Finding permanent families for children takes time, and so it should as it is vital that we trace thoroughly for family members, carry out comprehensive family assessments and follow a careful bonding plan before sending a child home. While this is going on, we believe a child should still be cared for in a family, and we are making this possible through our Emergency Foster Care programme. Following our successful pilot, in which we saw children thriving in temporary family care at a time when they might otherwise have been in an institution, we wanted to find more families who are willing to open up their hearts and homes to abandoned children while we’re finding permanent families for them.
We’ve just launched an exciting partnership with Gaba Community Church in Uganda. The church community have made a commitment to foster abandoned children while we trace for their families. The children will experience the love of a family, as well as the community support of the extended family of the church.
Last weekend the church organised a recruitment day to encourage their congregation to open their hearts and their homes. Pastor Peter Kasirivu, the Senior pastor at Gaba Community Church, a part of African Renewal Ministries and a strong advocate of children in loving families asked his congregation: “Some of you are the fathers these children need, some of you are the mothers these children need. Are you willing to open your home to life?”
He later explained his commitment to family care for children:
“As a Christian, I know I was adopted by God. Because I was helped, I want to help. Institutions cannot provide what a family can. There are thousands of children who need help, so I hope that my congregation open up. But I also hope that other churches see what we have done, that they may also open up. I believe what we have done here can be done by many churches. I feel like we can be an example, a catalyst for what can be done amongst other church bodies in the country of Uganda. I really believe that with the families we have in this country, there is no reason why a child should be on the street.”