (or have their school fees paid for so that they can attend another school). When the school first started, some of the classes met under a mango tree, and others met under tarps. The rain and storms frequently caused problems and classes had to be cancelled. Now, two permanent school buildings have been constructed, and another is underway. Once completed, there will be classrooms for all three nursery school classes, as well as Primary 1 through Primary 7. There will also be a library, computer lab, and medical clinic!