At Walla Walla University, we have chosen to help children who have nothing. Our goal is to provide the basic necessity—a loving home. As we focus on the needs of orphans in Uganda, we invite you to join us in our commitment TO BUILD A HOME.
In September, 2013, ADRA-Peru invited ASWWU to partner with them in the construction of an orphanage. In December, ASWWU sent an assessment team to meet with ADRA representatives and government officials to assess the need and to obtain approvals for the project. Since then, we have collaborated to complete phase one of the project, which focused on developing design plans, a sustainability plan, and marketing materials. In March, ASWWU sent another team to Peru to launch phase two: construction of the orphanage. During our visit, we negotiated the contract framework, then agreed to finalize the details over the following weeks. As ADRA further reviewed this project, they concluded that a home for orphans is inconsistent with their long-term plans for their facility, and they declined final approval for construction. Instead, they have invited us to adopt an alternative model for supporting orphans that involves community-based intervention. While their new project scope continues to address an important need among orphans living in the community, it does represent a significant change in project scope. ADRA’s request causes us concern because we seek a project that enables broad student engagement on the project site now and in the future. We wish to honor the intentions of our donors while also respecting ADRA’s request for a change in project scope.
To Build A Home: Uganda
An orphanage named Christalis in Kasese, Uganda was established in 2005. The home presently supports 26 children plus three staff children. Christalis currently rents a house, which causes an unstable future if the landlord decides to not renew their lease. Homes are not built to house as many children as are being cared for, therefore the rented home is crowded. The children would greatly benefit from a home where there is ample space to move around, study, worship, play, sleep, all without the fear of losing their home.
Most children are orphaned due to parents being sick. Many children are abandoned by one parent once the other parent dies. Parents die mainly due to AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or abandonment. Many children have extended family or old grandparents, but they are unable to care for the children.
In order to maintain our commitment, the To Build A Home project team worked diligently to carefully select project criteria: serve the greatest need of children, present student involvement, future opportunities for students and partners, and maintain the integrity of ASWWU. There are many worthy causes in the world, but we must start somewhere to help. Our project team eliminated projects with much deliberation, and we are now very excited to present our next opportunity TO BUILD A HOME.
Christalis currently has four staff: father figure (counselor), mother figure (manager), assistant (aunt), and cook (aunt). The children have a structured day; they wake up early for morning worship and breakfast then go to school. After school they do homework, play, have evening worship and dinner. Many activities are included in home life, including chores, pathfinders, children’s and main church, cultivating the land, and outreach to the community.
History of Christalis: Founder’s Message
“On my first trip back to India I saw children in the slums with no clothes on, no shoes, living in tents with holes when it was freezing outside. I thought to myself, ‘Where do they use the bathroom, how do they sleep, where do they brush their teeth?’ At that time I was a child and all I wanted to do was take them all home and give them what I had: shelter, clothing, food, toys! As a child I felt helpless to help them, but I promised God that when I grew up I would come back somehow and help these children. When I finished college I took another trip there and saw the beggars again. There was one little girl that I bumped into more than once. I would always give her money but one day I took her into the store and got her bread. Then she asked for bread for her grandmother and I got that for her too. But that’s all I did. I had no money I had just finished school. I wish I could have done more for her.”
“Years later my aunt took me on a mission trip to Uganda. To my surprise I saw the same children I had seen in India as a child: children without clothes or shoes, no one watching them. After doing some research and interviewing children and families, it was decided that there was a need for a home in Kasese, Uganda. I left one month’s rent for a potential home. My Aunt Evon heard about the desires of starting a home and felt impressed to quit her job, give up her home and car, and move to Uganda. We began our happy home with 11 children in January of 2005. The children in our home are orphaned due to AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, poverty, abandonment and various other reasons. A year after the home started, Evon asked the kids what they liked best about the home. They all answered with receiving three meals a day. Now our movement is shared by a group of us whose sole purpose is to help children who are victims of various injustices. All we want to do is to give these children what we have: basic needs, the love of a strong, supportive family, the knowledge of Christ, and the opportunities to succeed.”
-Shalini D., co-founder of Christalis
Thank-you to those who participated in giving life because of Mission Mozambique last school year. We surpassed our goal of $60,000 and drilling 6 wells, and raised $86,000. We enjoy the energy and passion created by serving others!
Donating is easy! Just select “other payments” and find “ASWWU Missions Projects”.