The Refugee Settlement in Kiryandongo, Uganda is home to over 45,000 people, primarily women and children, who have been forcibly displaced by war and persecution in South Sudan. Many are fragmented families and orphaned children who have lost their relatives in the war.
The Settlement provides some shelter and land, but it is up to the refugees to sustain themselves and build a new life. Few schools are available, but most little children cannot attend because the facilities are too far to walk and too expensive. The nearest primary school is over 5 kilometers away from their compound within the Settlement.
Our Ministry Partner, Pastor Sosthen, who also fled South Sudan with his family, is on a mission to share the Gospel of Jesus with the people as they begin to restore their lives. Pastor Sosthen has been instrumental in establishing a community within the Settlement and constructing a church and homes for the people, but his heart has been especially burdened for the children.
Seeing the vulnerable children wandering from day break to sunset when they should be in school, he went to the leaders of the Settlement, nearby teachers, the UN and other non-governmental organizations to ask for help in educating the young ones within his community. No one was able to offer support.
“We must invest in the children and give them a future,” he lamented. But his pleas went unanswered, until recently.
During a recent mission trip to the Settlement, a volunteer witnessed the hardship first-hand and heard the cries of Pastor Sosthen’s heart. After returning to the U.S, he felt compelled to fund a Nursery School for one year. With Open Eyes extends a special, heart-filled ‘thank you’ to this volunteer for giving the little children a fighting chance for a brighter future.
The Jan Care Nursery School, named after Jan Harrison, the mother of With Open Eyes’ co-founder, James Harrison, was opened at the end of March 2016 for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years of age. Mud walls, plastic chairs, a few books and two teachers make way for an impactful education and safe keeping to over 100 children.
There are 24 With Open Eyes Mobile Messengers candidates within this Settlement under the mentorship of Pastor Sosthen. Our plan is to provide them with a formalized Biblical training by expanding our one-year program recently piloted in 2015 in Kenya and Tanzania. By training and equipping these Mobile Messengers, we can accelerate the gospel to these unreached and underserved people who are hungry to know Christ.
Please visit www.withopeneyes.net to learn how you can help to make an impact at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda. sdfg