About Friends of Ray of Hope

Friends of Ray of Hope Uganda is a small charity that came into being after my my wife and I returned from a month’s visit to Kampala, the Ugandan capital, in the summer of 2007.

Registered Charity Number: 1149786.

Mission Statement: To advance the education of the pupils at the Ray of Hope School, Uganda, by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities (not required to be provided by the local education authority) for education at the school and to assist in such ways as the charity trustees think fit for the public benefit.

We went there wanting to be ‘useful’ but not knowing what we were letting ourselves in for. We met Emily, a Ugandan lady, who in 2000 saw the need for the children of the slums to be educated. Emily gave up her job teaching in the State school system and began by teaching just eight children in her own home.

Steve Jennings and children of ray of hope school

The Ray of Hope project has grown since then, going through many tough times and now has a school that caters for over 100 junior school age children. A further 150+ older children are sponsored to enter the State school system.

We returned home inspired by the vision and commitment of Emily and her staff, and totally captivated by the children and horrified by their plight. We had to do something!

We didn’t set out to run a charity, but rather just returned home determined to help Emily as best we could. We took every opportunity we were given to speak about our experiences at Ray of Hope – and still do! – and it wasn’t long before family and then friends and others became involved.

In our first full year of 2008 we were, through the generosity of our friends, able to send £6,000 to the project. In 2009 that sum increased to £8,000. Friends support of the project has now reached a point where it is absolutely crucial to the ongoing work of Ray of Hope. This is sobering, because there can be no going back. We must double and re-double our efforts – so many now depend on it.

Liz Jennings and the children of ray of hope school

The needs of the poor world-wide are too great to consider, but Ray of Hope gives a focus to a small part of that need and at a scale that we can address. The children of the slums have so little and are so appreciative for what Ray of Hope can offer them.

In February 2010 Friends began to finance a feeding programme, giving the children a meal during their school day, as most are undernourished. This is a major undertaking but we are committed to meeting the challenge of raising the £250 a month needed.

We Friends have found that being part of Ray of Hope, albeit only providing the means by which others deliver the benefits to the needy, is such a blessing. If you would like to play a part please get in touch for more information.

Steve Jennings

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