Pike County Times
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Photos courtesy of Acts of Love Uganda.
Acts of Love Uganda Is Ministering to Children and Families in Uganda

ZEBULON - Did you know that over half of Uganda's population lives on less than $2.00 a day? Did you know that in Africa, malnutrition contributes to nearly half of all deaths in children under 5, which is 3 million young lives a year? Did you know that Uganda is a landlocked and fertile country with many lakes and rivers and some 84% of the population live in rural areas and rely on subsistence agriculture?

The population there is 39 million. Life expectancy is 59 years. Population in rural areas is 84% with 82% of the people working in agriculture.

"Acts of Love Uganda" is a local non-profit ministry that helps families in Uganda start businesses in order to have an income to take care of their families. Our motto is "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." This ministry helps by providing animals, sewing machines, donated clothes for a boutique, or whatever a family may need to help them with an income.

According to their website, "Acts of Love Uganda" is "a non-profit ministry dedicated to empowering children and families to reach their God-given potential by identifying their skills and connecting them with training/resources to help them achieve their goals. Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty, so that they can better provide for their families and develop into positive role models in the community. Our ministry is based on the idea that each individual has value and potential, and is precious in the sight of God. We have a passion to serve and equip the people of Uganda, and to make a difference in the communities we serve."

Melinda Fowler gave Pike County Times some insight on this ministry and what they hope to accomplish. "The biggest place we help is Katogo Slum, in Gaba, Uganda (outside of Kampala) next to Lake Victoria. During every rainy season the slum floods and the people there have to either sleep sitting up to keep from drowning or move to higher ground until the waters recede. We also help a village in Lugazi, which is between Kampala and Jinja."

How Does This Ministry Raise Funds?

Melinda explained that an acapella group called The Harmonics Uganda is based here in Pike County, and they tour for our ministry helping raise funds. The group is composed of seven young men from Uganda ages 24-30. "They are an established singing group in Uganda and they sound amazing," she said. "They are wonderful young men."

"They have been here since February and will be here touring through March, 2019. Then another tour will start later in the summer." The purpose of the tour is to raise funds to purchase land in Uganda and start a self-sustaining community to move the families of Katogo Slum to a safer place.

"It's a big project, but we have a BIG GOD," she said. "We are still booking if anyone wants to have them." They work by love offering and sing at churches, schools, civic groups, corporate events, etc.

Are you interested in going to Uganda on a mission trip? "We are having our first mission trip to Uganda the first week of April 2019. If anyone is interested in going, I can be reached at (770) 584-5992 or actsofloveuganda1@gmail.com."

Donate Your Old Shoes

What is a way that the community can help? "Acts of Love Uganda" is partnering with an organization called Funds2Orgs for our shoe drive. They work with non-profits in collecting shoes.

"They pay us by the pound for the shoes we collect, which gives us money to help the families of Uganda. Then they in turn take the shoes we have collected and send them to third world countries for the needy people there," Melinda said. "So all the shoes go to very needy people."

The drive will be going on through at least March and possibly longer. "We have drop off boxes at The Oink Joint and Pike Ace Hardware in Zebulon, and Jill Joseph Salon and Shane's Rib Shack in Griffin. If none of those are convenient, I can be contacted for pickup."

Other Ways to Help

"We also have a sponsorship program for $25 a month that will help a child in our ministry pay for school fees, school supplies, medical care and food. In Uganda everyone pays school fees or they don't go to school. There is only one sponsor per child. We highly encourage a sponsor keeping in touch with their sponsored child and can email them as often as they would like."

For more information, you can go to www.actsofloveuganda.org.

We also have facebook pages: Acts of Love Uganda, The Harmonics Uganda, and The Harmonics Uganda can also be seen on Youtube.